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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Countries Rush for Upper Hand in Antarctica

Countries Rush for Upper Hand in Antarctica | Geography Education |
For decades to come, Antarctica is supposed to be protected as a scientific preserve. But an array of countries are eager to assert greater influence.


TagsAntarcticaclimate changepoliticalresources, sovereignty.

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The Periodic Table of Elements Scaled to Show The Elements’ Actual Abundance on Earth

The Periodic Table of Elements Scaled to Show The Elements’ Actual Abundance on Earth | Geography Education |
When you learned about The Periodic Table of Elements in high school, it probably didn’t look like this. Above, we have a different way of visualizing the elements. Created by Professor William F. Sheehan at Santa Clara University in 1970, this chart takes the elements (usually shown like this) and scales them relative to their abundance on the Earth’s surface.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Periodic Table of Elements shows each element as a box, but that doesn’t help us understand which elements are the most scarce and abundant.  The “rare earths” are crucial ingredients in cell phones, laptops and magnets that create clean energy; China controls 95% of the rare earths production and are no longer exporting these materials to other countries (some consider the availability of rare earths a risk to U.S. national security).   This image is not a mathematically accurate representation of the true proportions, but an artist's rendition with the given limitations.  For an article on WHY the image above isn't (and can't be) mathematically accurate, read this article.    


Tagspollution, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify, sustainability.

Jacques Lebègue's curator insight, November 13, 2015 1:42 PM

Morphisme du tableau périodique des éléments en fonction de leur abondance

Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 19, 2015 7:57 AM

elements abundance

16s3d's curator insight, November 23, 2015 7:16 AM

Morphisme du tableau périodique des éléments en fonction de leur abondance

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The Geography of E-Waste

The Geography of E-Waste | Geography Education |
The world is increasingly going hi-tech. Many people in our high consumption society want the latest and the greatest; last year’s much anticipated laptops and cell phones are miles behind the newest models that are coming out. So what happens with the old models? Even thrift stores are politely not accepting them as donations. Even some workable machines that were highly valuable 10 years ago are now functionally trash in our society. We can’t put it to the curb to end up in the landfill because of the lead, mercury, and other hazardous materials that can leak into the environment. This type of trash is what we call e-waste. The geography of e-waste is an ‘out of sight out of mind’ problem that we rarely think about but need to due to the ecological impacts of our collective consumption.

Tags: pollutionsustainability, environment, resources, Ghana, Africa.

more...'s curator insight, November 6, 2015 5:39 AM

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, November 6, 2015 5:22 PM

Areas of proaction and consumption / glean connections between places

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 9:56 AM

summer work

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How El niño affects commodity prices

"Cocoa, coffee and minerals are especially vulnerable to the weather pattern first named by Peruvian fishermen."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Geography is all about the finding the connections between seemingly unrelated issues. The geography of coffee is connected to weather, cultural, economic and many other geographies.  

Tags: environment, resources, economic, weather and climate, agriculture.

PSC AS Geography's curator insight, September 21, 2015 8:24 AM

Linking of El Nino weather patterns to commodities of food and metals.

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Why the Saudis Are Going Solar

Why the Saudis Are Going Solar | Geography Education |
Saudi Arabia produces much of its electricity by burning oil, a practice that most countries abandoned long ago, reasoning that they could use coal and natural gas instead and save oil for transportation, an application for which there is no mainstream alternative. Most of Saudi Arabia’s power plants are colossally inefficient, as are its air conditioners, which consumed 70 percent of the kingdom’s electricity in 2013. Although the kingdom has just 30 million people, it is the world’s sixth-largest consumer of oil.Now, Saudi rulers say, things must change. Their motivation isn’t concern about global warming; the last thing they want is an end to the fossil-fuel era. Quite the contrary: they see investing in solar energy as a way to remain a global oil power. The Saudis burn about a quarter of the oil they produce—and their domestic consumption has been rising at an alarming 7 percent a year, nearly three times the rate of population growth.

TagsSaudi Arabiaenergy, resourcesconsumption, Middle East, sustainability.

Dustin Fowler's curator insight, July 14, 2015 12:13 PM

A great article discussing energy reform in Saudi Arabia.  Another good source of information about some of the reforms being implemented in the kingdom can be found at this link:


Interesting to see how this change in energy consumption will effect Saudi politics and the economy. 

Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, July 23, 2015 11:15 AM

Good for Saudi Arabia

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 21, 2015 2:29 PM

The irony here is palpable- if the Saudis overtake the US in terms of solar power, I think I'd lose hope for our future. The most infamous oil-state on the planet has recognized that its costly domestic consumption of its vast oil supplies is hurting its profits, and it would rather seek an alternative energy supply to fuel its own nation so that it can sell more oil to foreign investors. The logic here is actually very sound- Saudi Arabia knows that there is money to be made by cutting down their own oil consumption, and even if the world sees how successful they are in their own adoption of solar power as their main source of electricity, most of the West won't be willing to make the same transition when there's so much Saudi oil to buy. Everyone wins- except American consumers, of course. Oh, and the planet- the burning of fossil fuels is a serious problem our generation must tackle if we are to minimize the damages created by man-made global warming. In the short-term, nothing is set in stone, as we have no idea how successful the Saudis will be in their attempt to harvest solar power on such a large scale. However, the implications of this move is huge- I can only imagine what an influx of Saudi oil on the market would do for US gas prices. 

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Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming

Palm Oil Plantations Are Blamed For Many Evils. But Change Is Coming | Geography Education |
In Indonesia, efforts are underway to grow palms in a sustainable way. But that's putting a squeeze on small farmers.

Palm oil is in everything, from pizza dough and chocolate to laundry detergent and lipstick. Nongovernmental organizations blame it for contributing to assorted evils, from global warming to human rights abuses. But in the past year, this complex global industry has changed, as consumers put pressure on producers to show that they're not destroying forests, killing rare animals, grabbing land or exploiting workers.

Tags: Indonesia, conservation, environmentconsumption, SouthEastAsia, podcast.

LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, May 3, 2015 9:00 AM

Will they also stop using Glyphosate to kill the old trees in order to plant new ones? Or use Glyphosate to keep the grass from growing in their fields? Sometimes the changes are more on the marketing side, than the actual day-to-day practices.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 9, 2015 3:06 PM

Look at many household goods, and you can be sure to find palm oil in the list of its ingredients. It is one of the most commonly traded commodities in the world, but it has come under increasing scrutiny from both governmental and civilian groups concerned with the environmental and human impacts of the trade. Indonesia, one of the largest exporters of the good in the world, has made moves to make sure the continued exportation of the crop is sustainable, as they do not want to lose the revenue and job creation generated by the continued existence of the trade. Proponents of the crop argue that it takes less space to cultivate than any other competing vegetable oil, making it the easiest crop to sustain at current rates of demand. Environmentally, government and civilian groups have rallied against deforestation and have made strides to reverse the practice in regions both within Indonesia and in other areas as well.

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How to fix California's drought problem

How to fix California's drought problem | Geography Education |
California has enough water—that's not the problem, says Terry Tamminen. So here's how you solve the drought crisis.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There is no easy fix to a complex problem such as the water shortage in California.  Some coastal cities are considering desalinization projects while others want to reduce environmental regulations that protect wetland ecosystems to harness all of the freshwater available.  One of the issues is that most of California's precipitation occurs during a very short time frame.  Before the water crisis, these potential flood waters were diverted into concrete management canals but this article advocates to build more underground cisterns to capture excess rainfall before it flows to the ocean.   

Tags: consumptionCalifornia, water, environment, resources, environment dependurban ecology.

"When the well's dry, we know the worth of water." ~Benjamin Franklin

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 5:50 PM

The sunny state of California does in fact get enough rain fall each year but because storm sewers were built after continuous flooding, all of this rainfall is pushed into the Pacific Ocean rather than where it it needed now.

A solution to the insane drought taking California by storm is to use simple rain barrels to collect water at a typical home and a graded lawn to capture and retain water, allowing it to seep into the ground rather than run off into the streets and eventually into the ocean. 

Lydia Tsao's curator insight, May 25, 2015 2:20 AM

The article relates to irrigation and the conservation efforts discussed in Unit 5. Irrigation has a lot to do with the drought in California because massive amounts of water are being used for agriculture in California, which consists of water-needy fruits and vegetables. There are efforts to try to conserve water by installing rainwater collectors to reuse water instead of just draining usable rainwater to the ocean and rivers. There have also been installations of grey water pipes to reuse for irrigation. Grey water is any water that is flushed down the drain that isn't sewage, such as water from showers or water from washing machines. This way water wouldn't have to be wasted and can be reused.

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Nicaragua's Controversial Canal

The proposed Nicaragua Canal could be one of the largest engineering projects in history and promises to bring thousands of jobs to the impoverished country. But the government’s secretive deal with a Chinese-led firm has some Nicaraguans raising the alarm about displacement and environmental destruction in the canal’s path.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I'm fascinated by massive geo-engineering projects.  Usually, the proponents of the project will support it claiming that by reconfiguring the geographic settings it will lead to the economic growth of the country and strengthen their political situation.  Opponents cite that traditional land use patterns will get disrupted, the poor will be displaced, and the environment will be degraded. This canal is not so very different from many other geo-engineering projects in that respect.


Tags: transportation, Nicaragua, globalization, industry, economic, environment, political, resourcespolitical ecology.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 15, 2015 10:04 PM

As globalization keeps expanding, the development of infrastructure in poor countries increases. This project of constructing a canal in Nicaragua comparable to the Panama Canal will impact communities and the environment. Also, it will claim some proprieties and relocate most of their communities. However, this project will have the most significant effect on the environment. Deforestation will be part of the project, displacing a huge part of wild animals. Local communities are concerned with the lake where part of the canal will be built and cause potential pollution to the lake. And to top it all off, it will reshape the look of natural beaches which is the essential natural resource for this communities. On the other hand, the project will create job opportunities for different communities. But, the project so far has created a lot of friction between the government and its communities. The severity of this clash has led to legal issues. These problems, however will not stop China, the major investor of the project, and globalization will continue to evolve.

Blake Joseph's curator insight, April 24, 2015 4:38 PM

The Chinese government is seriously considering plans to build a new canal through Nicaragua that will rival the United States' Panama canal. The size of the planned canal will be much larger than the Panama canal, allowing much bigger freighters and cargo vessels to be able to pass through it to and from the Chinese mainland. While many Nicaraguans are enthusiastic about the potential jobs and money involved in the project, others can see through this and sense great problems for the country if completed. The canal would destroy many environments within Nicaragua such as Lake Nicaragua and the forest that are located nearby, displacing many people who live and depend on the area for food and work. China is fast becoming a world superpower, and is alarmingly similar to the old Soviet Union as far as a lack of environmental protection and the welfare of citizens. I fear the future environmental impact this will have on Nicaragua could be devastatingly similar to the fatal impacts of other old Soviet failures like the Aral Sea or Chernobyl (without the radioactive isotopes, of course). I think many Nicaraguans do as well.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 1, 2015 2:13 AM

Chapter 5

Humans value, change and protect landscapes

Suggested by Ariel Juarez!

Over population, over consumption - in pictures

Over population, over consumption - in pictures | Geography Education |

"How do you raise awareness about population explosion? One group thought that the simplest way would be to show people in pictures the impact of population, pollution and consumption."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This gallery is filled with excellent "teaching images" on human and environmental interactions and all aspects of geography--the one picture above shows how Mexico City has enveloped even the rolling hills as a part of its urban expansion.  

Tags: environmentlandscape, images, environment depend, environment adapt, environment modify, pollution, resourcessustainability.

SRA's curator insight, April 14, 2015 8:16 PM

Jordan Linhart

It is absolutely astounding to me how we are so continually growing and expanding as a human race. What's more astounding to me is how quickly we are depleting and wasting all of the resources we have been given. Don't get me wrong, I was aware there were 7 pushing 8 billion of us on the planet, but growing up in the suburbs I wasn't as aware of it as I could have been. Ignorance is bliss, right? It breaks my heart to see the clearing of beautiful forests, the once turquoise water of Haiti filled with trash, and the death of animals that accidentally stumbled upon our waste. If we as humans don't start taking care of our planet, there won't be any where left for us to over populate, or even populate for that matter.

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 7:56 PM

Unit 6

These eye opening photos paint a perfect picture of what the world will be like in years to come if we keep living the way we do. There are pictures of trash waves, extreme deforestation, hill-side slums, thousands of fields of oil wells, and overwhelming crowds of people.  

Corine Ramos's curator insight, December 8, 2015 8:18 PM

This gallery is filled with excellent "teaching images" on human and environmental interactions and all aspects of geography--the one picture above shows how Mexico City has enveloped even the rolling hills as a part of its urban expansion.  

Tags: environment, landscape, images, environment depend, environment adapt, environment modify, pollution, resources, sustainability.

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Protecting an Ocean at Risk

"Pristine Seas is an exploration, research, and media project to find, survey, and help protect the last wild places in the ocean. These pristine places are unknown by all but long-distance fishing fleets, which have started to encroach on them. It is essential that we let the world know that these places exist, that they are threatened, and that they deserve to be protected.  Learn more about Pristine Seas here: "

Seth Dixon's insight:

I was enchanted hearing Enriq Sala discuss his passion for ocean biodiversity and purity.  This passion, combined with scientific exploration and political advocacy is the backbone of a National Geographic's Pristine Seas project.  Here is one news story about the Seychelles, and how they are trying to manage their fishing industries to promote sustainability and hopefully the Pristine Seas project will lead to greater awareness of the need for ocean conservation. 

Tags: water, conservation, National Geographicphysical, biogeography, environmentpollution, resources.

Emily Coats's curator insight, March 24, 2015 12:41 PM


Fishing and Urban Development have detrimentally destroyed our oceans, and we have polluted the seas at such a high level. Urban growth and over fishing have caused our oceans to be polluted, and we are killing the diversity in Earth's waters. It is essential that we preserve marine life and stop polluting the ocean and the creatures that inhabit it. 

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Endangered Wildlife Trust

Endangered Wildlife Trust | Geography Education |

"If you don't pick it up they will."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I found this ad from the Endangered Wildlife Trust to be very powerful.  It is a good introduction to systems and systems thinking.  


Tags: pollutionsustainability, environment, resources, water, coastal.

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Who Owns The North Pole?

"Though uninhabited and full of melting ice caps, the Arctic is surprisingly an appealing piece of real estate. Many countries have already claimed parts of the region. So who technically owns the North Pole? And why do these nations want it so bad?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Denmark is now being more assertive in their claimsWhy is this happening now?  As climate change threatens polar ice caps, some see the receding ice as an economic and political opportunity.  Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and the U.S. are all seeking to expand their maritime claims in the Arctic.  When trapped under ice, extracting resources is cost prohibitive, but the melting sea ice will make the Arctic's resources all the more valuable (including the expanded shipping lanes).  Even a global disaster like climate change can make countries behave like jackals, ready to feast on a dead carcass.  For more, read this National Geographic blogpost.  

TagsArctic, economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, unit 4 politicalclimate change, political ecology.

Rich Schultz's curator insight, January 2, 2015 5:52 PM

Great question!  I think we all know the answer...Santa Claus!! ;)

Sammy Shershevsky's curator insight, January 17, 2015 4:57 PM

The video discusses a big topic in discussion today - Who really owns the North Pole? Although the North Pole is uninhabited, many countries have claimed to take ownership of the vast majority of land (or, ice). Canada has already claimed that the North Pole is part of its nation. Russia has put up Russian flags on the North Pole (such as underwater) but does that really make North Pole a Russian territory? The media plays a role in this by offering different opinions on who should and who deserves the right to own the North Pole. You might read a Canadian article that lists all the outright reasons why the North Pole is or deserves to be a Canadian territory. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 2015 7:26 PM

In my opinion, I don't understand how the United nations can be seen as an entity that, essentially, controls who would have rights to a place like the North Pole(technically, not owned by anyone).  I, naively, understand the basics of the U.N.  In short, it is an organization that was formed, post-WW I or II, as a governing board for world-issues.


 With that being said, how can they believe that their "law" is the all-powerful one?  If I'm a leader of a country who is not a member of the U.N., do I really care what they say?   I just find it odd that this narrator speaks about the issue while holding the U.N. as a supreme authority.  I know that this video is just a quick fun type of video but it leaves me with wanting to hear the perspective of a non-U.N. member.  But a very interesting topic, none the less.


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The Strategic Importance of the Caspian Sea

"Stratfor Eurasia Analyst Eugene Chausovsky examines the Caspian Sea's large energy reserves and its conflicting maritime boundaries."

Seth Dixon's insight:

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's largest lake went from having just two countries on its shores to five. Dividing the maritime borders has been especially difficult since the Caspian Sea has rich energy reserves and this lake will remain a place of strategic interest for many regional powers.  This video has been added to my ESRI StoryMap that spatially organizes place-based videos for the geography classroom.    

Tags: borders, political, geopolitics, Central Asia, energy, resources, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russiaeconomic, water.

Anneliese Sjogren's curator insight, December 10, 2015 9:41 PM

I think that this video was interesting, because I really have not heard that much about the Caspian Sea before. I didn't know that it had those energy reserves, and that there were boundary conflicts.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:09 PM

The Caspian Sea which is bordered by five countries, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Kazakstan and Azerbaijan. The seas importance come from its abundance of resources. It contains large volumes of oil and gas, an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil lies within and 8.7 trillion cubic meters of gas. Much of offshore oil has not been tapped because of disputes over maritime borders. Europe is interested in energy sources as well in the southern corner as a release from Russia's grip. Both Iran and Russia seem to disagree because of the idea of a TransCaspian pipeline.    

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 12:44 PM

The Caspian Sea is an intriguing geopolitical situation. The region was once dominated by the Soviet Union but  after the collapse is shared by multiple countries. Further complicating matters is the sea is full of untapped oil deposits. Territory disputes in such a situation are almost inevitable raising tensions in the region. Azerbaijan also wants to make a deal with Turkmenistan and Europe to move gas through a pipeline to diversify their income and provide Europe and alternative to Russian fuel. Naturally the Russians with the help of Iranians are making this difficult because it would threaten their profits. It seems that  the whole area likely needs a neutral party to try and arrange fair economic usage zones in the area. The Ukrainian conflict has further exasperated this since Europe is sanctioning their key fuel provider which in turn leads to more tension over pipelines. Hopefully all the oil exploitation doesn't also lead to poor environmental consequences such as the Aral sea economic usage. It is clear that central Asia while free from communist rule is still very much tied to Russia and its past decisions.

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The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing

The Marshall Islands Are Disappearing | Geography Education |
Most of the 1,000 or so Marshall Islands, spread out over 29 narrow coral atolls in the South Pacific, are less than six feet above sea level — and few are more than a mile wide. For the Marshallese, the destructive power of the rising seas is already an inescapable part of daily life. Changing global trade winds have raised sea levels in the South Pacific about a foot over the past 30 years, faster than elsewhere. Scientists are studying whether those changing trade winds have anything to do with climate change.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The impacts of climate change might feel far off or something that will affect other places...not so for those in the Marshall Islands. 

Tags: Oceania, environment, resources, watercoastal, environment depend, climate change, political ecology.

Corine Ramos's curator insight, December 8, 2015 8:17 PM

The impacts of climate change might feel far off or something that will affect other places...not so for those in the Marshall Islands. 

Tags: Oceania, environment, resources, water, coastal, environment depend, climate change, political ecology.

Anneliese Sjogren's curator insight, December 11, 2015 12:28 AM

It's too bad that these islands are disappearing. Hopefully, people who live hear will be safe as their land changes.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, December 12, 2015 6:21 AM

Climate change is a controversial issue in the United States. The debate over climate change in our current political environment is stuck in a denial or belief stage.  It is foolish to deny that our climate is changing. The overwhelming majority of scientists have provided the world with data, that proves that man is altering the climate. Those who deny climate change, probably do not really believe that it is not occurring.  They are denying climate change, because they do not favor altering our economic system in an attempt to stop the phenomenon. To really effect climate change, major changes are going to have to be made in the way we consume our energy. Our current political environment cannot and will not implement these changes. As with most problems, nothing will be accomplished until a large swath of Florida is underwater.

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The Electronic Afterlife

"E-Waste is a growing problem in our consumer-based society. The geography of e-waste is an ‘out of sight out of mind’ problem that we rarely think about but need to due to the ecological impacts of our collective consumption."

Tags: pollutionsustainability, environment, resources, Ghana, Africa.

Jeremy Hansen's curator insight, November 10, 2015 11:37 AM

Maybe getting that new iPhone isn't such a good idea, eh?

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The Ogallala Aquifer

The Ogallala Aquifer | Geography Education |
Hidden beneath the 245,000 square miles that make up the Great Plains, resides a lake that’s one of our greatest water assets: The Ogallala Aquifer. Haven’t heard of it? Farming the plains would be unprofitable at best without it, as shown by the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. At the time, the aquifer’s existence was known, but the technology to tap into it wasn’t.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.  This podcast explores the environmental and economic impacts of this unsustainable situation.

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

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Earth is Home to 3.02 Trillion Trees

Earth is Home to 3.02 Trillion Trees | Geography Education |

"A new census that shows that Earth is host to a staggering 3.02 trillion trees — more than scientists expected.The most recent estimate only counted 400 billion trees, reports Rachel Ehrenberg. Because prior studies used satellite technology alone instead of including data from on-the-ground tree density studies, writes Ehrenberg, they missed the mark. They also estimate that since human civilization began, 45.8 percent of all trees been lost."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love satellite data, but ground-truthing is critical to so many research projects. 

Tagsremote sensing, conservation, physical, biogeography, environment, resources.

Felipe Rengifo's curator insight, September 16, 2015 10:49 AM

Censo de árboles está en 3.02 trillones de arboles 


Suena como mucho, pero con en realidad son pocos para tanta gente. 

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North Dakota Town Evacuated Following Fiery Oil Train Derailment

North Dakota Town Evacuated Following Fiery Oil Train Derailment | Geography Education |
The entire population of  Heimdal, North Dakota has been evacuated Wednesday morning after a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded. A BNSF Railway oil train derailed around 7:30 am, setting at least 10 oil tanker cars on fire. The Bismarck Tribune spoke with emergency responders who "said the the sky was black with smoke near the derailment site."
Seth Dixon's insight:

Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers.  As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market.  Trains, however, are not the safest way to transport oil, even if they are efficient in the short run.    

Tagstransportationpollution, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

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Kiribati and Climate Change

You might not be feeling the effects of climate change, but Kiribati, a small country in the Pacific, is actually drowning because of rising sea levels. Check out how the government there is trying to run a country that might not exist in a few years.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The impacts of climate change might feel far off or something that will affect other places...not so for the citizens of Kiribati.  This video is the 1 minute version of the political/environmental situation, and this is the 15 minute version.    

Tags: Kiribati, Oceania, environment, resources, watercoastal, environment depend, climate change, political ecology.

Fred Issa's curator insight, December 2, 2015 3:39 PM

The people who do not agree that Climate change is real, need to look further than their own neighborhoods for proof that it is real. This really blew me away. Entire island populations that have to relocate to other islands, as their home island of Kiribati continues to sink lower and lower until you are walking in water when the high tide comes in? Imagine that the highest reference point on your island or chain of islands is your town's dump? What is positive about these people's plight is that they are being trained professionally in much needed fields, and second is that they are openly welcomed to other nearby islands. Fred Issa,

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:15 PM

this is an example of a small, innocent nation being hit harder by something caused by large nations which are having no negative impact on them. these large nations will not take responsibility until they must face the same results as Kiribati.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:07 PM

The video explains how the volcanic island will eventually disappear. The reason that the island will disappear is because of erosion and the sea is eating away at it. What makes them so easy to erode is the fact that the volcanoes are no longer active. Soon, coral reefs that are created will be the only thing holding the island together. Most of the island will be destroyed eventually and what is left behind will be in the shape of a caldera. 

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Five Things The Gulf Oil Spill Has Taught Us About the Ocean

Five Things The Gulf Oil Spill Has Taught Us About the Ocean | Geography Education |

"The Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010 is the largest accidental marine spill in U.S. history: these are the pivotal discoveries scientists and environmentalists have learned from researching it.  While researching the spill, scientists tracked deep-sea sharks, found new mud dragons, and discovered a new type of ocean current."

Tags: water, conservation, physical, biogeography, environmentpollution, resources.

Beatrice J. P. Vasconcelos's curator insight, April 21, 2015 9:43 AM

Olha o tamanho da bobagem...

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California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth

California Drought Tests History of Endless Growth | Geography Education |
A punishing drought is forcing a reconsideration of whether the aspiration of untrammeled growth that has for so long been the state’s engine has run against the limits of nature.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Major urban areas in California have limited local water resources so they draw water from large area to bring in sufficient water for these burgeoning metropolitan regions.  With this current drought getting worse, California has ordered emergency water restrictions on residents while companies and large farms have been granted exemptions even though they account for 82% of the state's annual water consumption (residential accounts for 12%). Almond farms alone consume 10% of the state's water, and many agricultural crops are incredibly water intensive land uses.  A better way to think of it isn't just about raw water usage though.  A better question to ask would be this--how does one gallon of water translate into calories that most efficiently feed people?

Questions to Ponder: How does the concept of carrying capacity relate to California urban growth/drought issues?  California passed its carrying capacity?  How are demographics, economics, politics and the environment intertwined in California?  What are the environmental limits on urban growth and development? 

Tags: physical, weather and climate, consumptionCalifornia, water, environment, resources, environment dependurban ecology.

LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, April 9, 2015 8:49 AM

The mathematics of endless growth due to economic monetary rules has a clear outcome.

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Topaz Solar Farm, California

Topaz Solar Farm, California | Geography Education |
The new 550 megawatt facility in California produces enough electricity to power 180,000 homes.

The modules are part of Topaz Solar Farm, one of the largest photovoltaic power plants in the world. At 9.5 square miles (25.6 square kilometers), the facility is about one-third the size of Manhattan island, or the equivalent of 4,600 football fields.

Construction at Topaz began in 2011. The plant was mostly complete by November 2014, when it was turned on and began to generate electricity.

Tagsenergy, resources, unit 6 industry, California, images, remote sensing.

Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, March 24, 2015 4:01 PM



María del Sol Guerra martín's curator insight, April 4, 2015 7:23 AM

In this text you will find information about a photovoltaic power  plant. Could you find information about photovoltaic plants in Spain?
Send the report before ....

Aleena Reyes's curator insight, April 8, 2015 7:20 PM

Seeing America taking steps in use solar power makes me incredibly happy. The US, in my opinion, needs to adopt multiple ways of utlizing various types of energy sources. The quote, "BHE estimates, that is enough to displace about 407,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of taking 77,000 cars off the road" is impressive. However, I do feel that the auto industry is the environmental scape goat. The textile industry produces much more waste, especially with all of the advancements the auto industry has gone through.

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Gas Price Map

Gas Price Map | Geography Education |

"Now you can see what gas prices are around the U.S. at a glance. Areas are color coded according to their price for the average price for regular unleaded gasoline. Click here for the Canada National Gas Price Heat Map."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In 2012, this visualization of gas prices by county in the United States was important because high gas prices were hitting Americans hard in the pocketbooks and became a major political hot-button topic.  Today, this map still shows the regional variations in prices (so sorry to my California friends), but the recent drop in prices makes most consumers give a sigh of relief.  Supply and demand works beautifully on a two-axis graph, but supply and demand happen somewhere, giving a simple chart added complexity since it's spatially contingent and we must make the assumption and caveat explicit.   

Questions to Ponder: Why are the prices for a certain commodity higher in one region than another?  What factors lead to the spatial differences in the relative economic value in one region over another? 

Tagsenergy, resources, unit 6 industry.

LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, February 17, 2015 10:57 AM

The willingness to pay more jacks up prices ...

Kyle Freeman's curator insight, March 24, 2015 4:27 AM

We can think about maps like these in order to understand the usage and application as well as the patterns and distributions into areas. This map is used to show consumers where the highest and lowest gas prices are by colors. There is a pattern of high cost in the south western and north eastern areas, while there is a pattern of low cost in the southern and north western areas.

Susan King Locklear's curator insight, October 20, 2015 5:56 PM

Looks like the Houston area is doing pretty well compared to the national average.

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Simulation of the Oso Landslide

Simulation of the Oso Landslide | Geography Education |

"The large landslide that occurred in March near Oso, Washington was unusually mobile and destructive."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There are several reasons for landslides--some are purely a result of physical geography and others are related to land use patterns.  The landslide in Washington state last year was a combination of the two (see on map) and it is a good teaching moment to discuss the environmental impacts of land use patterns and resource extraction projects.  As seen in this interactive, the river was cutting at the base of the hill, while loggers were clear-cutting at the top of the mountain.  Trees help prevent erosion as the roots hold the soil in place--a critical piece to the puzzle in a very rainy climate.  With $1 million worth of timber on the slope, logging companies persisted despite objections from the Department of Natural Resources and some restrictions (but in hindsight, those restrictions clearly were not enough).  Watch a simulation of the landslide here.  

View the impact in ArcGIS online: Before and After Swipe, LiDAR I and II, and Imagery.

Questions to Consider: Other than economic worth, what other ways are there to value and evaluate the environment?  How could this landscape have been protected and managed better or was this landslide inevitable?   

Tagspolitical ecology, resources, environment, environment modify, industry, physical, geomorphology, erosion, landforms.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, January 27, 2015 4:50 PM

This seems like a useful tool to a degree.  But if we could actually simulate every destructive event then we would be miracle workers.  This was a sad event.  We have left such an imprint on the earth that it's starting to fight back.  We need to be more aware and careful with the one planet we have.  Climate changes are in the news more and more.  We can't ignore climate changes anymore.  

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Too rich for its own good

Too rich for its own good | Geography Education |
The Democratic Republic of Congo is potentially one of the richest countries on earth, but colonialism, slavery and corruption have turned it into one of the poorest
Seth Dixon's insight:

One thing that baffles many students is how a resource-rich region can be an area of underdevelopment and poverty.  Understanding the historical geography is key for students being able to see that natural wealth does not correlate to enriching the local population.  Kinshasa, the capital that seemed so promising as the site of the famous "Rumble in the Jungle between Ali and Frazier, is now a city of chaos.  

Tags: Congo, political, conflict, resourcespolitical ecology, Africa.

Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 1:04 PM

Geography talks a lot about the impact of globalization and imperialism. One of the best examples of this is found in The Democratic Republic of Congo. For its entire history, imperialist nations have sought out this country's resources and were not hesitant to exploit the population to accomplish this end. On of the great ironies in globalization is that the countries richest in resources are the most exploited. Take to the extreme as in Congo, the economy is so crushed that there is no way for the country to recover. 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 4:09 PM

Its all about greed. If people only had the respect for each other then with all the natural resources on earth we all could live comfortably.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:40 PM

It's a shame to know that there's a country of hopelessness out there with a potential to be a great one. The long term causes of colonialism had a huge impact on their development as a modern country. They were once a great empire but was diminished down to nothing by the European. Hopefully there will light to the darkness of Congo in the near future.