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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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Spoof on Agricultural Standards

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is just for fun...but it is a way to start some conversations about  modern agricultural practices, especially the local and organic movements. 

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willdonovan's curator insight, March 4, 10:01 PM

Creative fun to spark a conversation. #GSJam

Josune Erkizia's curator insight, March 5, 2:49 AM

Very funny

Marie-Ann Roberts's curator insight, March 5, 3:51 AM

Good for sessions on Animal Welfare and Farm Assurance.

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How Vietnam became a coffee giant

How Vietnam became a coffee giant | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Think of coffee and you will probably think of Brazil, Colombia, or maybe Ethiopia. But the world's second largest exporter today is Vietnam. How did its market share jump from 0.1% to 20% in just 30 years, and how has this rapid change affected the country?"


Seth Dixon's insight:

Vietnam is a historically tea-drinking country, and when the French colonized, they brought coffee.  Culturally they still prefer tea, but in the 1980s, the government say this as a major export crop that they were climatically primed to produce.  This rapid growth has bolstered the economy, but has had some adverse environmental impacts as well.  The article is rich in geographic topics to bring into the classroom.

  

Tags: Vietnamagricultureglobalization, SouthEastAsia.

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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 12:52 PM

The story of how this happened is linked to colonization, as most articles like this are. Vietnam was a climate primed to make coffee, but what effect does the introduction of this foreign crop have on the local wildlife and fauna? When the carefully developed placement of plants and animals is disturbed by human interference, there will always be consequences in some way.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 13, 10:16 AM

This article explains how coffee helped take Vietnam from a nation with over 60% poverty to below 10%. The economic benefits are significant, but a lot of damage is being done to the environment. Large amounts of forest has been cleared to make room to plant coffee, but the Vietnamese coffee farmers are still figuring out how to properly cultivate the crop introduced by French colonists. The farmers are overusing fertilizer and using too much water, damaging the land. In an example of economic drive influencing demographics, coffee is also causing forced migration of some ethnic minorities to make more room for coffee farms.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 16, 5:05 PM

Vietnam uses coffee production to get ahead in the economy. This is a great way of using the land globalize and compete with countries such as Brazil. This coffee production gives more people jobs and helps improve the lives of others.

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In Florida, A Turf War Blooms Over Front-Yard Vegetable Gardening

In Florida, A Turf War Blooms Over Front-Yard Vegetable Gardening | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A woman in Miami Shores is suing after her town insisted she remove vegetables from her garden.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This podcast highlights the political governance issues surrounding urban agriculture. 

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, December 18, 2013 7:38 AM

Not just Florida. Condos do not like use of landscape for gardening.

Purple Media Lady's curator insight, January 4, 7:38 AM

Science related

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, January 27, 4:33 PM

Where you can and can not plant vegetables can become a major issue in communities that want to maintain their "reputations". While some gardeners plant crops where they can get the most sun and access to supplies, neighbors and neighborhoods, such as that in Miami Shores, do not always approve of planting in the front yard. This story focuses on a woman's need to garden for food and the shift into "turf-wars."

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Geography of Quinoa

Geography of Quinoa | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The popularity of Quinoa has grown exponentially among the health-conscious food consumers in the developed economies of the world.  Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is rich in protein and is a better grain for those seeking to lose weight.  Quinoa has historically be rather limited but this diffusion is restructuring the geographic patterns of many places." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

This map from a Geography in the News article shows that Quinoa has historically been grown almost exclusively in the highlands of the Andes Mountains.  This was a localized food source for generations but this new global demand has increased the economic possibilities for Quinoa growers.  At the same time, local consumers that have traditionally depended on cheap Quinoa to supplement their diet are now effectively priced out, as stated in this Al-Jazeera article


Questions to Ponder: What modern and traditional agricultural patterns can we see in the production of Quinoa?  How have global and local forces reshaped the system?


Tags: agriculture, food production, foodglobalization, South America, folk cultures, culture, Bolivia.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 11, 2:52 PM

Quinoa is represented as a healthy way to loose weight and has been known to be affective. This rice like supstance is from the Andes Mountions and distributed among other places around the world such as the US. The Quinoa crop is providing jobs and making money from the buyers and sellers of the distinct share crop.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 20, 12:40 PM

These articles describe a changing economic situation concerning a traditionally local crop called quinoa in Bolivia. The crop is rich in nutrients and quite palatable around the world so it is becoming popular. This is having several effects. Quinoa is now a large export for Bolivia, causing the crop to be planted on a massive scale. The high demand is also causing the price to rise. This rise in price is starting to price out the locals, who have been eating the crop for centuries.

Pranav Pradeep's curator insight, February 27, 11:23 AM

Its crazy how something grown so far away can become such a dominant aspect in the food consupmtion of people

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Smarter Food: Does big farming mean bad farming?

Smarter Food: Does big farming mean bad farming? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In Minnesota, ‘industrial’ operation shows effort to balance economic, environmental sustainability.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the long run, a successful farmer needs to find a balance between economic and environmental sustainability.  Some big farms are working towards that so the 'big-equals-bad' narrative about agriculture may be easy, but it doesn't tell the whole story about modern agriculture. 


Tags: GMOssustainability, agriculture, agribusiness

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Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:22 AM

In this modern age the words health and cheap are rarley paired together and especiall not in Agriculture. Farmers have to make the decision wether they want to be profitable and continue their family farm or to try to be organinc and continue their families practices. Its nearly impossible to combine the two. What mr thompson decided to do is common among the farming community and that is to pruduce crops with high profit yeilds such as GM soy but also take the nessacary precautions to not danger the surronding enviroment. Hopefully in the future healthier farming is mor profitable farming so people wont have to straddle this moral line.

Pranav Pradeep's curator insight, February 27, 11:24 AM

Yes it does because in all large scale endeavors, regardless of what for, the quality is always sacrificed for the quantity because it becomes cheaper to produce and profits are greater.

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, February 27, 11:33 AM

The large-scale agricultural practices of modern America tend to lend to the bad image of commercial farming. However, the practices are actually helping feed more people in the US, but they also use genetically modified crops and other highly debated techniques.

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Factory Food From Above: Images of Industrial Farms

Factory Food From Above: Images of Industrial Farms | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Feedlots, a new series of images crafted by British artist Mishka Henner, uses publicly available satellite imagery to show the origins of mass-produced meat products."


Tags: Food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture.  

Seth Dixon's insight:

Beautiful imagery at one scale tells an unsavory story at another.

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Angel Brian Gutierrez Gardeazabal's curator insight, September 29, 2013 5:17 PM

Ag-gag laws.... Nunca volvere a comer comida que no sea de mi linda Bolivia

Molly Diallo's curator insight, September 30, 2013 6:00 PM

Does this motivate you to become #vegetarian? 

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 4:19 AM

Some wild photgraphs about the devastation of mass aggriculture to the enviroment. Also their is a nice little bit about the laws behind why most people havent seen farming conditions till recent, such as some states preventing people to take pictures of their farms or factories without consent. If you are intreged by this article i suggest you watch FOOD Inc. This movie goes into great detail about how our food is made. But caution this may be one instance where igroance is Bliss because once you know exactly how your food is made you may never be able to eat some meats again. This movie can also be found on Netflix.

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Ramen To The Rescue: How Instant Noodles Fight Global Hunger

Ramen To The Rescue: How Instant Noodles Fight Global Hunger | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The supercheap and palatable noodles help low-wage workers around the world get by, anthropologists argue in a new book. And rather than lament the ascendance of this highly processed food, they argue we should try to make it more nutritious.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Ramen is the most successful industrial food ever (100 billion serving yearly).  This NPR article acts as a book review for The Noodle Narratives which explores the global impacts of this massively important food source.  In developed countries, most food experts bemoan ramen's lack of nutritional value and see it as a symptom/cause of larger issues of unhealthy diets and obesity.  At the global scale however, some anthropologists are seeing ramen as the 'proletariat hunger killer' as it becomes a staple of the undernourished in megacities and less developed countries, and the poor in . 


Questions to Ponder: If the United States is only the 6th highest consumer of ramen, what does that say about the geogaphy of ramen?  Why and how did a post-World War II Japanese food come to be so crucial to the diets of those in Papua New Guinea and Nigeria?


Tags: food, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture, agribusiness.

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Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:06 AM

Ramen became an essential food to help the people who were starving all over the world. This food is cheap to buy and easy to make so it is a perfect food to feed millions of people who are starving everyday. The only bad thing about it is that it is not very healthy to be eating constantly. 

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 12:10 PM

Its pretty crazy to think something as simple as ramen noodles can help feed billions of people. in the western world iramen is the butt currently for running jokes about poor college kids, i never thought it would have this impact. I can now say that ramen is a nessicty in some areas. Who cares about the slight health affects because if some of this people didnt have ramen they would already be dead from starvation. 

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:32 PM

I think everyone has had ramen noodles at some point in there life. I do enjoy ramen noodles here and there but couldn't eat it daily. I have found in some of my cookbooks they use ramen noodles in their recipes. It is mostly the quick and easy recipes.  if we are the 6th highest country that purchases ramen noodles I am convinced everyone eats it. 

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Jamaica Focuses on Farming

Jamaica Focuses on Farming | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The country has taken on a bold new strategy in the face of expensive food imports: make farming patriotic and ubiquitous."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Jamaica's historical agricultural products are cash crops that were connected to the plantation economy and in turn slavery.  Today, Jamaica is restructuring their agricultural production to address local food security issues rather than global market commodities.  This push will increase food security and to do so the government started a campaign with the slogan “grow what we eat, eat what we grow.” Grocery stores in Jamaica now identify local produce with large stickers and prominent displays as school children, backyard gardens and local businesses are all a part of the new agricultural initiative.  


Tags: agriculture, locavore, Jamaica, Middle America.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 4:34 PM

I have discussed Jamaica with some former classmates of mine, and they informed me that a lot of people are really poor there.  They said that the people there were very friendly, and hooked my friends up with some outstanding agricultural products at a really good price, but these people are very poor.  I think that because Jamaica was involved in the slave trade, and they didn't really as much of have slaves to do work like the US, but Jamaica was still involved in the slave trade, which ensured the presence of slaves.  While the US was building as a country, Jamaica was not thriving as much.  I think that the agriculture in Jamaica is (by what my friends say) fabulous as far as illegal crops go, but the agriculture FOR the Jamaicans (such as food) is lacking.  I read in the article that a European Development Agency sent money to Jamaica to help them be able to build chicken coops... So the chickens are enslaved too, and doomed to lay eggs or become a Sunday dinner.  That is kind of sad.  In all truth, I enjoy the taste of meat, but look forward to when meat and plants will be synthesized with no living tissue involved, because, after all, plants are alive too.  There are so many things that people have taken from the Earth, without giving anything back.  We are approaching the era where people should be more concerned with the environment, and what they can do for the Earth.  I think Jamaica should be given new technology that serves synthetic meat and synthetic vegetables, as a way to aid their agricultural and economic situation, rather than money for chicken coops from some pompous European cults.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, February 8, 1:53 PM

The article describes how Jamaica and a couple other Caribbean nations are beginning to focus more on food crops than cash crops. Being dependent on imports for food can be disastrous for these islands when a global food shortage makes prices skyrocket. Being food independent will likely allow Jamaica to increase its net agricultural gains so long as the production and demand for its cash crops of bananas and sugarcane remain high.

 

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 12:56 PM

Understanding how other countries survive their everyday lives is an important part of being a civil human being. As shown in one of the clips, a boy is putting on a tie before school and is on his way to eat breakfast. Not only does he have to eat breakfast at home, but he also is eating a stew that he picked the crops for. I could never imagine picking my own food in order to survive life. This scoop is enlightening in many ways.

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An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.


Seth Dixon's insight:

The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here.  "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."


Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

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Michael Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 1:41 PM

The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 2, 2013 5:58 PM

Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.

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Maple Syrup Time

Maple Syrup Time | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

March and April are key months for harvesting sap from trees, making this sugar time in New England.  New England's climate and biogeography make this the right time because the because the combination of freezing nights and warm spring days gets the sap in the native species of maple trees to flow.  The sap get boiled down to syrup, but did you know that it takes roughly 40 gallons of sap that to get 1 gallon of pure maple syrup?  

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Louis Culotta's comment, April 8, 2013 11:45 AM
this is cool. A friend of mine bought all the equipment and is making it in the woods in his backyard up in Cumberland.
Mary Burke's comment, April 12, 2013 3:53 PM
When I get pancakes at a restaurant I always ask for real maple syrup. They charge more but its worth it. I venture to say that the Canadian maple syrup subsidies might have something to do with less syrup production around here and also might be why syrup so expensive.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, December 6, 2013 11:53 AM

I actually made maple syrup about a year ago, a couple of roads away from my house.  I know a family that makes it every year, and I was invited to come join them harvesting the syrup.  I had done it there many years ago, but I had a blast.  The father of a guy I went to school with was there boiling the sap, and we had a lot of interesting discussions about the process, including the importance of the climate.  Apparently, if I remember correctly, it is vital to have the freezing temperatures, followed by warm days- which is also mentioned in the article.  He said that gets the "blood" of the tree pumping, and greatly increases the syrup production.  I got to taste the sap as it was being boiled down to concentrated levels, and it was amazing.  I think that using natural resources like that is really cool.  I had a great time, and know that it takes a LOT of sap to make very LITTLE syrup, but it can be totally worth it. I enjoyed gardening when my family had a garden, and I think that that sort of natural harvest and refinement for consumption can be immensely entertaining, as well as rewarding.  I know this family usually makes enough for themselves, and that they give a little away, and end up having enough to get through the year.  It is a really enjoyable activity, and I reccommend it to anyone that doesn't mind getting cold outside or covered in tree sap.

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Global Food Trade

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Network of Alliances for Geography Education is sponsored by the National Geographic Society; these alliances are tremendous local resources.  I am working with the Rhode Island Geography Education Alliance and hope that everyone in the United States and Canada can connect with your local alliance and support it. Click here to find your local Alliance


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Urban Agriculture

Urban Agriculture | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Aerial photo tour across countries and continents with a French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand"

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love Yann Arthus-Bertrand's photography; so many of them are geography lessons in and of themselves as he captures compelling images of the cultural landscape.  This particular gallery shows 32 stunning images including this one above showing urban agriculture in Geneva, Switzerland.    


"Worldwide, there are 800 million amateur farmers in built-up areas. In estates in south eastern Asia and some towns in central and South America, many people depend on this activity for survival. It’s the same story in Europe; in Berlin there are more than 80,000 urban farmers, and in Russia more than 72% of all urban homes till their own patch of land, balcony or even roof. Urban agriculture is on the [rise] and there could be twice as many people enjoying it within twenty years."


Tags: agriculture, foodlandscape, images, urban, unit 5 agriculture, unit 7 cities

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Chris Magee's comment, April 28, 2013 12:53 PM
Many of these pictures are eye-opening and really bring to light how differently things are done around the world. I was very interested when reading about the Palm Jumeirah artificial island in Dubai. I have heard and seen this project before but never knew the ridiculous amount of money and labor which went into it. As an American it is an odd phenomena to see something another country is doing and think "Wow, that's a little excessive/unnecessary." when I am so used to other countries always saying that about our actions. The "massive" amount of imported labor used for the project could have been put into their own country instead of paying other countries workers to build the resort.
The Crew's curator insight, November 7, 2013 10:12 AM

I think that urban farming goes to show how people adapt to their environment regarding agricultural practices. People are breaking the bondage of the stereotypical idea that you can"t farm in the city. However, in this article, we see that citizens are conforming to their environment to make the best agricultural use of land. -Scout

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Crop Diversification in Malawi

Crop Diversification in Malawi | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The tiny black-eyed pea is about to wage battle in Malawi.  The small country in southeast Africa is the site of a project to help with food security, nutrition and income.  Western University researchers are among those who will work with 30,000 farmers to help diversify crops into protein-rich legumes, such as the black-eyed pea, a popular type of cow pea in Malawi."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Tags: food, agriculture, Africa, Malawi, unit 5 agriculture.

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Lauren Jacquez's curator insight, March 14, 2013 3:48 PM

Review for you!

Seth Dixon's comment, March 15, 2013 8:44 PM
A good friend of mine is currently working for USAID in Malawi. This is what he had to say: I think crop diversification is really important here in Malawi. Most farmers have a heavy reliance on maize,which results in reduced hunger but there continues to be persistent malnutrition among children as their diets consist of mostly maize.Almost everyone here grows maize, you might be a school teacher or a health worker, but you are also most likely growing maize as well. Farmers are very risk averse here, so introducing a new crop takes time, finding the few willing to experiment and then using them to show their neighbors of the benefits. Other organizations are working on crop diversification here in Malawi, the US government, Catholic Relief Services, and other international development partners. Although not spelled out in the article, the majority of farmers are actually women, and agricultural production is typically for household subsistence with minimal cash cropping. As crop diversification increases, cash crops will provide more resources for families to pay for education and health for their families, but probably more importantly families will start diversifying their nutritional intake beyond maize. In a country where 42% of under 5 children are stunted, this will be a positive development. My wife was just out in the South of the country with CRS and was seeing some of the work that they are doing towards crop diversification as a result of USAID funding. She was really impressed to see how different vulnerable groups have been targeted by similar programs. She was able to see changes in rural villages in very insecure food zones. She saw how those lead farmers, willing to adopt new techniques or diversify crops, plant cash crops, etc, are reaping the benefits. Their neighbors are seeing it in action and are now adopting the techniques. It is not an immediate adoption, you have to give it time. These people are very risk averse, when set backs aren't just an inconvenience, but translate into starvation, it is understandable why it takes time. It also makes it more impressive when you find those willing to take the risks and try to set aside some land for a new crop. I am sure my agricultural colleagues would have more sophisticated answers but just some of my personal thoughts/observations."
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GMO-Free Europe

GMO-Free Europe | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Would you like to map out the GMO-free regions of Europe?  Looking for resources discussing the impacts of GMOs on society?  This is a partisan site with some nice resources for a student project. Additionally, in this NPR podcast they discuss how some American companies are trying to be GMO free in a GMO world.  

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Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, February 5, 2:46 PM

Part of Europe know to be GMO free. Will we catch up? What will it take? A revolution?

Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, February 5, 2:47 PM

Parts of Europe know to be GMO free. When will we?

Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, February 27, 11:25 AM

The GMO debate is raging throughout the world. Many believe that these crops have many harmful effects on the human body due their their altered genetic state. Thankfully, many countries are adopting a non-GMO attitude, as illustrated in the above map, so as to prevent the many poor side-effects they have.

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"Lost" New England Revealed

"Lost" New England Revealed | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"New England's woody hills and dales hide a secret—they weren't always forested. Instead, many were once covered with colonial roads and farmsteads."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love living in New England and finding stone walls from old farmsteads; an archaeology professor at UConn is using geospatial technologies to map out the remants of that historical landscape.  This is a great example of using spatial thinking across the disciplines. 


Tags: remote sensing, geospatiallandscape, historical, environment modify.

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Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, January 8, 10:55 AM

Through the most recent technology, man has been able to discover that wooded areas of New England where once vibrant communities, homesteads and settled communities.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, January 26, 10:44 PM

Thanks to dedicated archeologists and the LiDAR, we can see the creations of a once small, abandoned community in New England. Even through the thick forest, the LiDAR can detect rocks walls and small dirt roads. Hopefully, we can find more of these ancient communities in other areas around the world.  

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, January 28, 12:48 PM

History is revealed with the use of high tech scanners known as  LiDAR's. With the use of these scanners, scholars learn that many areas of New England, including forested areas in Connecticut and Rhode Island, once were farming grounds. These "lost" pieces of history now lead scholars in new directions in dicovering the past, and details to its future.

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Gaming to Help Farmers

Gaming to Help Farmers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A computer game wants you to map the world's cropland so farmers can get more out of each harvest.
Seth Dixon's insight:

NPR has recently highlighted Crop Capture; Crop Capture is a game that uses Google Earth imagery to crowd-source agricultural data.  From a pedagogical standpoint, this is a great way to visually introduce students the variety of agricultural landscapes that can be found around the world.  This is an example of what many refer to as citizen science games which provides an alternative rationale for playing the game.


Tags: agriculture, food production, mapping, geospatial, edtech.

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, December 4, 2013 7:30 PM

These types of approaches to crowd sourcing are becoming bigger and bigger by the day it seems.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 7:34 PM

This is cool, there are many agricultural types and you can see It here. different land areas have different soil and chemicals in it which certain types of crops can benefit from. It is important to know these things. 

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Geography in the News: Pumpkins

Geography in the News: Pumpkins | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner and pumpkins are already showing up at roadside stands. Jack o’lanterns, decorative displays and pumpkin pies are the main destinies of most pumpkins in the United States. Elsewhere in the world, however, the pumpkin is nearly exclusively considered a food crop or animal feed."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Maybe you have never thought about where all the flowers are grown  every year just in time for Valentine's Day, the spatial extent of Christmas tree farms or how egg nog's season production changes the diary industry.  If you have considered these issues, you are thinking about the geographic impact of seasonal activities.  Many of these traditions are rooted in a particular climatic/agricultural region that started from folk cultural traditions connected to that region.  As traditions have diffused, the use of pumpkins, Douglas Fir pine trees or other seasonal items have have moved beyond their ecological origins and jumped scales to become a larger global phenomenon.  In this Geography in the News article, Neal Lineback and Many Lineback Gritzner discuss the geographic impact and context of our pumpkin traditions.  


Tags: seasonal, food production, agriculture.

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Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 21, 2013 9:02 AM

Every year it is expected around halloween that my family and friends will carve pumpkins. Then around chrstmas time it is expected that we will get our christmas tree to decorate. This is something lots of people do around this time. However what I never really linked together was that I was thinking about the geography of things by doing this. I know it is part of our culture and most people do it because it was a tradition. However what I never really thought about was where these pumpkins or christmas trees actually came from. There is a process that farmers have to go through to produce pumkins and pine trees, a process we probably don't even think about because we are so used to having these things around the holidays. When we think of pumpkins we thing of Jack-o-laters and pumkin pies, but to some people pumpkins are considered a crop and food source. We may not see it that way because our culture uses them around Halloween and for processed canned pumpkin for cooking. However not all cultures are like that, which is interesting to think about. Something that is considered seasonal in our culture might be an everyday crop for another culture. It is interesting to see how different places in the wolrd use such things as pumpkin so much different that we do in our culture.

Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 4:25 PM

I have been a long-time fan of pumpkin coffee, and tomorrow I will probably have some with my cousins and family... Some areas of Asia allow consumption of dogs, other areas of the US allow consumption of roadkill, and that is different from what most people in RI are used to... So I guess, it's not really my business what other people and countries do with their pumpkin crops, as long as it doesn't negatively affect other people.  My neighbor has won some prizes, I think 3rd place in RI for largest pumpkin contests, which is pretty cool, because for several months, you can see their pumpkin garden from my backyard.  Those pumpkins are enormous, and made me wonder if there was anything being done to make the modified pumpkins more usable in food.  I know GMOs are a touchy issue, but to feed the starving people around the world, you have to wonder if one pumpkin at 2000 lbs could feed a village of people.  Lots of people that don't like GMOs probably do unhealthy things in other ways, so their huge activism movements really boggle me.  Labeling GMOs is one thing, but stopping genetic modifications seems as controversial as starting them, especially when some people can benefit from them.  Whatever, I guess pumpkins are cool for whatever people want to do with them, including smashing them... this week on RIC's campus I saw a smashed pumpkin.  The only thing that really popped into my head was not "what a waste," or "oh, those delinquents," but rather "that seems fun."  I did assume though, that no one was hurt by the smashing of the pumpkin...

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, March 19, 5:14 PM

Although you wouldn't think it there are many different countries and specific regions that demonstrate the perfect cropping land and fertilization process to grow pumpkins. Out of the US power house pumpkin growing Illinois is named number 1. Along side California, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvainnia, Mississippi. But lets travel abroad to Africa, now me personally I wouldnt think that there are alot of pumpkin patches in Africa but there are many different places in Africa that pumpkins are grown. SOme of these places are Egypt with (690,000) and then there is South Africa with (378,776). I found these numbers quite interesting because one wouldn't think that there are pumpkin patches in Africa.

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Harvest 2013

Harvest 2013 | Geography Education | Scoop.it
From grains to grapes to cabbage and many other crops the harvest season has been in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere.
Seth Dixon's insight:


So few of my students have actual experience working on a farm and being part of the food producing process.  This gallery of 38 photos around the world is a great visual to reinforce how important the harvest is for sustaining life on this planet.  The picture above shows the a Hmong hill tribe woman harvesting a rice terrace field at Mu Cang Chai district, northern Vietnamese province of Yen Bai. The World Bank on Oct. 7 lowered its 2013 growth forecast for East Asian developing countries to 7.1 percent and warned that a prolonged US fiscal crisis could be damaging to the region.


Tags: agriculture, food production, landscape, images.

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Siri Anderson's curator insight, October 18, 2013 12:47 PM

Nothing like agriculture to put a dose of "reality check" into urban/suburban students' lives.

Scott Langston's curator insight, October 28, 2013 7:48 PM

An image our Grad 11 students can at least have some empthy with....

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, November 6, 2013 2:47 PM

Well see as how my page is called World Photography, i figurd this would be a good article/gallery to put up. Along with so georgous photos one can really see the imporance of farming on a culture and farming world wide. The gallery of photos is increadible, and with a caption to match each photo you are able to see geographilycly and cultulary where certan foods and plants are produced. This makes me feel  that cultures are all some what connected, the tobbco from your cigretts comes from mexico, and the nice wine that you drink when your out to dinner is from a vineyard in germany. Its a small idea but food is very cultualy influncing 

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Vegan food truck makes rounds in 'food deserts'

Vegan food truck makes rounds in 'food deserts' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Baruch Ben-Yehudah is tackling Prince George’s County’s "food desert" problem. His vegan food truck delivers nourishment to neighborhoods lacking fresh groceries.

Via Natalie K Jensen
Seth Dixon's insight:

What are food deserts?  Why do they form?  What does this Washington Post video suggest about the demographic composition of food deserts?


TagsWashington DC, agriculture, food, urban, povertyplace, socioeconomic.

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nicole Musset's curator insight, September 14, 2013 1:55 PM

la terre peut offrir de la nourriture à tous ses habitants;mais les interets personnels,la recherche de profits et l'absence de plus en plus grande de conscience "écolologique"....une personne comme Baruch Ben Yehuda est tres importante pour ceux qui souffrent du manque de ressources.

Patricia Stitson's curator insight, September 20, 2013 10:38 PM

After having just driven across country this year I am very in touch with the fact that this model needs to be replicated across the US.

Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, October 24, 2013 1:03 PM

This food truck is bringing healthy, vegan food, to food deserts. A food desert is a place where healthy food is not accesable to the population, which is always impoverished. These people typically rely on unhealthy/cheap foods that are high in fats, preservatives, and sugars. This leads to tremendous health issues for these populations. Sure, this food truck is making a profit but it is also providing a wonderful service to the community, exposure to healthy foods and an alternative to the norm.

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Rethinking Agriculture

"Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There has been a revitalization in urban gardening as many city dwellers feel disconnected from their food systems; urban gardening is a way for people to actively control what they are ingesting into their systems many fear some of the modern agricultural methods.  Based in Milwaukee, WI, Growing Power has created an interesting combination of vegetable gardening and aquaponics for the urban environment. 


Tags: food, agriculture, unit 5 agriculture.

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Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:56 AM

with the increasing numbers of urban citizens in years to come the key to success in the city will be its ability to adapted to its growing enviroment. It would be nearly impossible for cities to exsit in the future with the current ways of agriculuture, there needs to be a change in the way things are done. Thats why this next gen way of agriculuture is going to take off in urban areas. with the ability to have full farms on rooftops the city will be able to self sustain itself more properly than it does in current times.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:40 PM

For the past three years I have had the luxury of having a garden in my backyard, it is a lot of work but there is nothing better than knowing where my food is coming from. I enjoy going in my backyard and being able to grab vegetables whenever I need them. I also go to farmers markets for vegetables that I don't grow in my own garden.  I would defeniately support local people to get good quality food. 

Lauren Shigemasa's curator insight, January 23, 1:28 AM

a powerful way to increase access to healthy foods! this organization called Growing Power is using urban gardening not only to create a sustainable food source for its neighbors, but also provides a system so we can donate and send a week's worth of fresh fruit/vegetables to any surrounding community in need. so amazing!

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Exploring farms from above

Exploring farms from above | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Stunning gallery of 15 images depicting agricultural landscapes.  Shown above are cut flower fields in Carlsbad, California circa 1989."

Seth Dixon's insight:

"Aerial photographer Alex MacLean estimates he has spent about 6,000 hours in the sky photographing American farms.  His unique perspective depicts the dramatically changing agricultural landscape in the U.S., something he has been drawn to since he started flying nearly 40 years ago.  'I’ve been photographing agricultural lands since I started flying, in the early 1970s,' he says. 'I was drawn to the aesthetics of farmland, in part because of its natural response to environmental conditions, climates, soils and topography…A lot of what I photograph is through discovery of seeing crops, seeing patterns.' 


Tags: agriculture, landscape, images.

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Mary Rack's curator insight, May 23, 2013 10:28 AM

These are really beautiful and interesting, but I wish  photos could also reveal what substances are used on the land: fertilizers, pest killers, etc. I will go to his site and see if he addresses that. 

Mary Rack's comment, May 23, 2013 10:35 AM
MacLean's http://www.alexmaclean.com/ is a rich treasure trove of beauty and information! I could lose myself in it for the rest of the day. I recommend it to all thoughtful people.
Linda Alexander's curator insight, May 26, 2013 10:31 AM

When photography of farmland becomes an art form..!

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Breakfasts Around the World

Seth Dixon's insight:

Previously I shared a gallery portraying 20 families from around world together with a full week of groceries (from the book Hungry Planet or in this abbreviated online version).  Today it's the breakfast table which shows differences in agricultural, development and cultural patterns around the world. 


Tags: food, agriculture, worldwide, culture, development.

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Shelby Porter's curator insight, November 4, 2013 11:03 AM

These pictures are very interesting and makes you think about the kinds of breakfast you saw when growing up. These pictures allow us to see the kinds of food cultivated in these areas of the world and how they interprete the use of each one. The pictures also show us how each place is related. For example, some of the dishes looked alike in that most of the plate was breads. It makes you wonder where that tradition came from. These pictures also let the viewer in on the development or wealth of the country. Some countries only have a piece of bread and a coffee for breakfast, where other places have huge platefuls of all different kinds of food. Does the amount of food you eat for breakfast have to do with how developed your country is? Food seems so simple, but it can lead to many different interpretations for people. 

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 21, 2013 9:17 AM

Typically when I think about different cultural foods I think about lunch or dinner rather than breakfast. When I think about Italy I think about meatballs, pasta, pizza, and gelato. When I think about Germany I think about a lot of meats. However what never really comes to mind is breakfast. Breakfast is one of my absolute favorite meals on the day. I love going out to breakfast and getting some eggs, homefries, sausage, and maybe even a grilled blueberry muffin. This summer I traveled to Italy and that was the first time I realized that breakfast is just as different in their Culture as their lunch and dinner. It was interesting how different things were. They had toast and yogurt, but the yogurt didn't taste the same as it does in America.  It is amazing how different each countries breakfast is in comparison to what we are used to. Some things we consider lunch might be served in another countries breakfast meal. For example Deli meats. It is interesting to see how different each culture really is. 

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:10 AM

Countries each have their own foods that are unique and freshly made by families everyday. They use foods that are frequently grown and found in the area to make their meals. For example china eats a lot of fish because it is part of their culture. Also people of spanish and mexican cultures are known for cooking spicy delcious foods. Food is apart of what creates cultures.

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Monsanto threatens to sue the entire state of Vermont

Monsanto threatens to sue the entire state of Vermont | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Lawmakers in Vermont are looking to regulate food labels so customers can know which products are made from genetically modified crops, but agricultural giants Monsanto say they will sue if the state follows through.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to ponder: Why is Vermont the first state to make some headway in producing this type of legislation?  Will other states follow suit?  What would the economic impacts be if all places required labels on products that contain genetically modified organisms?  How would that change the agricultural industry?  

 

Tags: GMOs, food, agriculture, agribusiness.  

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Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, October 24, 2013 1:24 PM



Vermont has a strong agricultural history and allot of their local economy is based off of their agricultural movement, which has been trending towards sustainable and organic growing methods. The people of Vermont care very much where their food comes from and what is in their food, hence the push for GMO labeling. I think other states would absolutely follow suit if Vermont wins it's case against the agri-business giant monsanto, but that's a big IF. I think that if there were labeling all across the US either these companies would drastically change their business models or ship them overseas to developing nations that have food security issues of their own,  

Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, November 6, 2013 6:40 PM

I don’t think that there is a specific reason on why  Vermont is the first state to make some headway in producing this type of legislation, Vermont used to pride themselves on being one of the states with a large numbers of organic farms. And with a company like Monsanto whom use GMO on their product, it doesn’t go well with Vermont image. I do think that other states will follow suit because using Genetically Modified Organisms(GMO) and Genetically Engineered (GE) affect our help and Vermont cannot fight this big corporation by themselves. I feel that even though requiring labels on products that contain GMO is a good thing for us the consumers to know Exactly  what we are giving to ur family. I do think that is going to be a bad impact. because this big corporations like Monsanto is a good source of employment for the states. If they feel that the can make their product, they are going to take their business else where.

Blake Welborn's curator insight, February 27, 11:30 AM

If monsanto can win a course a battle saying they don't have to represent their GMO's on products, then they will be able to win in other places which will further murk up the waters of GMO presentation.

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Japan's Geographic Challenge

Stratfor examines Japan's primary geographic challenge of sustaining its large population with little arable land and few natural resources. For more analysi...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Part of knowing Japan's expansionist history has to do with understanding the geographic setting of the islands.  

 

Tags: Japan, population, historical.

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Kevin Cournoyer's comment, May 1, 2013 12:51 AM
Unlike other larger, more geographically diverse countries, Japan is faced with the problem of a general lack of farmable land and natural resources. The fact that the country is itself an island does not make things any easier for it in an economic sense. The way the country is divided up also makes for a difficult political situation, as mountain ranges create division, and therefore, political disunity.
The proximity of the Korean peninsula and China to Japan is also important to examine. Whenever Japan wishes to acquire natural resources and other economically beneficial materials, Korea is the conduit through which Japan tends to invade the mainland, usually China. Because of this, we can see how Japan’s geographic location may cause strained relationships with its neighbors, both politically and economically. Alienating two of its closest neighbors would clearly be a disastrous move for Japan, but it may be seen as necessary due to its unfortunate geographic location.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 5:31 PM

It would make sense to me that for a place like Japan to sustain itself successfully, it would have to have some help from other areas with more resources.  Again with the concept- people don't choose to be born, or where they are born... To be born in Japan is as unchosen by that person as it would be in any other country.  I don't think people should have to pay for resources that they do not have available, especially because they are on an island/island chain that simply doesn't have what they need.  I am really repulsed by the bartering system because of absolute indication of beyond excessive surplus and profit and greed and all that garbage that humanity reeks of.  Yeah some people are happy, but we could be completely unburdened of all negativity if we banded together to rid the world of negativity itself.  I know that Japan would be happy to receive everything that they need for no cost, but I also know that many people would be willing to work, and more willing to work, if they didn't have expenses to pay for... it would really be serving their life's purpose as a component of humankind if they worked to help others, rather than to pay their monthly rent.  I don't have a clue how I would go about organizing a movement to transform this idea into a reality, but I'll work on that.  In the mean time, I would advise supranationalism for Japan, and hope that with the alliance of other countries, they can band together and make deals that work for the greater good of their country, population, and the world.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 10:58 AM

This short video did a great job in explaining why Japan became expansionist in the decades leading up to WW II.  The mountainous nature of the islands and lack of arable land challenges Japan to provide food for its people.  To understand Japan you must understand her geography, this helps to understand why a country acted the way it did in the past and can be a predictor of future actions. 

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Terraced Rice Fields

Terraced Rice Fields | Geography Education | Scoop.it
See a photo of an aerial view of a terraced rice field in China and download free wallpaper from National Geographic.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This image shows is one of the more beautiful cultural landscapes that shows the great extent of agricultural  modifications of the environment.  National Geographic's photo of the day is a great source for images that start class discussions and can enliven class content. You may download a high resolution version of the image here

 

Tags: National Geographic, agriculture, landscape, China.

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