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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Land Use and Watersheds

Land Use and Watersheds | Geography Education |
George Monbiot: Every year billions are spent in Britain and Europe on policies that wreck homes and lives through flooding
Seth Dixon's insight:

Governments and property owners often act as though a parcel of land is not connected to the broader forces and systems that reshape our Earth.  This article is a reminder that what happens upstream can impact the entire watershed.


Tags: environmentwaterUK, land use, sustainability.

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Living Bridges

"In Northeast India just north of Bangladesh is the province of Meghalaya."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The living bridges of Meghalaya are truly sights to behold; these astonishing bridges are a natural way that local people have adapted to an incredibly flood-prone environment.  The organic building materials prevent erosion and keep people in contact during times of flood.  Here is another video and articles (BBC, Atlas Obscura, Inhabitat, and MNN) with more ecological and cultural context on these living bridges. 

Tags: environment, environment adapt, SouthAsia, water, weather climate, indigenousbiogeography.

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 4:16 PM

I think these bridges are of great value to the world... Nature provides us with such amazing natural resources. There is really no need to do half the damage we do to it. what a beautiful way to keep the environment's natural beauty intacted


Kimmy Jay's curator insight, November 20, 2015 6:28 PM

H/E Interaction 


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

This was amazing to watch, and cool that it is a tradition. I can't imagine how old some of those bridges must be.

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Climate Change Is Here

Climate Change Is Here | Geography Education |
Record heat, fading ice, and rising seas show how climate change is affecting us. But there’s new hope we can cool the planet. Here’s how.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The National Geographic Magazine has recently created this interactive to accompany the magazine article on climate change (for those worried that the editorial direction would not be as environmentally focused because of the recent changes for the National Geographic Society, I think this is a resounding way for them to emphatically declare that they are committed as ever to their core values and mission).  This interactive is richly-laden with videos, images and case-studies, showing the tangible impacts of climate change and lays out what the future implications of these changes.  The interactive is organized to answer these main questions:

  • How do we know it’s happening?
  • How do we fix it?
  • How do we live with it

Tags: physical, weather and climateenvironment, National Geographic, climate change, water.

Tony Hall's curator insight, October 30, 2015 2:21 AM

This is a very good resource on climate change. Well worth having a look:)

John Puchein's curator insight, November 6, 2015 7:30 AM

This site is great to show evidence of climate change. It has various sites with videos and articles.  The interactive is organized to answer these main questions:

How do we know it’s happening?How do we fix it?How do we live with it?
Sarah Cannon's curator insight, November 25, 2015 10:15 AM

There is too much talk about helping the climate and environment. All politicians do is talk about cleaning the environment and having less pollution. Even Al Gore is big talk. I've only heard of little change. I want to see a difference. I want to see people actually doing things to help the environment. Enough talk. What should happen is a world wide clean up. Jobs should be created where people should clean in their own community. Its a simple job. Get a trash bag, get off your lazy butts, get out of the house, get a group together (who would be paid by the state) to pick trash up off the streets, beaches, trails in the woods, baseball fields, parks. This isn't hard to do. Not just one person, but if a group of people can come together and be employed by their state to clean their community, at least four days a week. There should also be a group of people, even fisherman to clean the ocean, go out and get what ever trash you can find. Using nets, and if fish are caught, throw them back in the ocean. Also, Trash Island has to be eliminated. It boggles my mind that who ever passed the law on trash being dumped into the ocean an Okay to do. Are you kidding me?? What is wrong with you? Our Earth is dying because of humanity. Also the oil spill that happened in 2012, I believe, I saw a man on the news that created a way to capture the oil floating on the surface of the ocean with a blanket like material, sure it would take a lot of those "blankets" but at least it would be helping to rid the ocean from oil. What are people thinking?? that the oil will just disappear?? Are you serious? So many people really have to open their minds. Look at what's happening you ignorant selfish fools. I will finish my rant right here.

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Dropping water levels reveal hidden church

Dropping water levels reveal hidden church | Geography Education |
A 16th century church has emerged from the receding waters of the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas. This is the second time water levels have dropped low enough to reveal the church since the reservoir was completed in 1966.

Tags: drought, Mexico, water, environment, religion, culture, Christianity,  colonialism, architecture, landscape.

Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 4, 2015 5:59 AM

water Chiapas's curator insight, November 6, 2015 5:39 AM

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When China Rules the Sea

When China Rules the Sea | Geography Education |
The United States is no longer the world’s only global naval power.

Why would China go to the trouble and expense of mounting an expedition to the northern climes in the Western Hemisphere? Because it sees value in staging a presence in distant waters. And because it can: Beijing no longer depends completely on its oceangoing battle fleet to ward off threats in China’s seas. It can now rain long-range precision firepower on enemy fleets from land. Ergo, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet can cruise the far reaches of the Pacific and Indian oceans or even beyond, without forfeiting China’s interests in waters close to home.  For China, the upsides of far-ranging maritime strategy are many and compelling, the downsides fewer and fewer.

Tagsgeopolitics, political, waterChina, East Asia.

Greg Hill's curator insight, September 28, 2015 12:05 PM
Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 24, 2015 7:07 AM

The nation that controls the seas, controls the world. Throughout history the leading Naval powers have always been the worlds most dominate nations. The greatest land forces, are no match for the supremacy of the seas. Not even Napoleon could beet back the power of a supreme navy( The British Royal Navy). Since the end of the Second World War, The United States navy has dominated the seas. That domination has made the U.S the worlds greatest nation over the course of the past 75 years. For China to displace the U.S atop the nations hierarchy, they most out due us on the seas. China is ware of this history, and that is why they are heavily investing in their naval technology. The key to the future, as it has been in the past, will be what nation can dominate the worlds seas.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 8:23 AM

the growing strength of the Chinese navy is worrying from a military perspective, as during the cold war one of the main reasons they were not considered as big a threat as the Russians was because of their inability to project force beyond mainland china. with their navel improvements this is no longer the case. what this will hold for the future, we can only wait and see.

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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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Large Flash Flood

"A nice flood rolled down Johnson Canyon (southern Utah) on July 6th, 2015."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The raw power of Earth's natural forces can be truly amazing. 

Tags: physical, geomorphology, erosion, landforms, Utah, water, disasters.

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Visualized: How the insane amount of rain in Texas could turn Rhode Island into a lake

Visualized: How the insane amount of rain in Texas could turn Rhode Island into a lake | Geography Education |

"It's difficult to comprehend the ridiculous amounts of water that have fallen in such a short time in a state that, until recently, had been in the grip of a historic drought. But one place to start would be to look at reservoir levels in the state. In the past 30 days, Texas reservoirs have gone from being 73 percent full to 82 percent full, according to data maintained by the Texas Water Development board. All told, about 8 million acre-feet of water have flowed into the state's reservoirs."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Just how much of water is 8 million acre-feet?  It's almost impossible for most people to visualize that, but this series of graphics is designed to put the scale of the recent flooding in Texas into perspective (and yes, I love that Rhode Island is almost a unit of measurement).


Tags: water, fluvial, perspective, scale, Rhode Island.

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Concrete Consequences

Concrete Consequences | Geography Education |
The more we slap concrete down all over the state, the more we trigger devestating consequences, like the million-dollar flooding in Cranston last September.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We often ignore the environmental impact of the cities we build.  When we build a road, building or sidewalk, we usually cover the ecosystem's natural mechanisms for absorbing rainfall with impervious surfaces.  This award-winning environmental article in RI Monthly was written by a geography professor with an eye on the human and environmental interactions between community land use choices and watershed quality.  The RI governor announced for Earth Day that it will be investing funds to tackle the storm water pollution problem.     

Tagsurban, watercoastal, urban ecology, Rhode Island.

Linda Denty's curator insight, May 10, 2015 7:33 PM

This has been known for years and still we keep doing it!

Corine Ramos's curator insight, December 8, 2015 8:28 PM

We often ignore the environmental impact of the cities we build.  When we build a road, building or sidewalk, we usually cover the ecosystem's natural mechanisms for absorbing rainfall with impervious surfaces.  This award-winning environmental article in RI Monthly was written by a geography professor with an eye on the human and environmental interactions between community land use choices and watershed quality.  The RI governor announced for Earth Day that it will be investing funds to tackle the storm water pollution problem.     

Tags: urban, water, coastal, urban ecology, Rhode Island.

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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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China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island'

China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island' | Geography Education |
Satellite images show China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea, a report says.
Seth Dixon's insight:

So that's what they are up to...hmmmm.  A clearer, more detailed image can be seen here.

Questions to Ponder:  Why is China building up this island?  What advantage would that give them?  Why aren't other countries with competing claims stopping China?

Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 2015 7:02 PM

This is always amazing to me when countries create these islands in the middle of the sea.  I remember when Dubai was doing this a few years back thinking that something like this was crazy and would never keep up.  China is smart by doing this because it feels it can control the S. China Sea if they have areas set up all over it.  I can see why surrounding countries that share the Sea's borders are pissed off at China because they should not have more right's to the Sea than any of them.  But what are/can they do about it?  If you mess with China, you are asking for trouble.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, April 30, 2015 8:43 AM

My research paper is on China and I'm adding topical China stories to it. This is just another example in an endless procession of questionable land grabs by the Chinese. They should not be allowed to play poker, they are really bad at hiding what they really want. China wants to add land for a simple reason; extending their military reach so they can dominate the region. It pushes out their boundaries to enable them to strike their enemies with relative ease. Missiles that fly 400 miles, planes that need refueling after 300 miles are now strategically placed on these islands to form a sphere of commanding  influence in Asia and beyond. If they were to use it to extend their fishing rights to feed their burgeoning population that would be almost diplomatic. China bears watching....

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:22 PM

China has the wealth and power to unfortunately , do these things.  This is a concern to the US, but what can they do.  Vietnam may be upset as well as other countries, but China is the big dog in the South Sea.  

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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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China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea

China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea | Geography Education |
The scale of China's land reclamation in the South China Sea is leading to "serious questions" on its intentions, a top US official says.

China is building artificial land by pumping sand on to live coral reefs - some of them submerged - and paving over them with concrete. China has now created over 4sq/km (1.5 sq miles) of artificial landmass.  China is creating a great wall of sand with dredges and bulldozers over the course of months.

Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned." 

PIRatE Lab's curator insight, April 3, 2015 10:45 AM

In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned."

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 6, 2015 9:16 PM

Pumping in sand to cover coral reef and create more land is a very inventive way to make new territory, using concrete and placing bulldozers and other machinery is helping China gain more land and gain more access in the South China Sea yet this who pumping is making people question and causing places such as the Philippines to  file complaints saying they will not be associated with the whole plan that China has. Why is China exactly pumping sand and spreading concrete over the live coral reefs? Does China know they are killing live animals and plants underneath the sea? 

While looking into the matter I found that China believed the whole act of reclaiming land to be "entirely within China's sovereignty and are totally justifiable". Now people all over the world are focused on land and power, not about other social matters. This land pumping is not only causing conflict but it is creating more opportunity to better work and living conditions.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 16, 2015 2:41 PM

China is a large and powerful nation that is not afraid of flexing military muscle to its smaller neighbors.  The developments of China building artificial land to strengthen its claim in the region shows how determined the country is to have its claims honored.  It also shows that China will stop at nothing to have regions were resources could be to aid in the countries economic growth.  However, China is causing a great deal of controversy through its actions.  Also, China's neighbors are becoming increasingly frustrated with the large nation, yet they are all much smaller nations that really can't prevent the Chinese from doing what they want, especially with China declaring it won't listen to what the UN has to say.  China is a country that is not afraid of strongman politics to get what it wants.

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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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China's Maritime Claims

ONE reason China’s spectacular rise sometimes alarms its neighbours is that it is not a status quo power. From its inland, western borders to its eastern and southern seaboard, it claims territory it does not control.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Many of the geopolitical conflicts in the East Pacific have their roots in the territorial disputes over islands that at first glance seem as if they wouldn't be worth the trouble; how did this become a tense situation?  Since the UNCLOS agreement gives countries 200 nautical miles off their coasts to be an Exclusive Economic Zone, that greatly enhanced the strategic value of controlling these islands and the shipping lanes.  The United States, to counter Chinese claims, has used the Navy to go near some of the claimed (and reclaimed) islands recently.  This interactive map briefly highlights some of the details behind the conflicts with links for further readings. 

Questions to Ponder: Why do countries care so much about some minor islands?  Why would other countries not want to accept China's territorial assertions?

Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, East Asia.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 3:06 PM

Chinese expansion into the South Sea has been a longtime coming, and China's actions in the region are both a reflection of its growing strength and a huge diplomatic headache for the US and every other nation in the region. China's construction of artificial islands allows it to claim autonomy over a larger body of water, challenging the maritime power of every other nation in South East Asia, many of whom have economies reliant on the waters China now claims as its own, some 500 miles away from the Chinese mainland. With the emergence of the Chinese economy as a global power, its ambitious leaders have made plans to transform China from a regional military force to a new superpower- one that the established order, the US included, is entirely unsure of. Which of these nations can truly challenge China's decision to make these waters it's personal pond? It would be economic and political suicide, as China is an enormous global trading power, and has the potential to crush any of these nations in a military engagement. Could Japan? Perhaps, but the Chinese have already pressed ahead with their plans, regardless of Japanese political pressure. Involvement of the US is perhaps the last thing anyone wants- particularly both the US and China- but it is perhaps the only way China will heed pressure from abroad and cease  Chinese expansion in the region. The US and China must be allies, for the sake of global prosperity, but actions like these cannot be tolerated, by either party.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 7:51 PM

One reason to care about minor islands is the 200 nautical miles off the coast for the EEZ. This would give china more water territory for drilling of oil which I believe is there in those waters. Flexing more muscle for their navy to grow. Strategically the Chinese could take over these small islands and build air strips for future which would give them a chance to reach places they wouldn't be able to before and this would be good supply transactions during war, fueling, maneuver of man power. The other small countries also would lose their independence and would have to fall under china's rule. With the building of the man made islands and the Chinese navy protecting their people while they continue to build these islands and daring anyone to try and stop them is a sign that china is trying to dominate and expand with muscle. It is their time they have the economic, and military power to do so. Of course they don't want to deal with the u.s. and their allies militarily but it doesn't benefit the u.s. either. I don't believe u.s. wants to get involved in a battle with china and their allies.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:17 PM

Claiming territory it does not control, causes a lot of controversy with other country. The main problem here now is China is having a dispute with Japan about some islands. There could possibly be oil or natural resources.Japan says that the land was always theirs. China clearly likes to just put itself out there and make claims or place oil rigs wherever. This could be a big problem for them because if someone gets too offended by their actions there could end up being a war or some sort of conflict. Especially since they like to use military forces such as navy and air guarding "territory." 

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Changes in Three Gorges Dam

NASA's animation of China's Three Gorges Dam construction over the years.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The world’s largest dam was created to generate more energy for China’s ever-expanding economy and to increase the interior economic development by increasing the navigability of the river.  The dam also can control downstream flooding and protect important industrial centers such as Shanghai.  This ambitious hydroelectric dam produces the same amount of energy as 18 nuclear power plants.  This dam also displaced over 1 million people as the reservoir flooded properties upstream.  The Three Gorges Dam prevents the nutrient-rich sediments from being deposited downstream; this heightens Chinese farmers’ need for fertilizers, this has led to drought downstream and limits residents’ water access. The dam also disrupted the local ecology (part of the reason the Yangtze River Dolphin went extinct), preventing fish to migrate to upstream breeding grounds. 

For good and ill, the dam has profoundly modified the environment and this video animation from NASA is a powerful demonstration of the changes.       

Tags: remote sensing, geospatial, video, land use, environment, environment modify, water, economic, development, China, East Asia, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, October 19, 2015 6:32 PM

Inland water - environmental change 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 9, 2015 5:40 PM

The impact of the Three Gorges Dam on the residents upstream is amazing. I cannot imagine anything like this happening in the US, mostly because of the impact on the people both upstream and downstream. Ecological damage from this dam may not phase the Chinese government, but I think any North American or European government would shudder at the thought of the backlash among their citizens this would create.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:27 PM

Three Gorges damn in China is the largest dam ever constructed. This was created to save on power by creating hydroelectric power for the people of the land. One of the issues with this was the the flooding of the land up streams displacing millions of people. It created a larger up stream area and very small down stream. A lot of the people that lived up stream had to be relocated further inland and faced changing climatif weather. The banks of the river are carved out between what seems like mountainous regions so as you move more uphill the weather and temperature will be a whole new category of life (Depending on how far you relocated).

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How being surrounded by water made the Dutch different

How being surrounded by water made the Dutch different | Geography Education |
While researching a book on ‘Why the Dutch are Different’, Ben Coates realised that an amazingly large number of the things which an outsider might think of as ‘typically Dutch’ could be explained at least in part by a single factor: water.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Cultural, political and economic patterns of a region are heavily influenced by the environmental settings.  Occasionally though, geographers can get overly-cautious when discussing how the environment can shape culture, worried about straying into realm of environmental determinism.  However, environmental factors can profoundly influence cultural attributes.  This article shows how Dutch cultural attributes such as diet, history, politics and landscape are influenced by their maritime physical setting. 


TagsNetherlands, culture, place, water, environment.

asli telli's curator insight, October 15, 2015 1:37 AM

What is "typically" #Dutch? #sea #saltwater #sailing #trade #ancient #heritage

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 7, 2015 9:50 AM

unit 3

Sarah Nobles's curator insight, November 27, 2015 7:55 AM

Environmental Determinalism....Unit 3

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Tsunami Animation

"The largest earthquake ever recorded by instruments struck southern Chile on May 22, 1960. This 9.5 magnitude earthquake generated a tsunami that crossed the Pacific Ocean, killing as many as 2000 people in Chile and Peru, 61 people in Hilo, Hawaii, and 142 people in Japan as well as causing damage in the Marquesas Islands (Fr. Polynesia), Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines, and in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.  To see how this tsunami compares with two recent tsunamis from Chile, please watch "

Tags: physical, geomorphologywater, tectonics, disasters, video.

Seth Dixon's insight:

In 1700, Japan was hit by a tsunami; they knew that tsunamis were caused by earthquakes, but there was no earthquake of that magnitude in Japan that could have caused it.  They called it the Orphan Tsunami, and it puzzled everyone.  Centuries later, data confirmed that a massive earthquake in the Pacific Northwest occurred in 1700 and it's tsunami traveled across the ocean much like the this computer simulation of the 1960 Chile earthquake.   

Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, September 24, 2015 9:23 PM

Tsunami ocurrido en Chile el 22 de Mayo de 1960 donde murieron 2000 personas en Chile y Perú, 61 en Hilo Hawaii, 142 en Japón causando daños en Islas Marquesas Polinesia , Samoa, Nueva Zelanda, Australia, Filipinas, Alaska's Islas Aleutianas.....enlace para ver la comparación con el Tsunamis recientes en Chile (2015)

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Lawn Order

Lawn Order | Geography Education |

"In communities across America, lawns that are brown or overgrown are considered especially heinous. Elite squads of dedicated individuals have been deputized by their local governments or homeowners’ associations to take action against those whose lawns fail to meet community standards."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a great podcast from 99 Percent Invisible that shows not only the environmental aspects of America’s obsession with well-manicured lawns, it also nicely explored the cultural norms that police our behavior to create the stereotypical suburban landscape.  This is my favorite quote from the podcast: “There’s a paradox to the lawn. On the one hand, it is the pedestal on which sits the greatest symbol of the American Dream: the home, which people can ostensibly govern however they wish. And yet—homeowners often have almost no control over how they should maintain their lawn. Grass may be a plant, but a lawn is a designed object.”

Tags: housingneighborhood, cultural norms, consumption, water, environmenturban ecology, culture.

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

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What the Earth would look like if all the ice melted

We learned last year that many of the effects of climate change are irreversible. Sea levels have been rising at a greater rate year after year, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates they could rise by another meter or more by the end of this century.
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Digging In: Land Reclamation and Defenses in the South China Sea

Digging In: Land Reclamation and Defenses in the South China Sea | Geography Education |
The U.S. Department of Defense’s latest assessment of the Chinese military provided new detail on China’s land reclamation efforts on several of the islets that it occupies in the South China Sea. These include Fiery Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, Johnson South Reef, Mischief Reef, and Subi Reef in the Spratly archipelago. By December 2014, the report estimated that China had reclaimed as much as 500 acres of new land, creating full-fledged islands where only coral reefs or sand spits existed before. Since then, China has only accelerated its efforts, expanding the total land area that it has reclaimed to 2,000 acres and building military facilities, ports, and at least one airstrip on the islands.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We've heard in the news recently that China is reclaiming land from the South China see to presumably construct an air strip to strengthen their claims in the region.  China is not alone in this...

Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

Marc Meynardi's curator insight, May 13, 2015 1:49 AM

By doing so, China is not only digging land, but also preparing futur heavy discord. It's so strange : China critisize US hegemony and try to balance it. As result, China is having the same agressive attitude that US Bush era. Of course, not using bombs, but "pacifically" invading south China Sea.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:15 PM

I was wondering with the world being 80% ocean how much ocean can be transformed into land with these man made islands. Once again creating military strategic posts.

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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...

Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks!

New Images Show China Literally Gaining Ground in South China Sea

New Images Show China Literally Gaining Ground in South China Sea | Geography Education |
Satellite photos show the speed, scale and ambition China has exerted to assert ownership over South China Sea islands, far from the mainland.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned."

Questions to Ponder:  Why is China building up this island?  What advantage would that give them?  Why aren't other countries with competing claims stopping China?

Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

Marc Meynardi's curator insight, April 13, 2015 2:40 AM

Suprisingly, the other countries dont show a lot of concerns.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 15, 2015 10:06 PM

China is a powerful country with a population of 1.357 billion people. China as a regional hegemony, the more land means expansion of territorial control on the region and projecting sea power on international waters. However the main reason why China, the Philippines, and other countries are trying to claim these islands is due to the oil and natural gas exploitation in the South China Sea. Even when geopolitical conflicts between Philippines and other countries arise, any of these countries will have to form powerful armies in order to fight against China. The U.S. would be the only country that could pursue different strategies and mediate agreements between China’s neighbors. However, through military intimidation, China would overpower any country that tried to claim these islands as part of their territory. 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 1:37 PM

China has its hopes on securing the land that is rich in oil to bring prosperity to the country.  China is building a great wall of sand and seems as though they are not fearful of others stopping it even though China has been warned that these actions create tension from Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.  

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If all the Ice melted: National Geographic's Interactive map on Rising Seas

If all the Ice melted: National Geographic's Interactive map on Rising Seas | Geography Education |

What if all the ice melted in the world? Now whether you believe global warming happens because of human activities or naturally is another debate. The questions “How would the world look if ALL the ice melted?” How much would the sea rise by? What would be the average temperature on Earth? are of interest to everyone.

Trust National Geographic not only to capture such questions in the best manner possible but also to visualize it in such geoawesome manner! Here’s the super interesting map by National Geographic “IF ALL THE ICE MELTED“!

Tags: physical, weather and climateNational Geographic, climate change, water, visualization.

LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, April 5, 2015 9:05 AM

Climate change is all about the "Pendulum Effect," where the extremes is what matters, not so much the median or average. The average may fluctuate some, but the real problem comes when the weather goes haywire. Too much water can be as destructive as too little water, and this doesn't only happen in time but in space as well, where regions get too much of one and too little of the other. We'll see strips of drought and strips of wetness, strips of cold and strips of heat, like bands across regions and across the planet. If he ice melts, the sea and fresh water strips in the ocean will keep the fresh water atop and it'll probably freeze in great bands in winter and provoke an extreme albedo effect cooling down the planet radically followed immediately by a potential mini ice age.

Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, April 5, 2015 9:23 PM

Impact of climate change on landforms and landscapes 

The human causes and effects of landscape degradation (ACHGK051)

The ways of protecting significant landscapes (ACHGK052)