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Geography Education
Geography Education
Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography students and teachers. http://geographyeducation.org
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Aerial Photographs Catalogue the Life and Death of Volcanic Islands

Aerial Photographs Catalogue the Life and Death of Volcanic Islands | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Volcanic islands can seem to appear out of nowhere, emerging from the ocean like breaching monsters of the deep. Below, Mika McKinnon explains how these odd geological formations are born, how they evolve, and how they eventually vanish back beneath the waves.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Where an island is along this developmental continuum says much about the human populations that may inhabit said island.  If the island is tall and young with rich volcanic soil, the mountain will attract rainfall and the soil could support agriculture, making the island able to sustain a higher population density.  On the other hand, an old, eroding island with little rainfall and depleted soils will need human inhabitants to rely on the ocean's resources for food and would thus support a more minimal population.  These islands are changing, even if the time scale is slow--but just recently two disconnected islands 'merged' as growing volcanic island has expanded in the Pacific. 

 

Tags: Oceania, physical, geomorphology, landforms.

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, April 7, 11:50 AM

Darwin was the first to bring an academic overview to the formation of these coral-harboring islands but the beauty and diversity were really first brought home with free aerial imagery (ala Google Earth, etc.).


Where an island is along this developmental continuum says much about the human populations that may inhabit said island.  If the island is tall and young with rich volcanic soil, the mountain will attract rainfall and the soil could support agriculture, making the island able to sustain a higher population density.  On the other hand, an old, eroding island with little rainfall and depleted soils will need human inhabitants to rely on the ocean's resources for food and would thus support a more minimal population.  These islands are changing, even if the time scale is slow--but just recently two disconnected islands 'merged' as growing volcanic island has expanded in the Pacific.

Tracey M Benson's curator insight, April 7, 5:15 PM

Insight from Seth Dixon:

Where an island is along this developmental continuum says much about the human populations that may inhabit said island.  If the island is tall and young with rich volcanic soil, the mountain will attract rainfall and the soil could support agriculture, making the island able to sustain a higher population density.  On the other hand, an old, eroding island with little rainfall and depleted soils will need human inhabitants to rely on the ocean's resources for food and would thus support a more minimal population.  These islands are changing, even if the time scale is slow--but just recently two disconnected islands 'merged' as growing volcanic island has expanded in the Pacific. 

Helen Rowling's curator insight, April 17, 4:55 PM

Geographical wonders.

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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context...click here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at: http://geographyeducation.org/2013/12/06/island-biogeography/

Seth Dixon's insight:

Island biogeography operates on different principles than we see on the continents.  Soem extraordinary creatures such as the komodo dragon and thylacine can be found in isolated places removed interactions with more generalist species.  Alfred Russel Wallace made some extraordinary discoveries combining biology and spatial thinking. 

 

Island biogeography is pertinent today since habitat fragmentation (from urbanization and argicultural land uses) has rendered 'islands' out of the wilderness that isn't being used by humanity.  Some animals such as the cougar are locally extinct from their historic ranges (extirpation).


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, Australia, Oceania.

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Christian Allié's curator insight, December 7, 2013 8:17 AM

........""....

... Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context..


....Part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 7, 2013 10:56 AM

I really could see the idea of island biogeography when looking at islands and the ocean and how they species could develop that way.  Until I saw this video I do not think I could have made that cross over to continents.  Now I do see it.  If we build something across an open plain it will effect how species roam the area.  I remeber seeing pictures of the Alaskan pipeline raised in certain area and could not until now figure out why.  Now I know it was done, at least partly for, environmental reasons. So animals could still travel under it in order to move about.  If not Alaska would have been cut in half and prevented the animals form moving across the pipeline.  So as nature effected the developement of species with the rising and falling of ocean levels and islands, human effect the developmentof species with roads, farms and cities to name just a few.

Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 8, 2013 11:35 AM

I find the island biogeography to be really awesome because it's as if the small South Pacific islands are a completely separate world in terms of the creatures that live in the isolated environments.  Growing up, the idea of the Komodo Dragon was terrifying and amazing because lizards are just supposed to be little, ugly reptiles and the existence of one large enough to eat us and named after the beasts in fairytales was fascinating.  In Rhode Island, there isn't much in terms of exotic wildlife but even the species throughtout the rest of the U.S. don't completely compare to the rare creatures on the islands that have adapted to the conditions of living on small pieces of land.

The land bridge is something I don't recall ever hearing of before and the way that it influences the animals' evolution and expansion is fascinating.  I think of it in terms of humans because when immigrants cross seas to go to different countries, they are forced to adapt and they're families evolve differently than they would have in their homeland. The land bridge provided similar challenges for the marsupials and reptiles that are/were located on the secluded islands.

Once again, I also find myself extremely annoyed with man's habit of killing off rare species for the selfish reasons of owning land and not being hunted by the animals whose land they've encroached upon.

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What is a Hotspot?

1) What is a hotspot? A volcanic "hotspot" is an area in the upper mantle from which heat rises in a plume from deep in the Earth. High heat and lower pressure at the base of the mantle facilitates melting of the rock. This melt, called magma, rises through cracks to the surface and forms volcanoes. As the tectonic plate moves over the stationary hot spot, the volcanoes are rafted away and new ones form in their place.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Why are the Hawaiian Islands a linear formation if there are not plate boundaries in that region?  Why are the islands seemingly arranged from largest to smallest?  The answers lie in the physical geography of 'hot spots.'  After this introductory video, you can learn more about the geologic life cycle of a hot spot volcanic island in this companion video


Tags: Oceania, physical, geomorphology, landforms.

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Moisés González Pérez's curator insight, May 29, 2013 3:02 PM

It is a good video which explain how can be formed a group of islands under a hot spot. This example is valid not only for Hawaii but for the Canary Islands.

Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 5, 2013 5:10 PM

Never really understood how island chains were made until now.  As the plate moves the iland is no longer growing and it begins to erode as a new island is created for the hotspot doesn't move the plate does.  That explains why the island of Hawaii is the largest island in the Hawaiian Island Chain..it is the yourgest island and the one the is currently under the hotspot...until it moves along the plate..which I do not believe will be in anyones life time.  It also helps explain how atolls were formed.  The plate moved so the island was no longer growing and though erosion of hundreds of thousands of years the center of the large island is gone while the ring is being supported by a coral reef.  Great site that really makes it easy to understand.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 13, 2:09 PM

This video explains the geology of hotspots which are how many of the islands in the Pacific Ocean are formed. Convection of solid, hot material rises to the tectonic plate where it is trapped, heating the rock above to its melting point. The heat then forces the molten rock to the surface where it cools and creates volcanoes. Over millions of years, the tectonic plate drifts, but the hot spot does not, causing a series of volcanoes on the surface. The Hawaiian Islands were formed by this process, which is why the islands progress from large to small, with the smallest islands being the oldest, in the process of eroding completely away.

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Pacific Islanders transform Utah’s football scene

Pacific Islanders transform Utah’s football scene | Geography Education | Scoop.it
New demographic study in California reveals nation’s changing face. Plus how Pacific Islanders changed high school football in Utah and why a Somali Bantu band from Vermont is in demand around the country.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This news article of 'odds and ends' has some interesting geographic content.  Having lived in Utah for many years, I can attest to the fact that the "Polynesian Pipeline" for Utah schools is incredibly important and represents a chain migration that has culturally shifted both the 'host' and 'migrant' population.  The 'haka' is now institutionized as a part of Intermountain West football culture.   


Also in this article:

--Hispanics to outnumber whites in California by 2014

--Somali Bantu band from Burlington, VT in demand across the country


Tags: migration, culture, diffusionreligion.

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Pink Lakes

Pink Lakes | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Photo by Jean Paul Ferrero/Ardea/Caters News (via Exposing the Truth   Lake Hillier is a pink-coloured lake on Middle Island in Western Australia. Middle island is the largest of the islands a...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Pictured above is Lake Hillier, located on a small island south of Western Australia.  Around the world there are many pink lakes; most of them can attribute their hue to their high salinity composition.  Some algaes that thrive in salt water produce organic pigments with a reddish/pinkish coloration.  This particular lake's coloration is a mystery.  If you any additional information, feel free to share in in the comments section below.  

   

Tags: water, physical, images, Australia.

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 11, 2013 10:56 AM

Lake Hillier in f Western Australia is one of the many you can find around the world. The pink color comes because of the high salinity composition. A particular algaes found in salt water then produce organic pigments with a reddish/pinkish coloration. It is mysterious and interesting, as we are not accustome to it.

megan b clement's curator insight, December 16, 2013 12:27 PM

This is a photo of a pink lake that really exists in Western Australia. The color of the lake is pink due to the high salinity composition and the lake is filled with algae that cause the water to turn a pink pigment. I never even heard of this before nor if i saw this picture think that this is one of many pink lakes that really exist.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 14, 7:46 AM

These photos of Lake Hillier and the other pink lakes are very interesting. I had never heard of this particular geological/geographic event and the vivid pink water quite beautifully contrasts with the green forests and blue ocean. It is also surprising that the nature of this particular pink lake is still a mystery, probably because it has not been thoroughly tested. I imagine the reasons for its pink hue are similar to the other pink lakes around the world. It is unfortunate that in one of the photos, a road was built right through one of the pink lakes.

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Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru

Aborigines threaten to shut Uluru | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an old article, but a fascinating topic that cuts across many geographic issues.  Uluru, the landform that that European explorers named Ayers Rock, was the key place that is at the center of a struggle between indigenous people and the government.  Many feel that the government's course of action in the mid 2000's was paternalistic and racist.  They banned alcohol and pornography in over 70 indigenous communities in an attempt to lower the rates of child sex abuse.  Sex Abuse is high (and often hidden)  in aboriginal communities where a child is 7 times more likely to be abused than in the rest of the Australian population.


Questions to Ponder: Would the government impose such measures on other populations within Australia?  When crimes have a racial component, does a government have the right to limit a particular groups' actions?  Why or why not?

 

Tags: Australia, indigenous, ethnicity, race, Oceania.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 23, 2013 12:50 PM

This is a very strange article. After police and troops were sent into more than 70 indigenous communities after a report of wide spread child abuse tribal leaders threatened to ban tourists from being allowed to climb Uluru. TO me this sounds like they are trying to hid what is really going on in their communities. 

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, December 10, 2013 3:24 PM

This is an interesting BBC news source and even though it is from 2008, it is still important to the topic of initiating government policies, especially those that may have a racial component.  Aborigines threatened to shut  down access to the Australian landmark, Uluru (previously named Ayer's Rock by European explorers).  Australian government leaders imposed laws banning alcohol and pornography from Aborigines in hopes to lower the incidents of child abuse.  While child abuse is a more prevalent issue among indigenous groups rather than those who are not Aborigines, I do not think it is fair to impose particular bans against certain groups.  Child abuse is most likely an issue among Australians other than Aborigines, but just because it might be more prevalent among Aborigines, it is not a reason to punish one group of people and not all.

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Island shown in Google Maps doesn’t actually exist

Island shown in Google Maps doesn’t actually exist | Geography Education | Scoop.it

There’s a South Pacific island positioned midway between Australia and New Caledonia featured on various marine charts, world maps, and has appeared in publications since at least the year 2000. It’s listed as Sandy Island on Google Maps and Google Earth, and yet Australian scientists have just discovered it doesn’t exist.


As part of a 25-day voyage, the group went to the area, only to find  a 1,400m (4,620ft) deep section of the Coral Sea. The team collected 197 different rock samples, more than 6800km of marine geophysical data, and mapped over 14,000 square kilometers of the ocean floor.  This is just a reminder that a map is only as reliable as the information used to compile that map (see BBC article as well).   For another reminder of this same idea see "The Republic of Null Island." 

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The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays

The Border That Stole 500 Birthdays | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The story behind the the International Date Line.

 

Not too long ago (Jan. 2012), the arbitrary International Date Line (roughly opposite the Prime Meridian) was moved to better accommodate the regional networks and economic geography of the area straddling the line.  American Samoa, although politically aligned with the United States, was functionally more integrated on the Asian side of the Pacific Rim when it came to their trade partners and their tourism base.  Dynamic economic networks, political allegiances and cultural commonalities create a beautifully complex situation near this 'border.'    

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 5, 2013 4:42 PM

It made sense for American Samoa to ask for the move even though it is US territory.  It is more closely linked with the economies of the China, Japan, Australia, New Zeland and South Korea.  For them to all be on the same day just makes sense.  You can coordinate things better if everyone is on the same day, financial markets and be in line when the trading day starts and ends.  Seems to me to make sense that they are on the same day as their main economic partners.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 5:42 AM

This line clearly needs to be redrawn.  It just does not make sense that it could be monday in one area and tuesday 50 miles directly south of it.  While the new dateline does not necessarily have to be perfectly straight, it should at least not go directly horizontal as it does now.  Whoever lies on the line must deal with whatever place they have been placed in, and not complain.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:05 AM

My class examined this and we agree that it makes sense that American Samoa would want to be those they do business with like Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  ALthough American Samoa is a US territory, it definately does more business with the countries who are nearby and therefore they should be pushed to the other side of the dateline.

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The White Shark Kayak Story

The White Shark Kayak Story | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The photograph is real, no photoshop, no digital manipulation, no nothing, in fact it was shot on slide film Fuji Provia 100 using a Nikon F5 Camera and 17-35 mm lens. For those conspiracy fans who still doubt its authenticity please read how I took the photograph."  --The true story by Thomas P. Peschak

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Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors

Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors | Geography Education | Scoop.it
High-resolution imaging has allowed scientists to produce the first full count of Antarctica's emperor penguins...

 

Before this, there was no way to to gather reliable penguin statistics.  Geospatial technologies are now providing us the tools to teach us more about the biogeography of penguins.  The applications of geospatial technologies are endless.   

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 23, 2013 12:58 PM

Using high resolution images from satilites geographers and ecologists are looking at emperor penguins. They have come up with the first ever population total of 595,000 penguins which is nearly twice as many emperor penguins as previous studies. They also counted 46 colonies. This is so cool, Penguins are one of my favorite animals and are so fasinating to me. 

Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 4:52 PM

This reminds me of a documentary type show on Discovery Channel called "Penguins: Waddle all the Way".  It followed various groups of penguins from Antarctica, Falkland Islands, and Peru with remote controlled camera-weilding look-alikes.  It's amazing to see the migration patterns and habits each of the groups have.  This technology is virtually harmless and gathers a great deal of data which ties in with geospatial technologies.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 6:17 PM

I wonder when this geospatial technology will be used to spy on humans, maybe it already has! It is important, however, to learn more about Antarctica, the alien continent of the world. This is a victory for science.

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Video -- Dive into the Deep

Video -- Dive into the Deep | Geography Education | Scoop.it
March 26, 2012—In a state-of-the-art submersible, National Geographic explorer-in-residence and filmmaker James Cameron reached the deepest point of the Mariana Trench, breaking a world record for the deepest solo dive.

 

For those who haven't been following National Geographic news, James Cameron (director of "Titanic" and "The Abyss") entered a submarine named DEEPSEA CHALLENGER, and dove to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth. Enjoy this video describing this "lunar-like" environment that is so deep it is lightless and near lifeless with extreme pressure. For more on the expedition, read: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/03/120326-james-cameron-mariana-trench-challenger-deepest-lunar-sub-science/

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Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:12 PM

This is amazing! I love the fact there isalways one person willing to rishk his own life just to gain more knowledge of the world we live in. The Mariana Trench is definteley a scary place and by it being the deepest trench in the world, I can see why not many would consider going down there. I am looking forward to the release of any videos that may come from this expedition he took. - M. Carvajal

Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 5:06 PM

When the show South Park has made an entire episode based around you, you've certainly done something extraordinary.  James Cameron not only risked his life,  but proved a point and set a new standard in underwater exploration.  In a way, he literally went to the bottom of the earth, something that has been a mystical feat until now.  With technology advancing so quickly and people constantly pushing limits and standards it makes us wonder what will be discovered next.

Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 5:45 AM

It is mind boggling how much of our oceans are still to be discovered. Cameron's journey here is one that needs to be taken all over the world. We have more ocean that is unexplored than explored.  We may also find some answers to fundamental questions to human existence if we are able to research the deep sea more effectively.  It is hard to believe we have been able to research 36,000 feet below and still have more questions than answers. 

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Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed?

Finding the flotsam: where is Japan's floating tsunami wreckage headed? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Scientists model where and when the debris from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami will be.  The likelihood that the debris (not radioactive) will reach the U.S. west coast is increasingly likely.  Look at the great video attached to the article.   

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Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 12, 2012 1:47 AM

It will be very interesting to see if this floating pile of junk actually reaches the west coast of the United States.  It seems possible that it could, but some of the scientists and other experts believe that it could also break up and sink before it reaches us.  One of my questions going in was whehter or not the wreckage was radioactive?  Luckily it is not radioactive and that should not be a concern for anyone. 

Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 5:02 PM

This video showed time elasped which stopped in the summer of 2013, it is now December.  At the time of the video the mass was entering the eastern part of the Pacific Ocean so I'm curious to where it is now.  I can't find any current imagery of the vast ocean but it would be a neat, yet dangerous spectacle.  I could only imagine any of the harm it's causing on the sealife on its way across the pacific.  We can only hope that doesn't bring too many issues once it washes up on the west coast, if at all.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 6:09 PM

Hopefully none of the wreckage that reaches the US is radioactive.... But the projected travel of the debris shows how ocean currents create, almost, a "natural" globalization of natural disasters. 

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Lurking in the Deep

Lurking in the Deep | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Divers on Australia's Great Barrier Reef recently snapped rare pictures of a wobbegong, or carpet shark, swallowing a bamboo shark whole.

 

The diversity of life on this planet and the ecosystems which such creatures live in is something that continually leaves me in awe at the wonders of the natural world.

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Marissa Roy's curator insight, December 11, 2013 11:01 AM

Divers witnessed a Carpet Shark eating a bamboo shark whole! This was in the Great Barrier Reef which is home to so many diverse sea creatures. It is interesting that a shark would eat another shark, even if they were not the same type of shark.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 6:12 PM

The Great Barrier Reef is a natural world wonder that needs to be protected. Even though it seems like Australia does a lot to protect its shores (a huge source of tourism) accidents, like the BP oil spill can happen, and even accidents far away can send shock waves to such a fragile ecosystem.

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 1:18 PM

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, and the ecosystem that exists there is extremely delicate, as well as extremely fantastic, as seen in this article.

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Highly concentrated population distribution

Highly concentrated population distribution | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Only 2% of Australia's population lives in the yellow area. "

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: Why is Australia's population so highly clustered?  What is it about the yellow (and white) areas that explain this pattern?  How does this map of rainfall add to our understanding? What other layers of information do we need to properly contextualize this information?   


Just for fun, here is a Buzzfeed list that highlights the dangerous biogeography of Australia.  Maybe this is why people aren't living in the yellow region.   


Tags: AustraliaOceania, population, density.

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Ma. Caridad Benitez's curator insight, March 27, 9:01 AM

No hay cama Pa ' tanta Gente! 

Ms. Harrington's curator insight, March 30, 10:10 AM

What could explain the density of the white area? What is it about the yellow area that explains the lack of population?

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 13, 7:32 AM

While the rainfall map offers a lot of explanation for why Australia's population is concentrated in areas of significant rainfall, it is not a complete picture. There could be a number of other factors contributing to the clustered population of Australia. Northern Australia receives significant rainfall, but is sparsely populated so there must be other reasons. A map with more topography would help as it could show mountainous barriers which would hinder expansion or major rivers on which civilizations thrive. Similarly, a climatic map could reveal areas which are tropical and less conducive to large populations of a more temperate climate.

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A. R. Wallace: The Other Guy to Discover Natural Selection

This paper-puppet animation celebrates the life of Alfred Russel Wallace, who is co-credited with Charles Darwin for the theory of natural selection.  Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1fhBbGw

Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of the greatest discoveries in biology began as spatial discoveries.  Alfred Russel Wallace made some amazing advances in biogeography and discovered the appropriately named Wallace Line


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, historical.

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Kelsey McCartney's curator insight, December 10, 2013 9:40 PM

A sweet animation of the wonderful Alfred Russel Wallace, the oft unaknowledged simualtaneous discoverer of evolutionary mechanisms.

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The Southern Ocean

The Southern Ocean | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Did you know that in 2000 the IHO created a new ocean called the Southern Ocean? Here, learn about where and what the Southern Ocean is.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Maybe if more of the global population lived in the Southern Hemisphere, perhaps our educational systems would emphasize more information about the Southern Ocean (not to mention acknowledge that it even exists).  This body of water isn't just the southernmost part of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans; the biology, temperature, chemistry and ocean currents all make it a distinct body of water that circles Antarctica. This is just one of over twenty videos in the "geography" tab from the great folks at about.com.  


Tags: Antarctica, water, physical.


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Mount Dixon Explodes!

Mount Dixon Explodes! | Geography Education | Scoop.it
An initial analysis of the Mount Dixon landslide in New Zealand on Monday
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are some great images (and a post-landslide helicopter flight video) of the massive landslide that occurred Jan 21, 2013.  The rockslide extends over 3 km, with an elevation change of approximately 800 meters.  This is an excellent example to help students visualize mass wasting, alpine glaciation and erosion in general.  While the mountain didn't explode strictly speaking, I couldn't help but love the headline "Mount Dixon explodes!"    


Tags: New Zealand, physical, geomorphology, erosion.

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Al Picozzi's curator insight, December 5, 2013 4:58 PM

Just an incredible sight to see.  The helicopter video is truly an amazing must see for anyone.  Just to imagine what it would be like to be there when it happened.  The speed at whcih the landslide moved plus the sounds it must have made would have been a once and a lifetime even, but if you were that close when it happened, it might be the end of your lifetime...what a way to go!

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A Review of Jared Diamond's "The World Until Yesterday"

A Review of Jared Diamond's "The World Until Yesterday" | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Should we look to traditional societies to help us tweak our lives? Wade Davis takes issue with the whole idea
Seth Dixon's insight:

Jared Diamond is famous for his work in writing Guns, Germs and Steel as well as Collapse.  His latest work, The World Until Yesterday, he encourages modern readers to examine the traditional societies for insights on how to improve the human condition.  In this book review by Wade Davis, he critiques this approach and suggests that we should see indigenous societies as reminders that our modern lifestyle is not the only way.


Tags: book reviews, folk cultures, indigenous.

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Great Places

Great Places | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Hawaii, Kauai Island...where they shot the Jurassic Park...


Sometimes we all want to see a fabulously gorgeous physical landscape and marvel at the beauty that is in this world.  For some other spectacular images, here is a great collection of images (without much geographic specificity though).

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Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea, once home to cannibals, still has an exotic aura. The local tourist economy caters to those notions, and visitors may see a hybrid of the traditional and the modern.


This story is an intriguing blend--we see traditional cultures engaging in the global economy. They have created two villages: a traditional one designed for tourism filled with emblems of their folk cultures, and another one where people work, live eat and play with various markers of outside cultural and technological influence.


"Tourists are taking pictures. They don't want to take pictures of those who are in Western clothes.  People who are in Western clothes are not allowed to get close to people who are dressed up in the local dressings."


Questions to Ponder: Which village do you see as the more "authentic" one? How can culture also be a commodity?


Tags: folk culture, tourism, indigenous, culture, economic, rural, historical, unit 3 culture, Oceania.

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Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, November 6, 2013 7:47 PM

The more authentic village is the one with the folk culture the rural one, because they haven’t lost their traditions and their identity. Culture can be a also a commodity for example you have Papua New Guinea. People are intrigue on their way of living so they will pay to go see them. Places like Papua New Guinea attract a lot of tourist. A country with tourist is a country that is receiving money.

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, December 5, 2013 10:59 AM

This NPR audio source reveals two totally different lives in Papua New Guinea.  There is one side that caters to tourism by showing the "old" Papua New Guinea.  This village promotes tourism and it has tours that show old, sort of primitive traditions in Papua New Guinea.  It is still important to the natives because it does preserve their past culture.  The villagers feel that the world is becoming so westernized that they cannot go back to the old ways of traditions such as cannibalism, wearing little clothing, etc., but when tourists travel to this village, those are the things they want to see.  The man in the audio source then traveled to another village where he witnessed how people of Papua New Guinea actually live, which is westernized.  I think that both villages are authentic.  One village represents their past culture and traditions and origins which is still important, and the other village represents globalization and the changes that the people of Papua New Guinea adapt to.  Culture can be a commodity because people such as westerners buy into what they think a country's particular culture is, even though that culture existed centuries ago and the culture has drastically changed since.

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Scientists observe 'tragic experiment' of tsunami debris

Scientists observe 'tragic experiment' of tsunami debris | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Jeff Larson has seen just about everything wash up on the shores of Santa Cruz: bottles, toys, shotgun shells, busted surfboards and fishing floats that looked like they had bobbed across the Pacific.

 

This is just another long-term 'after-shock' of the tsunami that devasted Japan over 1 year ago. 

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Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting

Ephemeral islands and other states-in-waiting | Geography Education | Scoop.it
architectural conjecture :: urban speculation :: landscape futures...

 

In the 1960s when the island of Surtsey (literally) erupted onto the scene off the coast of Iceland, it's national sovereignty was not really called into question.  The seamount, or near island named Ferdinandea in the Mediterranean is not even an island yet and countries are already positioning themselves to claim it.  Only 6 feet below sea level, this seamount is incredibly valuable real estate because is a country can successfully came this territory, they could also lay claim to an Exclusive Economic Zone, extending up to 200 nautical miles beyond the coast.

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Brett Sinica's curator insight, December 10, 2013 4:56 PM

These soon-to-be island would sure make one interesting auction.  Many of the small landforms in the world, and especially Pacific have always been contested by powerhouses such as China, Japan, or other smaller countries.  Having control isn't for the island itself necessarily but for what the ocean waters surrounding the landform may contain.  It could be fishing, trade routes, or even oil or natural gas settlements.  It makes it even more intersting when many of these underground landforms are possible volcanoes considering the majority of active volcanoes are underwater and near the ring of fire.

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 1:25 PM

This isn't an article from Oceania necessarily, but one that pertains to it. In an area made up of small island nations, the literal overnight emergence of new ones can change the politics of the surrounding countries, and even the number of seats at the United Nations in the far future.

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Perpetual Ocean by NASA

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio — the same team that recently brought us an animation of the moon as it will appear from Earth for each hour of 2012 — has also released a stunning video called “Perpetual Ocean,” a time lapse of the world’s ocean currents as calculated by the ECCO2 computational model.

 

This is an stunning visualization of ocean currents.  Thanks for the suggestion! 

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, November 18, 2012 9:16 PM
Neat video. I just did a small art project which involved a globe and referred to Van Gogh's Starry Night. As other posters mentioned- this video is similar to Van Gogh's painting.
Michelle Carvajal's comment, December 11, 2012 9:08 PM
I actually own a Starry night Van Gogh painting Beth. I agree with what you say!
Michelle Carvajal's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:10 PM

This video is pretty awesome! I love how it shows the different ways that the currents move around the continents and in mid ocean. How are we not to expect for natural phenomenoms to be unpredictable when our oceansa re the same. i would have never expected to see so many idfferent flows and currents but they do exist. It gives you a look into how are planet works and also gives you a chilling thought of how easily a ship would get lost in deep ocean waters. - M. Carvajal

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Kiribati and Climate Change

Kiribati and Climate Change | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Fearing that climate change could wipe out their Pacific archipelago, the leaders of Kiribati are considering an unusual backup plan: moving the population to Fiji.

 

How urgent is the issue of climate change?  That question is not only geographic in content, but the response might also be somewhat contingent on geography as well.  If your country literally has no higher ground to retreat to, the thought of even minimal sea level change would be totally devastating. 

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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 1:23 PM

This is more than immigration, this plan is moving an entire country within another! Climate change doesn't effect the world equally in the same way that different countries are nowhere near equal. In a place as small as Kiribati, the entire place could be wiped out. The population of the nation is around 100,000 for reference.

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Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...

 

Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth.  The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited.  Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale.  This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents.  In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.' 

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 23, 2013 1:07 PM

Pictured above is what is left of a volcano called Ball's pyramid. It emerged from the ocean 7 million years ago and sits just off of Australia in the South Pacific. This rock also hides a secret, it is home to a six legged stick insect 12 centimeters long and the heaviest flightless stick insect in the world. If I had found those bugs I would not have been a happy camper!  

Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 1:20 PM

I wouldn't want to come across that in my bed at night! The Europeans called this thing the "Tree Lobster" in the past, and it seems to hold up. Is it possible that these critters exist only on this island? What movement in the past caused them to be isolated like this?

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 14, 8:01 AM

This article is an example of how the geographic isolation of islands provides allows for incredibly unique ecology. Additionally, it is an example of how globalization can have a damaging effect on these small islands. When rats were inadvertently introduced to Lord Howe Island in 1918, they wiped out the giant stick bug native to only that island, but somehow a small colony of the insect were still living on the small remnant of a volcanic island nearby. Rescued from extinction, ecologists must now find a way to reintroduce the insect into the wild, but will be met with resistance, not only from the rats, but from the people living on Lord Howe who understandably do not want a ton of gigantic insects climbing all over their homes.