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Geography in the News: World Fisheries

Geography in the News: World Fisheries | Geography 200 Portfolio |
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM DECLINE IN OCEAN FISHERIES The world may be running out of places to catch wild fish.

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

This article shows how much humans are taking advantage of our fisheries! The map comparing extremely overfished areas in 1950 and 2005 is a huge difference. Before the introduction of fish farms, fishermen had to go out to sea on a daily basis to fish. In recent years, studies have shown that fish is healthy to consume, which is likely one of the reasons that pushed for a high demand in fish, especially salmon and tilapia. I remember in the 1990s going fishing with my father and two sisters for scup and there was a great abundance. Now there is not the same amount of fish because we are over fishing. Despite the fishing laws made in recent years it seems that its not solving the issue of over fishing.

Sally Egan's curator insight, August 5, 2013 6:42 PM

Useful for consideration of Fish as a resource in the topic Natural Resource Use in Global Challenges. 

Josue Maroquin's comment, August 12, 2013 9:11 PM
its scary to see how much fishing grew over the pat years due to the growing population
Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:39 PM

Overtime as the population has increased you can see on the map that areas have been over fished. This has caused people to move near the water to fish and it has created some jobs for them. This could be bad becuase as the population increases the fish will decrease due to the over fishing. 

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Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Worker safety in China

This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety.  This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow.  What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?"  How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?     

Via Seth Dixon
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:23 PM

This video borders on difficult to watch. While it is definitely amazing to watch it really flies in the face of standard American job safety operations. These workers are perched on top of this building with no harnesses balancing in the shovel of a back hoe while sawing loose great slabs of concrete. Luckily no one was injured in this video but frankly this video does a great job of showing how China has been able to grow so rapidly. A lack of interest in individual workers safety and a sole goal of progress, at the possible cost of its citizens.

Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 9:45 PM

China has one of the strongest economies in the world. However, I think sometimes, China takes that for granted. They think that just because they have a strong economy, they don't have to worry about safe working environments and they have nothing to lose if something happens to someone. As much as I'm sure China gives good paychecks to manufactured workers because of its wealth, there are some jobs, such as this one, that they think they don't have to pay enough. However at the same time, it's not China's fault. Sometimes, it's the workers faults for not using common sense while working, I'm a firm believer in "work smarter, not harder."

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 4:32 PM

Well nobody ever accused China of being a Union favoring country.  These people are risking their lives because its their job.  This is a country where you have very little leeway to argue for benefits.  If they want to do this, then come to the US.  Although I wonder why they don't just use dynamite?  Faster and few people are involved.  

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Video: China Halts Shipments of Rare Earths

In September, China stopped shipping rare earths, minerals crucial to military, cell phone and green technologies, to countries around the world. A report from the Bureau for International Reporting.
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Coral Reefs Most at Risk

Coral Reefs Most at Risk | Geography 200 Portfolio |
A new map ranks the world's coral reefs by the risks they face from warming oceans, overfishing and other stress factors, which will help scientists focus on conserving the reefs with the most likely success.

Via Seth Dixon
Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:42 PM

Coral reefs our one of the most beautiful examples of nature that exist. I hope this map will help preserve them, what is interesting for someone my age is that I am not sure whether I will get to see these reefs before they are wiped out by climate change.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:00 PM

With this know fact of Coral Reefs at risk for disappearing, what are we to do. I believe in order to preserve our coral reefs around the world, more education on the importance of having the coral reefs on our coast. While there is little things we can do in regards to the rise of temperatures, we can reduce our human activity on the coast such as fishing and coastal development.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 9:28 PM

This map makes me think the beginning of the semester when you were showing us all the different ways maps can look based on the data. I never would have choose to make a map based on the coral reefs, but clearly there is a need for one. I don’t fully understand the math behind all the variables that shows how this map was made, but given the amount of variables mentioned in the article I think this is a very comprehensive map. So even though other maps may come up with different results, I would stand by this one due to the sheer volume of information analyzed.


I hope that the map is able to actually save some of the reefs around the Middle East and Australia (the highest risk areas) because I couldn’t even begin to imagine the damage the disappearance of one would have on the ecosystem. I know the article mentioned that the some of the prime factors were "surface temperature" and "ultra violet radiation," which supposedly couldn't be helped. However, I learned in my GEO 100 class that increase in surface temperature and ultra-violet radiation relates to global warming, Since global warming is partially man made, I do wonder why the prime factors can't be managed more though. Or is it that the impact of global warming can't be revered quickly enough so the ones most damaged are too far gone? Regardless, hopefully some of the other factors can be controlled enough to make a difference. 

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Gender Divisions in Iran

Gender Divisions in Iran | Geography 200 Portfolio |

For my non-Farsi speaking readers, this map displays a 'male' province and a 'female' province.  These two provinces are separated by barbed wire, 20-meter trench and the Great Wall of China with ground-to-air missiles.  


While not a "cartographically accurate" map of the divisions within Iran, it does symbolically highlight the enormous gulf between men and women.  Men and women are not in separate provinces, but what might the symbolic spatial gender division on this map represent for Iranian society? 

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

I think this picture shows how Iranian society thinks and operates. There is an entirely different set of rules, ideals, and codes men and women follow in their society. Women are typically held inside, wear head coverings, are not allowed to be in the public sector unless accompanied by a man or her husband. This map isn't real, but it does show that if they were in separate provinces, there would be a gender division that could spring a revolution for women to be educated and empowered, and it could also hurt the economy because ultimately a society needs women to have children to ensure there is a workforce.

Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, October 31, 2013 10:20 AM

Although this is not an accurate map of real divisions within Iran, the map does pose as a symbolic representation of the gap between men and women in the country.  Even though men and women are not forced to live in separate provinces within Iran, it sure does seem like they do based on the vast difference in rights between the two genders.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 4, 2014 7:41 PM

Most countries throughout history had some type of gender division. It appears countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia are still treating women as second-class citizens and are not giving them any opportunities to be successful. It may take another 100 years before they are treated like men. Some countries take longer to modernize, and Iran appears to be an example of that.  

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:15 PM

An extreme exaggeration that still addresses a real issue in Iran. Although there is no barb wire and missiles that divide genders in Iran there are cultural as well as structural barriers that keep men in the public sphere while women are kept in the private sphere. 

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Regional Geography!

SEALed and Delivered in Libya

SEALed and Delivered in Libya | Geography 200 Portfolio |
President Obama takes a big risk and scores a win for democracy -- and no one gives a damn.


President Obama pulled off a master stroke this week. He deployed U.S. military force in support of an infant democracy that desperately needs our help. The result was a resounding success, a vivid illustration of how the United States can put its unchallenged power to positive ends.

He did it, once again, by sending in the SEALs, the U.S. Navy's famous special forces. But this time they weren't double-tapping a terrorist. Instead they seized a mysterious tanker that had skipped out of Libya with a shipment of oil that one of the country's rogue militias was trying to sell on the open market. By doing it the SEALs foiled a potentially game-changing challenge to the authority of Libya's hard-pressed government -- one of the very few in the Arab world to have actually been elected by its own country's people.


The collective disinterest is appalling when you consider that the country we just helped is Libya. You remember, right -- the place where our ambassador was killed by terrorists two years ago?

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

This article is almost humorous because we talk about the American people not knowing what happens in their own country and it is quite true. The President sent the SEALS to Libya when if had to be approved by the American people the quest might not have ever happened, especially because there's such disinterest.

Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 10, 2014 3:06 PM

Thankfully no one was killed or wounded in this operation and while it may appear that no one took notice or cared, countries around the world were given notice; especially North Korea, that the U.S. can still project its interest effectively. Libya with its struggling democracy and infrastructure needs a strong ally to help ensure its growth into a strong and stable nation. Its neighbors, with their own instability would not mind a weakened Libya because it could mean that if Libya were to splinter into even weaker chunks, because then those pieces could be taken advantage of for their resources.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Regional Geography!

Viewfinder: Gaza's Tunnels

A World Report Viewfinder from inside the tunnels that connect blockaded Gaza to the outside world...

Why are tunnels from Egypt to Gaza forming?  How is Israel's policies a part of this phenomenon? 

Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's curator insight, October 22, 2013 12:09 AM

Amazing to see what people will do to survive.  They are doing this out of necessity.  Many goods they are smuggling are what I believe should be allowed in through normal means, food, water, medicine and anything needed for basic human needs.  I understand the blockade in stopping weapons and items of that nature, but stopping basic foodstuffs is just plain wrong.  The people are living and surviving by these tunnels and built an economy on them.  One thing that was really interesting was at the end when the man seemed he wanted the blockcade to go on or else it would close his tunnel and he would have to get "a real job."  The effects of this blockcade are on both ends of the spectrum, people want it to end so things can return to normal and others want it to go on to continue to make money.

Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 29, 2013 4:20 PM

What some media has led the "western world" to perceive is that many of the people living here would be trying to smuggle illegal goods such as bombs, drugs, etc.  Sure that may be true in some cases, but many times there are respectable citizens which simply need food or necessary items to sustain their lives.  Because of the tight security measures regarding people and goods, the people of Gaza simply try to find a way around the authorities, and the best current option is by tunnels.  Situations like this show that if people really need certain things, with some help and determination, they can achieve that goal.  In the end, hopefully it is for good more often than bad.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 12:09 PM

These tunnels give the Palestinians a way to access a world that has been politically blockaded from them. Connections that allow the sharing of goods are not something that should be avoided. Food and goods could be a way to make a pseudo peace and interdependence between both sides of a centuries old conflict.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Religious architecture of Islam

Religious architecture of Islam | Geography 200 Portfolio |
Read Religious architecture of Islam for travel tips, advice, news and articles from all around the world by Lonely Planet...


This is an excellent article that can be used in a thematic class for analyzing religion, the human landscape, the urban environment and cultural iconography.  For a regional geography class, this show great images from Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria and Israel/Palestine.  

Via Seth Dixon
andrew desrochers's curator insight, October 28, 2014 2:47 PM

These architectural designs in Israel show religious meanings, what other factors inspire architectural creativity? Who uses these different styles of creativity?

Lily and Cami's curator insight, November 5, 2014 5:18 PM

Israel Religion: I scooped this because the picture really stood out to me because the golden dome stands over the rock on Temple Mount. you also can see great images of Indonesia, Spain, Egypt, Syria, and Israel/Palestine. Not only are these sacred buildings but they are also big religious and tourist attractions.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:20 PM

Although all part of the same religion these buildings are influenced heavily by their location. I think this is important to note because it challenges our assumptions on Islam. When I think of a mosque a certain image pops into my head, these images shows how the same religion can still have local influences.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Freshwater Stores Shrank in Tigris-Euphrates Basin

Freshwater Stores Shrank in Tigris-Euphrates Basin | Geography 200 Portfolio |
An arid region grew even drier between 2003 and 2009 due to human consumption of water for drinking and agriculture.

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

What's happening in the Tigris-Euphrates Basin is similar to what is happening to the Aral Sea. Freshwater Stores Shrank in just 4 years. Humans are drastically altering the landscape and if we don't start to find others ways of doing things and change the way in which we do agriculture and use our water, there could be a serious water shortage for millions of people.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 9:14 AM

The use of water is an increasing problem in the arid regions of the world.  The use of more sophisticated irrigation systems allow for more planting which requires more water.  Coupled with increasing towns and cities needing fresh water for the inhabitants this decrease in fresh water will only continue to trend.

James Hobson's curator insight, October 22, 2014 6:24 PM

(Southwest Asia topic 2)

The area known as the Cradle of Humanity is becoming less hospitable. Though natural climate change can be attributed to the dryer conditions, humans have made just as much of an impact. Increased water usage leads to less reserve. Impacts stretch further, however. Less water flow below the dam can lead to changes in sedimentation patterns and disrupt wildlife habitats, potentially causing harm to wildlife.

Alex Vielman's curator insight, November 25, 2:09 PM

Similar to the Aral Sea,  the Tigris and Euphrates river basins have become drier and drier between 2003 and 2009. It is important to see all the aspects that have caused the rive to dry out and its do to there own people in this region. About 60 percent of the loss was attributed to the pumping of groundwater from underground reservoirs. Most of the problems are due to that about one-fifth of the water losses came from snowpack shrinking and soil drying up, partly in response to a 2007 drought. These could be some of the environmental issues but also there has been tremendous population increases in this region. This water is perfect drinking water for the people of South East Asia and the countries surrounding it but numbers are extremely high. 

It is important to analyze how us humans can change the geography of a certain area in such little time. 

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might think

World’s Muslim population more widespread than you might think | Geography 200 Portfolio |
There are about 1.6 billion Muslims, or 23% of the world's population, making Islam the second-largest religion.

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

This definitely puts things into perspective. Being from North American we don't really see Islam as being a world religion. However, after seeing this we can see that the whole other half of the world practices Islam so it must be pretty important!

Molly McComb's curator insight, March 21, 3:55 PM

Showing the distribution of Islam around the world. Outside of the middle east, Indonesia has the most Muslims. This religion is one of the fastest growing in the world. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 4:46 PM

This article was good to look at because the majority of people assume Muslims are only in the Middle East. There are 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. Two-thirds of the Muslim population live in the Asia-Pacific region than in the middle east. More Muslims actually live in India and Pakistan. Muslims make up the majority of the population in 49 countries around the world. Islam has become the world's second largest religious tradition after Christianity. I would love to know some reasons behind why certain Muslims live in other areas. 

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 4:33 PM

This interesting map/infographic shows where Muslims are concentrated around the world. What I found most interesting and a little bit counterintuitive was that the highest number of Muslims is found in the Asia- Pacific region rather than in Northern Africa or the Middle East. When you consider how large Indonesia's population is, however, and the fact that more than three-quarters of it identify as Muslim, it makes a bit more sense. What is really staggering is the fact that there are an estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, making nearly a quarter of the global population Muslim. 


What this map shows is the ability of religion to transcend political, economic, and cultural borders. Though Islam is a religion with its origins in the Middle East, it has grown and spread across the world to now have adherents on every continent. Of course, Islam is not the only major religion to have accomplished this feat, but it is particularly important to keep in mind considering the fear and criticism with which Islam has been met in recent years. People tend to think of Muslims as uniformly extremist advocates of violence who wage holy wars no matter the cost. This is, of course, untrue and characterizes the kind of dangerous stereotyping that occurs in regards to many different religions. While this map seeks to show numbers and percentages, it also shows that there are many, many more Muslims in the world than the extremists highlighted in the news and that Islam is not defined by these radicals. 

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

What the loss of Crimea really means for Ukraine

What the loss of Crimea really means for Ukraine | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"In symbolic terms, it's a huge loss. The Crimean Peninsula holds an important place in the region's history, and the inability to prevent the region from joining Russia is a serious test of leadership for the new Ukrainian government in Kiev.

In practical terms, however, what Crimea means for Ukraine is less clear. In an article last week, The Post's Will Englund noted that Crimea may end up costing Russia more than it might like. And what does Ukraine really lose?"

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 24, 2014 12:35 PM

We often view global affairs through our own little prism, considering how it affects us.  So much of the discussion has revolved around Russia and the West in general (and the U.S. specifically), that Ukraine almost gets lost in the shuffle.  All this amid news that the acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister has said that the possibility of war "is growing."

Tag: Ukraine, political, conflict, devolution.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Gambia president rejects English language

Gambia president rejects English language | Geography 200 Portfolio |
President's decision to shift official language from English to local language comes months after its decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

I think it's great that the President of Gambia wants to change the official language from English to the local language. The West African country announced it is withdrawing from the Commonwealth which is a group of 54 nations which made up largely of former British colonies, hence why these colonies speak English. If the people want aren't using English primarily and they're using another language, that is rooted to the culture of Gambia, then maybe it's time to consider having two official languages.

Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 29, 2014 1:14 AM

culturally it would be a good idea to switch the official language to a local language that way their langueages dont become dead languages but economically its not a good idea because Americas dominate language is English and it is also an economic power.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 3, 2014 1:25 PM

Gambia does not want the English language to be the official language that is spoken anymore.  Noting that it reflects the UK and they don't believe that they and the UK have much in common especially on the platform of human rights.  Cutting the English language as the official language continues to cut ties with the UK.  One of the problems with this is if there are multiple local languages spoken in Gambia which one are they going to choose as the official language.  With this more problems are presented, those that do not know the local language that is chosen to be official will have to learn the new language quickly if they want to have any idea as to what is going on in their own country.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 6:32 PM

The president’s reaction is more than understandable. His country is in the midst of trying to heal after de-colonization. His actions show he is trying to cut out the west altogether. It is an extreme move, but if done correctly it could give the country a chance to start over to develop their own culture again. I think having a more local language could have the potential to unite the country. However, given the many dialects spoken in a typical African country, I do wonder what language will actually be chosen. If anything, there might have to be a few official languages so as to keep the peace among the population. Furthermore, English will still need to be learned. As much as Gambia may resent the United States or the UK those countries are too dominant. As such, the nation will have to do business with them or one of the many other countries that speak English. When this happens, English will be the expected language and not an African dialect because Africa doesn’t have the power to really negotiate its terms. Therefore, I think all this will end up being is a symbolic stand as the world is far to interconnected for Gambia to truly cut off ties with the western world permanently.  


I can also see where the president is coming from in regards to the human right’s issues as well. I am in no way condoning the countries handling of domestic affairs. I think a firing squad is outdated to say the least. However, being talked down to by a country who egregiously violated the population without ever really making amends is insulting. Furthermore, being reliant on their money is probably insufferable. I would say the country might need the money, but given how aid is improperly implemented in most foreign countries I don’t even think cutting them off matters much. Still, one might think that after experiencing such social injustice the leader would be a little more compassionate to its people. 

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

A 250-mile show of support for Catalonia independence

A 250-mile show of support for Catalonia independence | Geography 200 Portfolio |
More than 1 million flag-draped and face-painted Catalans held hands and formed a 250-mile human chain across the northeastern Spanish region Wednesday in a demonstration of their desires for independence.

Via Seth Dixon
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:40 PM

While the early 20th century saw the rise of nationalism leading to the destruction of empires and birth of nations based upon culture not all cultures achieved this. An example of this today is in Catalonia within Spain. The people of Catalonia wish to separate themselves from the rest of Spain and become an individual free nation. Unfortunately for them Spain has no intentions of letting them go and few within the UN are siding against Spain.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 1:18 PM

There are a lot of unknown countries in the world, for instance Catalonia. A country that is independently located in Spain, Catalonia is one that is rarely heard of. With recent countries wanting to claim independence from their larger states, its looks like Catalonia wants a piece of the pie. Though coming to a place of self-governance is a mile stone, it also comes at a high sticker prize. They not only have to develop national recognition by other states in the world union, they have to be able to produce commodity that is able to compete on a global level. These countries wanting to claim independence have a long way to go.

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, May 7, 2:08 PM

Until pretty recently, I wasn't even aware of Catalonia, nevermind their hope for independence. I didn't know that they didn't consider themselves Spain, but another place entirely.  But, because they've been considered part of Spain for so long, it seems like independence from Spain could be hard to achieve. However, holding marches and things like this are a great way to get a movement going, as long as it doesn't become violent or any sort of serious public disturbance, because that never solves anything.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

No union, no pound, British official warns Scots backing independence

No union, no pound, British official warns Scots backing independence | Geography 200 Portfolio |
LONDON – Escalating the fight against secession, the British government warned Thursday that Scotland would lose the right to continue using the pound as its currency if voters there say yes to a historic referendum on independence this fall.


Osborne’s stark warning, delivered in a speech in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, represented a new willingness by unionists to take a hard line in persuading Scottish voters to shun independence in a September plebiscite. A thumbs-up would end Scotland’s 307-year-old marriage to England and Wales and cause the biggest political shakeup in the British Isles since Ireland split from the British crown nearly a century ago.


Sturgeon predicted that “what the Treasury says now in the heat of the campaign would be very different to what they say after a democratic vote for independence, when common sense would trump the campaign rhetoric.”

Via Seth Dixon
Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 15, 2014 3:34 PM

This is an intriguing strategic move by the UK as Scotland considers  independence.  Some have argued that this move will backfire and push more Scottish voters into the "yes" camp.  In related news, the BBC reports that EU officials say that an independent Scotland would have a hard time joining the European Union.  

Tags: devolutionpolitical, states, sovereignty, autonomy, Europe, unit 4 political, currency, economic.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:40 AM

The countries of Britain want their independence. Scotland uses the pound just like England and Wales but its being threatened that the government might take away that right to use that monetary system. 

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Protests, Self-Immolation Signs Of A Desperate Tibet : NPR

Chinese authorities have tightened security around Tibet after a series of demonstrations by Tibetans demanding more religious and political freedoms.


How are China's renewed efforts to control Tibet and the Monks protests geopolitically intertwined?  How does this impact the region? 

Via Seth Dixon
Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 9, 2013 1:39 PM

China has tightened their security around the Tibetan monestary and the monasteries seem to be emptying out. Monks have been setting themselves on fire in protest against Chinese repression. This is a sign of desperation from the monks.  

James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 2014 7:52 PM

(East Asia topic 5)

What I gather from this video is that China sees all political resistance as being specifically aimed at its own demise, but I believe this to be false. Rather, it seems in this sense that the country's judgment has gone blind in a power rage. Never will an entire country agree on everything (or even one thing for that matter). This resistance seems to stem from diversity and the desire to maintain it, and examining historical geography proves diversity to in fact be a desirable trait and major strength. Just as the famous 13-sectioned snake cartoon from the American colonies shows, success lies in diversity. "You can't have cities without farms to feed them." I mention phrases such as this because they show the yin-yang struggle for equality and balance for greater good, which  hopefully China (especially since it is an Oriental concept and symbol) will learn from and apply in its policies towards minority groups within its borders.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:47 PM

China's efforts to control an area that identifies itself as a separate entity from China has been met with some extreme examples of protests. Dozens have monks have committed suicide to protest China's forced control over Tibet. Although this is causing international support from the US and others it seems like China will not change its ways. Another thing to keep in mind is China's position in the UN. As a permanent member of the security council China has the right to veto an UN resolution that could address the issues in Tibet.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Manufactured Landscapes

This 90 minute documentary is an often painful look and the landscapes of manufacturing and the geography of resource extraction.  This video is VERY slow, so I don't recommend showing the whole video in class, but certain this video would be a good inclusion in a lesson (e.g.-Three Gorges Dam, e-waste or factory work).  This Zeitgeist Film by Jennifr Baichwal focuses primarily on Chinese manufacturing landscapes and the environmental impacts that technology produces that we would collectively like to pretend we can wish them away. 

Via Seth Dixon
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Mixing Past And Present In Papua New Guinea

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


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


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


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


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

Via Seth Dixon
Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 7:54 PM

It frustrates me sometimes when Europeans, and Westerners travel to an uncommon land and expect the inhabitant of the land to act in barbaric ways. With the tourist who visit the land of Papua New Guinea, they are often times expecting the natives to act in an uncivilized manner, such as being cannibalistic. Yet, the natives have made great stride to keep up with the ever changing world in which they are a part of. One of the concerns that the elders have with the upcoming generation is how long will it be before their native language vanishes completely. One thing I can appreciate about the native people of this land is their capability to cast tourist from entering or engaging with the natives while they are in their native clothing. 

Kendra King's curator insight, May 3, 1:40 AM

The title of this article seemed to be a little bit of a misnomer given how the geographic forces impact Papua New Guinea. Part of the population caters to the tourist desire to see the "exotic." However, this Papaua New Guinea is in the past. While the rest of the population lives in the present where the citizens live without the tourist dictating how they live.   


Given the impact of the forces, the split makes figuring out which Papa New Guinea is actually the most "authentic" is tricky. There are elements of Papa New Guinea in each place. The perfect way to obtain authenticity is blending them as the title suggest, but that is not that case. Under the circumstances, I think the village in which tourist are not present are the most "authentic." It is because of the tourist that the past village exits and while some members of the population like that this helps preserve their past culture, Papa New Guinea has clearly started to move on.  It reminds me of the Plymouth plantation field trips in which the tourist view america during the times of the pilgrims. Clearly, America has moved on, but continues to honor their roots. Due to this idea of moving on, I think the other village that shows the present is more authentic because it is a closer measure of what the village realistically acts like without interference from the outside world.  

While, I realize Papa New Guinea is more than the past, a fair amount of the world doesn't. As a few tourist mentioned, they were eager to hear about cannibalism despite the practice stopping years ago. Yet, from an outsiders perspective, they don't see this other Papa New Guinea and because the country plays into this idea of a village stuck in the past, it gives the world the wrong impression. As such, I wonder how how much catering to the rest of the world holds Papa New Guinea back economically. Being perceived as less developed won't generate lenders and living up to that expectation curbs other modern economic sectors. So it seems the overall affect might actually be more detrimental then helpful from an economic stance.   

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 12:38 PM

I believe these indigenous people found a way to survive.  They were smart!  Globalization and tourism were gonna happen with or without them.  Now they found away to keep on existing.  Authentic?  How do they live their lives now, thats authentic.  The past history is just that, the past.  Its a commodity because they've found a way to exploit their culture to benefit them.  

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Regional Geography!

Saudi Arabia Takes on the Muslim Brotherhood

Saudi Arabia Takes on the Muslim Brotherhood | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"On March 7, Saudi Arabia took the extraordinary step of declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization, on par with Hezbollah and al Qaeda.  The move came just two days after the kingdom, together with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, withdrew its ambassador from Qatar because of Qatar’s alleged support of Brotherhood interference in internal politics. Although Saudi Arabia’s dislike of Brotherhood political activities abroad is well known, for decades the kingdom has tolerated (and sometimes even worked with) the local Saudi branch of the Brotherhood. Its sudden reversal is an expression of solidarity with its politically vulnerable allies in the region and a warning to Sunni Islamists within its borders to tread carefully."

Via Seth Dixon
Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 10, 2014 2:24 PM

It would make sense that Saudi Arabia would be concerned over the Muslim Brotherhood gaining traction in Egypt, considering the military actions Egypt is taking in the Sinai against the Brotherhood. If  the Muslim Brotherhood were to gain a foothold in that region, they would only have to hop over the Gulf of Aqaba to infiltrate Saudi Arabia; who has had an interesting relationship with them in the past. Just because there is no land border between the two countries does not mean that waterways can not be exploited.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Regional Geography!

Belarus Wants Out

Belarus Wants Out | Geography 200 Portfolio |
Belarus signed up early to join the Eurasian Union, but has started hedging its bets since Russia's annexation of Crimea -- and understandably so. According to Putin’s reasoning for seizing Crimea, Belarus could be the next target.


There is a bitter irony at the heart of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annexation of Crimea. Putin’s short-term victory is already coming at the expense of his most cherished long-term strategy -- the creation of a Eurasian Union, a trade union linking Russia and its closest neighbors. In other words, as the invasion expands Russian territory, it will diminish Russian influence in the very places he’d like to increase it. One need only look to Belarus, which is already beginning to hedge against its alliance with Moscow, to see why.

Via Seth Dixon
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Religion, Gender and Public Space

These three issues are deeply interconnected in many parts of the world and in this news report from Israel, ultra-Orthodox from the town of Beit Shemesh are seeking to enforce their vision of a religiously appropriated gendered partition of space.  This particular news clip has caused a firestorm, and the Israeli PM has publicly states that gender segregation will not be tolerated.   


On Monday, as the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported, "about 300 ultra-Orthodox men attacked police officers, hurling stones at the officers after they removed a sign ordering women not to walk past a synagogue in Beit Shemesh."  Obviously they are not indicative of all Jews, but this raises many questions.  Why do we see a rise in of religious extremism (a loaded word, but I'll listen to alternatives) in this era of globalization?  Why is equality in where and how people can act in public such an important political freedom?  Why is there such strong cultural reactions to diverse gender norms in public?      

Rishi Suresh's curator insight, January 16, 2014 12:45 PM

Khanh Fleshman's insight: This relates to Key Issue #1 because it shows the intricate web of cutlure in religion and how different aspects of the country or adherent is affected or affects the religion.


Graham Shroyer's insight: This relates to this section because it talks about religions affecting behaviors. This also relates to the book "Half the sky" and the obstacle of gender inequality.


Vinay Penmetsa: This relates to the section by talking about religion, and gender inequality, and how many people do not want women to go against their cultural and religious beliefs.


Zahida Ashroff's Insight: This relates to Key Issue #1 because it talks about how religion affects the behaviors of people as they go about practicing their religions. Their particular religions influence their political beliefs and other parts of their daily lives.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Slideshare: Middle east flags

 Looking for an easy online method of sharing and using powerpoint presentations?  Slideshare is made just for that.  Here is one I made of Middle Eastern flags a while back, showing the cultural patterns and similarities among the flags.  Students are quick to note that the Israeli flag sticks out and "doesn't fit in well visually."  

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

This goes to show how a flag is supposed to represent the people who live in their country. And the flag of Israel really does stick out like a sore thumb. We have the crescent moon, the typical Arabic colors of green, red, black, and white, and the blue and white really doesn't have much to do with the history of the people who live in Israel, only the new Jewish community who live there, but not the Palestinians. 

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 24, 2013 9:51 PM

These flags have a lot in common: I know at least from my own background that green is the color of Islam (in fact, I studied a Newsweek cover about the new "Green Scare" comparing Green/Islam to Red/Communism in the minds of Americans). Each flag is also beautifully geometric, keeping in line with the  inheritance of Islamic art. Of course the US Coalition would design such an ignorant flag for Iraq- we basically thought it was ours in 2004. Quick in, quick out, everyone wins. As we know today that is not the case....

Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 29, 2013 4:11 PM

Many of these countries share similar backgrounds and cultures, as well as flags which is seen above.  The color patterns show red, black,  white, and green on almost every flag except Israel's which is blue and white.  It shows that most of the countries within the region are all linked somehow whether it be through language, identity, or other reasons, though there is still room for conflict and change as time passes.  After looking at flags from other countries such as Iraq and Iran, the graphics on them change, sometimes reflecting government changes.  It is sometimes difficult to remember and notice so many flags, yet some of these flags have changed within the last 2 to 3 decades to accompany the change of government.

Lona Pradeep Parad's curator insight, May 29, 2014 11:36 AM

Representation of middle eastern flags,

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports

In historic shift, Saudis to allow some girls' sports | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"Private girls' schools are now allowed to hold sports activities in accordance with the rules of Shariah, or Islamic law. Students must adhere to 'decent dress' codes and Saudi women teachers will be given priority in supervising the activities, according to the Education Ministry's requirements.  The decision makes sports once again a stage for the push to improve women's rights, nearly a year after two Saudi female athletes made an unprecedented appearance at the Olympics."  This news comes at a time when Saudi Arabia has allowed women to ride bikes (sort of).


Tags: Saudi Arabia, culture, gender, religion, Middle East.

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

This is a push in the struggle for women's rights in Saudi Arabian. For the first time girls will be allowed to play sports in private schools. The ultraconservative kingdom still requires that the girls were descent and  decent dress and and Saudi women teachers are going to have priority in supervising the activities.

Lena Minassian's curator insight, March 22, 4:24 PM

I was happy to see an article like this. It's about time that these women are being given equal opportunities. Although they have a long way to go this is a step in the right direction. Saudi Arabian girls are being allowed to have sport related activities within their private schools. This did surprise me a little just because Saudi women's rights are very limited but this is a simple improvement just to the general health and well being of these girls. Two females competed in the last years summer Olympics representing Saudi Arabia and their efforts were not shown on Saudi TV. These women competing has opened a few doors to allowing more than just men to engage in these activities. Usually sports were only for the elite women who could afford gym memberships or attend well known colleges. Even though women cannot compete internationally or sign up for clubs or leagues this is a step in the right direction.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 4:47 PM

This is an interesting article about slowly allowing women in Saudi Arabia to participate in sports. While playing soccer or swimming or running may not seem so important to us in the West, it is a big deal for Saudi women. Saudi Arabia has some of the strictest laws in the Middle East regarding women's rights, and so even a very partial and gradual allowance for women to engage in sports is a big step. It shows perhaps a slight softening of adherence to Shariah law, which would hopefully eventually allow women more freedom in the realms of education and work, as well as in everyday life. 


Too often are people quick to judge and characterize other cultures or religions by the most extreme examples. While it is true that laws in Saudi Arabia are extremely restrictive to women, progress such as this, though small, may well act as a stepping stone for increased freedoms for women. People outside of Saudi Arabia and Islamic culture must realize that this kind of progress does happen and is, in fact, happening right now. To simply dismiss Saudi culture as misogynistic and oppressive is to write the whole culture off. While progress is slow and less than ideal, we should look to Saudi Arabia's Islamic neighbors and see that many of them are not so oppressive to women. Allowing Saudi women to participate in sports, therefore, may be setting up the country to increase women's rights and join its relatively more liberal neighbors. This is certainly a sign of positive change, and one that should not be ignored. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 23, 6:28 AM

I was quite shocked to hear of this story. There is no denying, that this is a step forward for the women of Saudi Arabia. However, women are far from free in this country. The activates still have to be in accordance with Islamic Law. The strict dress code also remains in effect for the girls. The Sports themselves, must be overseen by women teachers. I would not call this initiative the Saudi equivalent of title nine, but it is a step forward. Every little inroad, is a step towards more equality. The government of Saudi Arabia appears to be at least slightly altering its view of women. Hopefully this will be the first step in movement to gain Saudi women more rights. In generations to come, hopefully Saudi women will look back on this development as the start of a cultural revolution in Saudi Arabia.     

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

How was the AIDS epidemic reversed?

How was the AIDS epidemic reversed? | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"The breakthrough came in 1996, when a new class of antiretroviral drug called protease inhibitors was launched. These were used in combination with two older drugs that worked in different ways. The combination meant that evolving resistance required the simultaneous appearance of several beneficial (from the virus’s point of view) mutations—which is improbable.  With a viable treatment available, political action became more realistic. AIDS had been a “political” disease from the beginning, because a lot of the early victims were middle-class gay Americans, a group already politically active. Activists were split between those who favoured treating people already infected and those who wanted to stop new infections. The latter were more concerned to preach the message of safe sex and make condoms widely available, so that people could practise what was preached. Gradually, however, activists on both sides realised that the drugs, by almost abolishing the virus from a sufferer’s body, also render him unlikely to pass it on. They are, in other words, a dual-use technology."

Via Seth Dixon
Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 3:22 PM

As the article states, the AIDS virus was not known to the science community during the diseases' first years of emergance, but thanks to science, research was put on the forefront to stop AIDS. Unfortunately, the Disease is still incurable, but as the author says, some cases of the virus disappearing from the sufferers' body, it gives hope that a cure may be found someday. The AIDs virus will always be a hot topic and is referred to as the "Political" disease and must pose a threat to rich people in order for the pharmaceutical companies to develop cures.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:52 AM

This article discusses the recent treatments and their success in treating AIDs. For many years AIDs spread rapidly across Africa and even today it still spreads, luckily two things have begun to slow down it's advance. Both the increase in the use of contraception such as condoms which protect against AIDs as well as the production of antibiotics  made available to many at risk of AIDs. This shows that with decent government backing it is possible to stem outbreaks such as this.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, March 28, 3:13 PM

In the late 1990s, it is estimated that 15 million of people had died because of AIDS in Africa. As all social classes were  affected by the virus, even political figures, many international organizations and private businesses were integrated into research treatment. However, the main obstacle in combating this disease is that there is not enough money to fund the necessary treatment for people in many African countries. Although, many organizations have embarked on campaigns regarding how to prevent this dreadful disease from spreading further and these efforts have proved successful in the past decade.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

West Africa: Slavery in the Chocolate Industry

Although slavery is no longer legal there are still millions of people living in slavery today. One place and industry where slaves still exist is the cocoa ...


The world's leading producer of cocoa is Côte d'Ivoire and dirty secret is that slavery is commonplace on cocoa plantations in West Africa.    Children are smuggled from countries such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso and then are placed on remote, isolated plantations.  While statistics are all guesstimates, this video is purporting that 35% of the world's chocolate is produced by slave labor (I've seen higher estimates).  What factors lead to this horrific condition?  How is this a geographic issue?    

Via Seth Dixon
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 12:38 AM

Its both sad and horrific to think that chocolate, such a pleasure and luxury item in the west comes as such a high cost. It's so sad that so many people are oppressed and used in situations such as this just so those living in places of plenty can enjoy resources like chocolate. Unfortunately it seems for the few to benefit many more have to suffer and endure hardships.  

John Nieuwendyk's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:03 PM

I was not aware that slavery is still not unusual in cocoa plantation in West Africa. It sickens me because nations all around the world consume chocolate produced under slave labor. 

AnthonyAcosta/NoahMata's curator insight, April 8, 1:36 PM



Chocolate is a very known thing in first world countries and is not known for what is needed to make it. So in Africa they smuggle children from various places in Africa and force them to labor for cocoa beans and work on plantations. Many young children near there   Teen ages are taken and put through labor for most of there young lives.

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."

Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

It's interesting to see years after colonialism and imperialism there the nations it colonized are still having contact with their 'mother country'. For example the countries of Angola and Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau gained independence in the 1970's and they still trade with Portugal and are dependent on one an other to an extent, and language definitely has something to do with it.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 10:46 PM

This map is a simple but powerful one. Africa is the continent that contains the most nations (53), yet it uses only six languages for business. Not surprisingly, all of the languages (with the exception of Arabic) are European in origin. Clearly, the effects of colonialism are still felt around the world in former colonies. The languages that were forced upon various African countries by their colonizers have endured and become the main languages of business in their respective countries. What is just as unfortunate as the roots of colonialism holding fast, if not more so, is the absence of any indigenous languages being used as the language of business in any of the countries of Africa. While using a business language that is spoken by much of the world is surely a matter of practicality and logistics, it is still robbing African countries of their heritage and culture to some degree.


This brings up the issue of globalization and how it is constantly at odds with the preservation of culture and tradition. In order for Africa (or any continent or region or country) to function in the modern world, it must be capable of conducting business in a language that is spoken by its business partners. The ability to do business with virtually any person, company, or country in the world is an obviously invaluable one. At the same time, however, it allows for the subtle and gradual erasure of unique culture and traditions. So while it would be ideal for cultural preservation for countries to conduct business in their indigenous languages, it seems to be a necessary evil for smaller and less influential countries to adopt the languages of their more powerful and influential business partners if they wish to survive in today's world. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 29, 4:24 PM

The lingering effects of colonialism, so strongly relevant in every aspect of African ways of life, are perhaps most evident in the "lingua franca" of African nations today. With a multitude of different ethnicities and languages in use in every African nation today, the result of the arbitrarily drawn national borders made by European colonizers, necessitates the use of the one language that's commonly spoken across every independent nation- a European tongue. This system, while a necessity in today's world, is a solution that no one is quite happy with. It reminds Africans of all ages of the power still held by their colonizers over their everyday lives, a stark reminder of the horrors of the previous century at every business meeting and every exchange of goods. This harms the national psyche of each nation, as well as undermining the importance and pride Africans deservedly maintain in their own native languages. European-made borders, however, make it difficult to find another, native language that every ethnic group can agree upon. As a result, the European languages are still in use in Africa, and will most likely still be in use for some time to come. It's a system that no one likes but, for the time being, everyone must accept as reality.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 7:26 AM

This map is a great resource in showing the diversity of language in Africa. Of course, this map discounts the many native African languages. It instead focuses on the language of business in the continent. That language, has been influence by the European colonization of Africa. The chosen language of business is often tied to the colonizer of the region. The diversity of language in Africa is staggering to say the least.  

Rescooped by Amy Marques from Geography Education!

9 questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask

9 questions about Ukraine you were too embarrassed to ask | Geography 200 Portfolio |

Watch a video that explains Ukraine's crisis in two minutes or read this quick article that covers the same material.  


Ukrainians have been protesting since Nov. 21, when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a deal for closer integration with the European Union, instead drawing the country closer to Russia. They are still in the streets in huge numbers and have seized regional government buildings in several parts of the country. In Kiev, the capital, clashes between protesters and security forces have become violent, killing several people. On Tuesday, the prime minister resigned. No one is quite sure what will happen next.


Via Seth Dixon
Amy Marques's insight:

This two minute video perfectly explains where there is such a crisis in Ukraine. The country is literally divided. The people in areas closest to Russia speak Russian, and the farther west the less people are speaking Russian. It makes sense why the people who are Pro-Russian speak Russian and were most likely displaced during the years of the USSR and Soviet Russia.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 15, 2014 5:50 PM

This article does a good job of explaining some of the many aspects of the current crisis in the Ukraine. While the media has been covering this conflict it has done little to provide background information on the Ukraine and precisely why Russia has invaded. This article goes into enough detail to flesh out the conflict without becoming in accessible to the average reader.

Alyssa Dorr's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:58 PM

Ukrainians have been protesting since Nov. 21, when President Viktor Yanukovych rejected a deal for closer integration with the European Union, instead drawing the country closer to Russia. They are still in the streets in huge numbers and have seized regional government buildings in several parts of the country. In the capital, clashes between protesters and security forces have become violent, killing several people. Recently, the prime minister resigned. No one is quite sure what will happen next. What's happening in Ukraine is really important, but it can also be confusing and difficult to follow for outsiders who don't know the history that led up to. Here are some basic questions that have basic answers for people who are still confused. What is Ukraine? Why are so many people protesting? How did Ukraine get so divided? What role does Russia play and why do they care so much? Why haven't the United States or Europe helped? But most important, the question we all want to know the answer to is what is going to happen next?

Rachel Phillips's curator insight, May 7, 3:01 PM

Such a helpful article, especially for people like me who don't like to look like an idiot.  This was so informative in a way that condensed the big issue into one short article that covered every aspect and made it easy to understand.  I knew there was something going on in Ukraine but didn't really know what it was, so this was awesome.  However, this is a real issue that people need to be aware of, especially when thinking, "well why doesn't the west just step in?" because that seems to be what we do everywhere else.  However, I think we've pretty much proven that stepping in can sometimes do more harm than good.  And honestly, it is not our problem to solve.