Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
Curated by Seth Dixon
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Pacific nation Tuvalu has grown by 73 hectares over 40 years

Pacific nation Tuvalu has grown by 73 hectares over 40 years | Geography Education |

"The tiny Pacific nation of Tuvalu – once thought to be under threat from rising sea levels – has grown the size of California's Disneyland over the past 40 years. It's mostly thanks to waves dumping extra sediment, sand and gravel on shore lines, according to research by Auckland University scientists. The study, published in the Nature Communications journal on Friday, was the first in-depth look at how much each of Tuvalu's 101 islands have changed over the decades."


Tags: Oceaniawatercoastal, environment, physical, geomorphology, erosiongeology, landforms.

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Is Zealandia the eighth continent?

"A group of geologists say they've enough evidence to confirm the existence of a new continent. Writing in the journal of the Geological Society of America, the group named the eighth continent 'Zealandia.' Scientists argue for an 8th continent, Zealandia, in the Geological Society of America."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What makes a continent a continent? There is no set definition of a continent. Some consider cultural groupings and would consider Europe as a separate continent from Asia as a consequence. Geologists consider continental shelves as the defining characteristics of a continent and thus consider Eurasia to be just one continent. We are so accustomed to seeing the coastlines, but if the ocean were drained, we'd see Zealandia and it's ancient confidential shelf--but don't expect all the continental maps in elementary schools to change anytime soon.


Questions to Ponder: Does human geography or physical geography determine what you consider a continent?  How come?       


Tags: physical, tectonics, geologyregions, Oceania.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 13, 2017 3:59 PM
unit 1
David Stiger's curator insight, December 7, 2018 2:16 PM
With 94% of Zealandia lying under water, most average people around the world will not care if National Geographic prints maps with an eighth continent. As cynical as that may be, geography should not be settled by human emotions and cultural expectations. Geography is a discipline that aims for understanding and precision. If continents are to be decided by continental shelves, rather than human cultural and ethnic patterns, then Eurasia is a continent and so is Zealandia. This latter outlook of focusing on physical geography is far more neutral and scientific. I would argue that is also more 'progressive'. Humans originate from one place (Africa) and are all one species. We have far more similarities than differences. Orienting our worldview to see that cultural geography is not the final arbiter of truth would ultimately bring people together. The logic follows that by acknowledging Zealandia, there is precedent for greater accuracy based on science, allowing geographers to teach about Eurasia. This is significant because it would alter the perception that Asians and Europeans are extremely distinct and separate groups due to a distorted notion that they lived on separate continents. The truth is that both groups existed on the same continent and were often brought into contact with each other throughout history. This idea, however, would further shatter the notion of a "pure, homogeneous Europe." Europe is only a "continent" because white Europeans were the first to possess the right combination of "guns, germs, and steel" to conquer other societies and elevate their own group's cultural status. Despite nature's evidence, Europeans awarded themselves an entire continent. In reality, Europe is a large peninsula of Asia. Just as Zealandia is an eighth continent sleeping underneath the waves. 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 9:45 PM
This is interesting to think about. What decides what separates continents, is it geological barriers, is it culture, is it ethnic origin, or maybe even plate tectonics? Either way you look at it New Zealand makes a great case for why they could become to be considered the eighth continent. I could argue either way, to keep it simple and go by culture and geological commonalities (Oceania Islands) I would prefer it does not form its own continent. These geologist would argue otherwise.
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Climate Comparison Maps

Climate Comparison Maps | Geography Education |

"Triton1982 makes maps by comparing each of the city's highest and lowest average temperatures against the Koppen classification system."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many maps are shared on Reddit, and this series of maps help make some far off places easier to relate to.  I think these cross-regional comparisons can also help students also see that countries can have a great degree of internal variety.  


Tags: Australia, Oceania, mapping, visualization 

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 4, 2018 3:23 AM
This is an interesting map that compares Australia's climate to that of other regions. By doing this, the artist clearly explains how vast Australia's climate truly is. Because of its size, it is possible to think that Australia would not have such a diverse climate. However, its regions are comparable to deserts, the tropics, and temperate zones.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 9:30 PM
I found this very interesting. I always imagined Australia as a temperate cost with a vast dessert/prairie interior that was generally inhospitable. Though the interior part is true I learned that the coastal areas vary greatly in climate. This allows for a much more varied ecosystem in Australia than I ever imagined. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 16, 2018 1:39 AM
This map makes it easier to understand the climate that is inside Australia. It is cool how every part of the country has its own unique climate. It also shows just how big Australia is and how crazy their climate can be. 
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Poles of Inaccessibility

Poles of Inaccessibility | Geography Education |
Geography nuts have located the hardest place to get to on every continent and beyond.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The middle of nowhere...this is a common expression that is used to convey isolation, backwardness, wilderness, or a lack of network connections.  This article focuses on 8 places that are the farthest away from coasts as well as land (known as 'Poles of Inaccessibility').  The point on the map above is Point Nemo, right in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean; it is the farthest place on Earth from land and is one of the best candidates for the world champion title of "the middle of nowehere."  What is it close to?  Nothing. 


Tagsplace, distance, site, Oceania.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 24, 2018 5:49 PM
The places in this article really gives a whole new meaning to “the middle of nowhere.”  People often say they want to settle in the middle of nowhere to be alone, but this article points out that no one actually lives at these exact points, and few people live nearby.  This shows that in order to have a successful settlement, people need to have access to both land and water.  Without being able to get to both, temperatures become incredibly unbearable, resources are sparse, and access to the rest of the world is very difficult.  It is interesting that the part of the earth that is the farthest away from land, Point Nemo, happens to be in Oceania.  Oceania is so sparsely populated compared to the other regions of the world, so the fact that the point farthest away from land is located in this region helps to explain this.  The closest land to Point Nemo are small islands that are also very isolated.  Oceania itself is also generally isolated, since most land is far from the continents, except Australia because it is a continent.  The isolation of all these islands means it is difficult to live in these areas, which was probably far worse before globalization brought trade.  The people living on the islands of Oceania would have to rely solely on what was on their islands.  I am not a person who enjoys isolation very much, so I have no plans to visit these locations any time soon.
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The Most Aussie Interview Ever

"The 2 Aussie legends that prevented a fast food shop robbery get interviewed!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

While this is hardly common in Australia, and most people don't speak this way, it only makes sense if you know Australian culture well.  There are so many jokes, phrases, and words that don't make sense if you don't understand the cultural context.  Just to help you start to make sense of this: busted pluggers = broken flip-flops.   


TagsAustralia, language, placeculture, Oceania.

Leonardo Wild's curator insight, March 8, 2016 7:27 PM

While this is hardly common in Australia, and most people don't speak this way, it only makes sense if you know Australian culture well.  There are so many jokes, phrases, and words that don't make sense if you don't understand the cultural context.  Just to help you start to make sense of this: busted pluggers = broken flip-flops.   


Tags: Australia, language, place, culture, Oceania.

Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 23, 2018 6:09 PM
This is of course English being spoken, but not the English most Americans can fully understand. Every place develops their own unique words and phrases to introduce to the language being spoken. Language is an integral part to forming a cultural identity. By putting their own spin on the English language, this video shows how language is a gateway to cultural identity. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 10:24 PM
If you're from the United States you probably barely understand what the guests on this news show are saying, but you can tell it is a form of English. Much like anywhere else, each place has their own sayings and dialects. In this interview, the newscasters are laughing hysterically about how "Australian" the two guests are speaking.  It is similar to hearing a Rhode Islander with an extra or a misplaced "R", it is easily noticeable.
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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.

brielle blais's curator insight, April 26, 2018 4:45 PM
This post shows how climate change is currently impacting small island nations such as the Marshall Islands. Pacific Sea waters are rising and driving families out of their homes. It is changing the entire physical geography of the land. It is also changing the political climate between different nations as the battle over climate control continues and countries react in different ways to ideas and suggestions, or even laws stating nations like the United States would have to pay money to help those other countries being flooded. 
David Stiger's curator insight, December 7, 2018 4:00 PM
Catastrophic property destruction from sea level rising is (at this point in time) inevitable. A number of Islands that serve as homes for hundreds of thousands of people will be devastated and most likely destroyed. These spots will become uninhabitable and dangerous. The Marshall Islands is just one area that will suffer this fate. Trying to save the islands is a moot point. What is now needed is a discussion about ethics and fiscal responsibility. Industrialized and developed nations led the way in destroying parts of the planet and should be held accountable. To become wealthy, these affluent nations collectively sacrificed the world's fragile environment. With this understanding, people of the Marshall Islands should be given a new home and compensation for their losses. Fortunately, the United States has a deal with the Marshall Islands to allow people to immigrate to the U.S. While this is a good start, these people will require job training, education, homes, transportation, and funds to rebuild their lives. Instead of spending massive amounts of tax dollars on military and defense budgets, Congress needs to reassess its values and priorities. By committing to ethical and noble leadership, the U.S. will have more international prestige and leverage to build defense coalitions and negotiate through diplomatic means. An immense single-nation military-industrial complex will be less relevant. By reducing military spending, this country can address problems like the sinking Marshall Islands and our nation's energy needs. How would it look if the U.S. became a true champion of justice and a despotic nation like China attacked the U.S.? The world would be outraged. The U.N. would condemn the aggressor. Alliances could step forward, allowing America to step back as the world police officer which no one ever asked us to be.  
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 10, 2018 4:03 AM
Islands are already at a disadvantage of losing land for a few reasons. First the fact that the older the island gets the more corroding that takes place under the sea. Another reason is they are in the middle of no where so relocation is not easy, costly and not many countries these days are willing to take people in. The Marshall islands like I am sure many other islands are facing in recent years is global warming causing sea levels to rise. So know they have another reason to worry about losing lands. The global warming that takes place on earth never effects the contributors, it almost always effects the little guys who cannot doing anything to fight back. They just get to watch there homes be destroyed because of big time nations. More attention needs to be brought to the subject of global warming and everything and one who is negatively effected by it. What if we were in there shoes, we surely would change our ways then.
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Designs That Might Be New Zealand's Next Flag

Designs That Might Be New Zealand's Next Flag | Geography Education |
It’s not everyday that a nation chooses a new flag by its own volition, with the support of the voters, without any drastic regime changes. New Zealand is doing exactly that. With the Flag Consideration Project, the Kiwis are trying on a new look.

Tags: Flags, New Zealand.

Seth Dixon's insight:

What is in a flag?  A flag is intended to represent a people and government while portraying a common heritage and a sense on timelessness.  This may seem like a small decision, but symbols can be incredibly potent political and cultural forces; New Zealand better get this right.     

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, December 3, 2015 1:20 PM

New Zealand faces a major decision. A countries flag is its main symbol of independence and sovereignty. The flag stands as the universal symbol of the nation. It binds people together based on a common ideal and heritage. The country of New Zealand is holding a design contest in order to choose the next flag of their nation. The entire situation is an unusual occurrence in the world. Countries generally only change their flags after there has been some revolutionary upheaval in the country. New Zealand lacks any of revolutionary upheaval. The country is changing its flag, because there is a general feeling that the flag is not New Zealand enough. Their current flag looks to much like the Australian flag. New Zealand is seeking a flag that will give them a proper distinction on the world stage. I wish them luck with their desire for change.

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Papua New Guinea

"Papua New Guinea gained independence from Australia in 1975 and has over 800 languages;  87% of the population lives in rural areas." 

Tags: Papua New Guinea, Oceania.

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is a part of World Vision Australia's school resources.  These resources for Papua New Guinea focus on health and human well-being.   

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 7, 2015 7:49 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon's page, some of the stats are mind boggling and they are actually portrayed as being good. For example, while 87% of the population is rural, 58% are literate. I figured the literacy numbers would be rather poor in a country where the entire population lives in rural areas, but I didn't think that 58% literacy would be something worth bragging about. Maybe except in North Korea.

Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 5:55 PM
Papua New Guinea is a very unique country, it has an extremely diverse population and speaks more languages than any other country in the world. There are over 800 languages spoken in Papua New Guinea. This country is very interesting, they became independent from Australia in 1975 and have been slow to urbanize. Many of the countries villages are so un-urbanized that they can only be reached on foot, and many of the hundreds of languages that are spoken are only spoken on one of the villages that does not connect with another village. The country also struggles with clean drinking water and bathroom facilities. There is malnutrition across the country, but despite the difficulties the country faces they are improving their education and becoming a better country. 
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 4, 2018 3:37 AM
This video let’s us see into the world of Papua New Guinea. Even though it is Australia’s neighbor, the video focuses on the poverty and inequality that plagued the nation. PNG has extremely low life expectancies, birth and literacy rates. The country has over 800 languages and cultures that are all significantly different. Nearly half of the girls have not been educated, and some people experience extreme poverty without access to clean water and plumbing.
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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.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 5:15 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 15, 2015 3:07 AM

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. 

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 26, 2018 1:51 AM
(Oceania) This short video explores Kiribati, a small group of islands between Australia and Hawaii. At the highest point, the land is 10 feet above the water, posing a major problem with raising sea levels. Due to climate change, half the population was already forced to migrate. Many islands face the same problem, and in the next few decades much more land will probably be underwater.
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First photographs emerge of new Pacific island off Tonga

First photographs emerge of new Pacific island off Tonga | Geography Education |

The first photographs have emerged of a newly formed volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean after three men climbed to the peak of the land mass off the coast of Tonga. Experts believe a volcano exploded underwater and then expanded until an island formed. The island is expected to erode back into the ocean in a matter of months.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Additionally, here are two islands off the coast of Japan that 'kissed' after a volcanic eruption caused them to coalesce into one island

Tags: physicalimages, volcano.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 8, 2015 2:34 AM

I just find this fascinating.  History is excellent to study but so is the watching history in the making.  This volcanic island formation off the coast of Tonga is a modern day phenomenon which will one day be history.  Some people predict it will erode back into the water but some others think it will be able to last longer.  Either way stuff like this is pretty cool to watch and study while it is happening before your very own eyes.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 15, 2015 4:20 AM

This is pretty cool that a new island is being formed, due to a volcano that erupted under water. I am sure there are many more in other places, but it is a new opportunity for life, development and travel. Although since it is new, obviously now would not be a good time because you do not want a volcano erupting on people, that would not be an ideal situation. Although, I hope to one day be able to travel to this new island to check it out. 

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 6:48 PM
(Oceania) It's not often we get to see the formation of a new island, but in a historical geological perspective they occur rather frequently, especially in the Pacific. The island was formed off the coast of the sovereign Polynesian state of Tonga from underwater volcanic activity in 2015 and is less than a square mile. However, some islands like this are temporary and will be eroded by the ocean. Already, the island has developed an ecosystem consisting of birds from the neighboring chain of islands, and when eroded, could provide a home for shallow water fish.
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Volcanic Landscape Change

Volcanic Landscape Change | Geography Education |

"Mount Tavurvur, on Papua New Guinea's New Britain Island, erupted on August 29, 2014, throwing ash (gray-brown areas of September image) over surrounding areas. Its last major eruption was in 1994. Tavurvur is a stratovolcano, a volcano consisting of alternating layers of lava and ash, and is located along the eastern edge of the Rabaul Volcanic Complex. Simpson Harbor forms part of the much larger (mostly submerged) Rabaul Caldera."

Tags: disastersremote sensing, Oceania, Papua New Guinea, physical.

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 23, 2015 2:16 AM

There may not be may words on this article but a picture can speak a thousands words as I've seen when looking at these pictures. The climate changing is not only affecting the way people live but it is also affecting the structure of the world's atmosphere such as the melting glacier in Peru called Qori Kalis. The ice and glacier has retreated so much that the ice has melted and created a small lake right in the middle where the huge glacier used to stand. What is going to happen to the work if these type of disasters keep occurring? What other types of physical changes will occur? Any type of change in the land can affect how people live, how they find shelter and any other aspect of living.  These type of physical changes are not only happening far from the United States but also in the United States such as California. It is important to look at these 302 photos because it really put life into perspective, showing how something can easily change over time.

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Aerial Photographs Catalogue the Life and Death of Volcanic Islands

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


Tags: Oceania, physical, geomorphology, landforms.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 2, 2015 8:30 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon, pretty cool story on the formation of islands in the south Pacific. A couple of them look like the island visible from the beach in Rincon, Puerto Rico where I stayed. The island is one giant rock so nobody lives there and it's a naval base for the U.S. military. This, however, is a different situation when you realize that not only do people live here, but kind of a lot of people live here.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 15, 2015 2:00 AM

What causes the death and the caldera in a volcano? One thing that happens in a deceased volcano is the center of the volcano starts to either erode or the inside finally caves in. Once this happen a caldera takes shape and the ocean starts to take over. As the waves eat away at the shores it will eventually create a island that is shaped like a "U". After this happens that island will someday retreat back into the ocean and someday form a barrier reef.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 15, 2015 3:52 AM

Based on general knowledge, I know that the taller a volcano is, the younger it is and the shorter it is, the older it is. The reason they start to get short is from erosion. Hot spots in the Earth's crust make small islands from molten rock. Young islands can be very dangerous, because if they are inhabited, they have the possibility of erupting, whereas an old island does not since the volcano is lnactice and eroding. Over time the inactive volcano will crumble and a caldera will take shape and after even more time, that caldera will slip under the ocean and become a reef. 

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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at:

Seth Dixon's insight:

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


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

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, Australia, Oceania.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 15, 2015 4:06 AM
Island Biogeography is the theoretical explanations as to why species occurs, it also studies the species composition and species richness on an island.. it is not specific to land masses around water. Isolation gives species a strong place in their environment. The fact that new species and things show up are amazing, but sometimes new species are not properly adapted because there is no other general force against them and they do not ever learn to defend themselves.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 10, 2018 3:50 AM
Island life is very diverse as compared to continental life. The shifting plates pulling lands apart and pushing lands together contributed a lot to the diversity we see on islands. Even though Australia is a huge continent it is just as diverse as the smallest island. Islands are so unique with there biogeography because isolation + time = divergence (specialized niches). Species have time to adapt to there habitat with little completion. The divergence of islands is also what makes them so fragile because there is nothing like it anywhere else on earth. If something goes extinct on an Island it is gone for good.
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 16, 2018 1:47 AM
It is amazing to see how remote islands can create such unique creatures and wildlife animals. The more you see these animals the more you want to go and learn about how they formed and how they became to be one of those unique animals. 
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A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard

A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard | Geography Education |
Henderson Island is isolated and uninhabited—but its beaches are still covered in garbage.  


Henderson Island (article or podcast) is about the most remote place you can visit without leaving the planet. It sits squarely in the middle of the South Pacific, 3,500 miles from New Zealand in one direction and another 3,500 miles from South America in the other.  Henderson should be pristine. It is uninhabited. Tourists don’t go there. There’s no one around to drop any litter. The whole place was declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations in 1988. The nearest settlement is 71 miles away, and has just 40 people on it. And yet, seafaring plastic has turned it into yet another of humanity’s scrapheaps.


Tags: pollutionOceaniawater, environmentsustainability, consumption.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 26, 2018 6:49 PM
If I had looked at this picture without the context, I would think it was somewhere where people had stayed for a while and then left the place trashed with their own garbage.  In reality,  this is an island that is 3500 miles away from the nearest major settlement and doesn’t have any human inhabitants.  This really exemplifies that even though plastic waste may not be in one’s backyard, it never truly goes away.  Plastic is a material that cannot be broken down, so when it is dumped it just moves around until it hits land.  The article pointed out that plastic is incredibly difficult to clean up, particularly on places like Henderson Island.  When it floats in the ocean for a long time, it becomes brittle and breaks into very small fragments.  Those small fragments then mix with the sand and get buried, making it impossible to get rid of.  Another fact about this island that was shocking is that 3,750 pieces of litter wash up everyday, which is 100,000 times than other islands.  Henderson Island is not suitable for humans to live on, as there is no freshwater, frequent storms, and incredibly sharp terrain.  It is interesting that an island that keeps humans away can’t defend itself against plastic.  The reach of humans extends far beyond what they imagine and even uninhabitable land is infested with human waste.  No matter how remote a place is, it will still be effected by people.
David Stiger's curator insight, December 5, 2018 5:08 PM
Although a remote place like Henderson Island is uninhabited, the amount of trash that blankets its shores should still be alarming to humans. It is highly visual evidence of the damage that human waste is having on the earth as a whole. If this much trash if landing on the shores of an island, which is surely degrading the environmental quality and ecosystem, then how much trash lies underneath the waves of our blue planet? This means that coral reefs, the source of fish, and ocean water that transforms into water vapor forming clouds is all contaminated. If something ends up in the oceans, it will eventually end up in our food chain. The marred beaches of Henderson Island illustrate what is happening to nature's cycles. 

While human behavior is the driving force, we can also discern that another main culprit is a global culture of plastic. Humans use way too much plastic and its constant disposal is creating a toxic environment in which people live. It is not enough to say this is a tragic situation and forget about it. It is also not enough to examine one's own life and decide to reduce their personal plastic consumption. No, this is a systemic problem that runs deep in our modern societies. This requires mass political action. The photos and morbid stories serve as devices to inform people and have them feel something. It is up to people to demand policies and laws from both governments and corporations to change our ways. As the article stated, a cleanup of the island (and other islands) will be futile. The only thing to do is to mitigate the worst effects by cutting the problem at its source - the production of plastic. And, it has to be done on a global scale. 

Shifting away from plastic to a more environmentally friendly material will be difficult but not impossible. In this case, if there is a will there is a way. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 16, 2018 1:36 AM
It is sickening to see how a uninhabited island can still be ruined by human products. People need to realize that they are hurting more and more islands and need to open their eyes. With people so far away we can still effect ecosystems terribly. 
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The World's Newest (Official) Ocean

The World's Newest (Official) Ocean | Geography Education |

"The Southern Ocean extends from the coast of Antarctica north to 60 degrees south latitude. The Southern Ocean is now the fourth largest of the world's five oceans (after the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, and Indian Ocean, but larger than the Arctic Ocean). The International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has  declared, named, and demarcated the Southern Ocean as a fifth, separate ocean."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Typically we define oceans and seas based on their borders with land as their most important characteristics.  Also, we rarely look at the bottom of the globe as the center of our global perspective.  Those are a few of the reasons why American students usually have never heard of the Southern Ocean, but Australian students see it as one of the world's main oceans.  


TagsOceaniaAntarctica, water, environment, physical.

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 24, 2018 5:22 PM
This is slightly embarrassing to admit, but I have never heard of the Southern Ocean.  I think it is because, as mentioned in class the other day, we do not talk about the Southern Hemisphere very often.  When looking a globe this entire ocean is on the bottom and pretty much out of sight.  I thought that it was interesting that the creation of this ocean was created within my lifetime because all of the rest of the world’s oceans are well documented throughout history.  Even though the water in the Southern Ocean has been there just as long as the other oceans, it hadn’t been designated as an ocean.  I think another reason that I haven’t heard much about the Southern Ocean is because it doesn’t really have any direct impacts on Americans.  All of our trade routes avoid this area of the world, we don’t have any landclaims within the ocean, and very few Americans have actually gone to Anarctica.  This article also talks about the boundaries and the conflict regarding how far north the boundaries of the ocean would be.  Most members of the IHO supported the boundary being at 60 degrees.  However, 7 countries pushed to have the boundary set at 50 degrees.  The reason most countries supported the 60 degree boundary is because it doesn’t add any land outside of Anarctica to the ocean.  Although this article doesn’t state which countries wanted the boundary at 50 degrees, I am guessing its countries with land very far south, like Argentina, Chile, Australia, and maybe South Africa.  This would allow them control over the Southern Ocean that they can’t get with the current boundaries.  It is interesting that it took until 2002 for the point to be raised that the Southern Ocean is district enough from the other oceans, that it should be considered a separate ocean.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 4:25 PM
(Oceania) Geography experts now claim the waters around Antarctica will join the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic as the fifth ocean. Almost every member of the International Hydrographic Organization declared the existence of the South Ocean, which extends to 60° S latitude and is double the size of the United States. While it might seem trivial, the Southern Ocean has the most powerful water current, a different circulation, and a unique ecosystem, marking it separate from other bodies of water.
K Rome's curator insight, October 7, 2018 12:30 AM
The Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Artic as an American student growing up those were the Oceans that I grew up learning about. So to see an article talking about the Southern Ocean comes as kind of a surprise. We learn as young American students about "Atlantic trade" or our West Coast with "Pacific Trade" we as young students learn about the mysterious Indian Ocean and the unattainable Artic Ocean,  but for some reason the Southern Ocean has been left out. The Southern Ocean as the article explains is the 5th and newest Ocean. Ocean scientist thought it was necessary to name the the body of water south of the Pacific but north of the Artic. While it might not seem that important to some it is key to identify with areas. When we discuss Atlantic trade for the most part in the United States we know we are discussing trade with the Europeans or on our East Coast. When discussing Pacific trade we understand that to be West Coast and probably dealing with China or other Asian countries. As an Australian resident or student they grow up learning about this key body of water to them. They can use it to identity where they are and where they are going. We can also use the body of water to discuss different weather pattern and effects on the countries in Oceania region of the world. An interesting read if  you want to learn more about our forgotten 5th Ocean. 
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Ecotourism in Australia

Ecotourism in Australia | Geography Education |

"Ecotourism strives to protect the native cultures and environments of destinations while entertaining and informing tourists of all ages. For many years people within the tourism industry have debated what destinations and practices truly qualify as ecotourism without reaching a definitive consensus."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Ecotourism is an important aspect of Australia’s success. The Australian Government produced a website, that is dedicated to the tourism and ecotourism industry.  There is a debate of land claims between the Australian Government and indigenous people. The cultural difference plays a significant role in the success of ecotourism because tourists enjoy the cultural heritage. The separation has created social, political, and economic reasons to be involved or not in ecotourism. The Australian Government has developed certificates and policies to allow aborigines rights of their land.


Tags: biogeography, environmentindigenous, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

ROCAFORT's curator insight, July 10, 2016 7:46 AM
Ecotourism in Australia
Sally Egan's curator insight, July 19, 2016 2:08 AM
The trend for Ecotourism is presented in this article with questions raised about what practises fulfil the requirements of truly ecotourism. Appropriate to the future directions of Tourism as a global economic activity.
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The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally

The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally | Geography Education |

"This year, we’ve seen alarming bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, caused by warm sea temperatures. A recently completed aerial survey of the reef found that 93 percent of the smaller reefs that comprise it showed at least some bleaching, and in the northern sector of the reef, the large majority of reefs saw bleaching that was severe — meaning many of these corals could die.  There was already considerable murmuring that this event, which damages a famous World Heritage site and could deal a blow to a highly valuable tourism industry, did not simply happen by chance. And now, a near real-time analysis by a group of Australian climate and coral reef researchers has affirmed that the extremely warm March sea temperatures in the Coral Sea, which are responsible for the event, were hardly natural."


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, Australia, Oceania.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: An infographic from NOAA answering the question, What is coral bleaching?

Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 4, 2018 3:30 AM
As the temperature of the sea rises, the great barrier reef has seen some devastating bleaching. Because of its severity, many of these corals, that were once beautiful and pigmented, could die. Researchers have discovered that this rise in temperature is due to humans.
K Rome's curator insight, October 7, 2018 12:30 AM
The Great barrier Reef is ana amazing area to explore. Its truly a marvel and a beautiful site. It is also a major boost for tourism and well the majorty of the Reef is seeing heavy bleaching. The updated analysis is that most of the damage has done done by higher sea temps caused by climate change through human beings. Most of these studies however, have not been peer reviewed, but the study was very through. If this continues to happen we will see one of the worlds great marvels continue to to bleach and many of the corals could die.  This is devasting for a few reasons first off people that want to visit this beautiful site and take it in this limits there opportunity. Also for the locals this will greatly hurt the tourism business. Tourism is a huge ecnomic boost in this area and if the Reef continues to be damaged we could see a major turn in the economics in this area. This could eventually lead to the upright in migration from this area and could cause other issues within the country. People owning businesses in the area could be greatly affected as well. This would be a shame to see a beautiful area be tarnished.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 10:30 PM
A terrible occurrence in many ways for the Great Barrier reef in Australia. This bleaching is occurring because of warm sea temperatures. The damage could cause many corals to die and that forces other animals to adapt and migrate. This is an environmental issue that definitely needs to be looked at, but it is also an issue for Australia's tourism. Ecotourism is a huge pull for Australia that gets people and money into the country so it is in their best interests to figure out a way to save the Great Barrier Reef.
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Lessons from New Zealand’s disappointing (and now complete) flag referendum

Lessons from New Zealand’s disappointing (and now complete) flag referendum | Geography Education |
New Zealanders finally completed voting in their flag referendum, but the results may be disappointing. PRI's vexillology expert looks at what's right — and mostly what's wrong — about this proposal.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Vexillogist: someone nerdy enough about flags to know that vexillogy is the study of flags.  As national symbols, they matter and changing a national icon is no small matter.  


Tags: Flags, New Zealand. 

Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 26, 2018 7:07 PM
It’s very rare to have a country change their flag today, especially in a peaceful manner.  It seems pretty difficult to pinpoint what you want the symbol of a country to be and have it fit on a rectangle.  I think the craziest part of this whole process that New Zealand went through, is that they spent millions of dollars, held multiple elections, and designed a bunch of new flags only to have the majority of people vote to keep their old flag.  As a person who doesn’t think about flags too often, there is a lot more to analyze on flags than just how nice they look.  Flags are a symbol of nationality that is unique only to one country.  It represents all the people living in a country and is supposed to capture the essence of an entire nation.  I don’t know too much about New Zealand, but their current flag only conveys their British heritage.  They had the chance to incorporate aspects of the fern, kiwis, and even select the colors they felt best represented their country.  However, they decided to keep the flag they already had.  I can’t tell if this is because the new flag designs were unsatisfactory or if people are resistant to such a dramatic change.  Personally, I see an American flag everyday, so I can imagine how strange it would be to have something new take place a symbol one has always known.  Luckily, Scotland did not vote to leave the U.K. so New Zealand avoided being forced to change their flag.  But this serves as an example of how much meaning is actually behind a flag.
David Stiger's curator insight, December 8, 2018 6:57 AM
A flag is more than a colorful piece of cloth. It is a symbol and indicator of identity. The fundamental purpose and values of the nation are represented by the national flag. The flag's design is important in this regard. A flag is important enough to be special and distinct. Unfortunately, New Zealand's flag looks awfully a lot like Australia's banner. Many people around the world have confused the two flags together. The similarities are due to the New Zealand and Australia's shared history of British colonialism. Secondly, the current flag's shrunken Union Jack symbol denotes British authority when New Zealand is an independent sovereign nation. Lastly, the flag is very British causing it to exclude the native people and other ethnic groups in New Zealand. New Zealand's flag is a controversial remnant of European colonialism - something that does not align with the values of an independent nation with its own unique sense of identity. 

Despite New Zealand's need for a new flag design, the process was botched up and the new flag designs did not pass muster. This was probably due in part to the lack of design experts and flag experts, who are known as vexillologists. While the submission process was quite open and inclusive, the panel managing the show did not have the know-how. As the designer writing this piece mentions, the flag submissions had too many designs and looked busy. Flags need to be clear because they are visual messages. Japan, China, Chile, Germany, and Nigeria all have excellent simple designs. New Zealand's alternative flag design probably lost because it looked ugly and unclear. How can an ugly flag represent a beautiful nation? 

There was another flaw in the selection process as well. The first draft of ideas became the final submissions. This seems improper as collective idea making and sharing takes a lot of time and discernment. 

New Zealand, in an effort to break away from its colonial legacy, needs to come up with a new flag. This potential banner needs to be striking, simple in design yet complex in meaning. It needs to be something that today's New Zealand can be proud of. Calling it quits is no way to get there. 
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 10:37 PM
Flags are usually important to the people of a nation. They are symbols of national pride and are not usually taken lightly. When New Zealand's Government wanted to change the flag to more closely represent them as a country today and not who they gained independence from. One issue though is that while there was a panel to create the replacement flags it included one vexillologist and no professional designers at all.  You need people who understand what will work if you want to change something so drastically. 
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New Zealand panel unveils four alternate flag options, to a largely negative reaction.

New Zealand panel unveils four alternate flag options, to a largely negative reaction. | Geography Education |
Kiwis aren't showing their enthusiasm toward the final four alternate flags they'll be allowed to choose between. We analyze the results.
Seth Dixon's insight:

What is in a flag?  A flag is intended to represent a people and government while portraying a common heritage and a sense on timelessness.  This may seem like a small decision, but symbols can be incredibly potent political and cultural forces; New Zealand better get this right.

Tags: Flags, New Zealand.

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 19, 2015 9:03 AM

To be honest I feel as though the changing of the new Zealand flag has more to do with outside opinion than their own. Two of the main reasons they wished to change their flag was to first be differentiated from Australia and two please the native population. Unfortunately when you have a long time it is very difficult to change because people identify with it. I personally think they should keep the old flag for they make their identity and culture not the flag. Also if they must choose it should be the second from the left since it looks the closest to the old flag keeping traditionalists happy while adding new elements. Plus the swirl one to be honest looks pretty bad.

Richard Aitchison's curator insight, April 11, 2018 3:16 PM
We might think a flag choice is not that important. However, think about it for one second. Think of the feeling you get when you see a certian flag or a certain symbol. If your a Red Sox fan and see a Yankees symbol think of what that means to you or if your a Red Sox fan and your in a foreign area and see a Red Sox hat and that feeling that you get knowing someone is like you in that area. Symbols are important and how we feel about these symbols are important. New Zealand was looking to unviel a new flag and much of the reaction was negative. Most thought they were uncreative and unorginal and overall just not a fan of the final four choices. I thought a good quote from the article was " This reeks of design by committee. Get enough people in a room and soon something that is good to average is now not." I agree we try to get together to "make everyone happy" and well we end up making no one happy. This is a cruical decsion for these people to vote on and they should be proud of their new symbol of their country.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, December 15, 2018 4:42 AM
A flag is intended to represent a people and a government while also portraying a common heritage and a sense of timelessness. The symbols on the flags can be incredibly potent politically and culturally, which the Kiwi's aren't enthusiastic about.The four flags below are the final four flags they can choose from.
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The Great Barrier Reef

"Australia urged the UN's World Heritage Committee to keep the Great Barrier Reef off the 'in danger' list to protect their tourism industry. But that doesn't mean the ecological treasure is not in danger."

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, Australia, Oceania.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of the most beautiful things in the world can be the most susceptible to sweeping environmental transformations.

Chris Costa's curator insight, December 1, 2015 9:27 PM

I have enjoyed the emphasis on the human aspect of geography in this course, and how geography impacts us. However, as much as the world influences us, we do have a substantial amount of influence on the composition of the planet, oftentimes for the worse. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the greatest wonders of the world, home to some of the most spectacular sights one can see; as someone who has been scuba diving a handful of times, I can only imagine what it must be like to explore such a world below the surface, seeing all the life that surrounds me. I would love to be able to at some point in my life, but there is a great probability that I might never get the opportunity, as the reef is dying- fast. 50% of the reef has been lost over the past 3 decades, and while Australia has pledged to reserve over a billion dollars to fund conservation efforts, it might be a case of too little, too late. Man-made climate change as a whole is taking a toll on one of nature's greatest treasures, and it might be out of the hands of the Australian damage to reverse the damage that has already been done. I would love to have the opportunity to see this one day, and I hope I get to, but I don't know if I ever will if current rates of reef loss continue. Here's to hoping humanity gets it act together and tries to save the geography we often take for granted; we won't like the ugly landscapes that will follow if we don't.

Matt Manish's curator insight, May 3, 2018 6:03 AM
The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is certainly considered to be a natural wonder. But according to this video, 50% of the reef has been lost within the last three decades. This is very discouraging news, not only is the Great Barrier Reef the largest living organism on Earth, but it is also home to many other species as well. So in result to much of the reef dying, it also takes a heavy toll on the ecosystem as a whole, since much of it depends on the reef for survival. Hopefully there will be a positive impact on this Australian treasure with the 1.5 billion dollars the Australian government plans to spend to conserve the reef over the next few years and the consequences of pollution can be reversed.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 4, 2018 3:42 AM
The Great Barrier Reef is in danger. Even though it is not listed this way, nearly half of the reef has died, and the rest is in serious trouble if conservation is not underway. According to the video, Australia has invested over 1 billion dollars to saving its beloved coral reef. What was once filled with beautiful colors has been blanched. The loss of the reef would be devastating and could greatly impact the sea life as well as Australian tourism.
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U.S. Territories

A set of Supreme Court decisions made over 100 years ago has left U.S. territories without meaningful representation. That’s weird, right?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Disclaimer: this does come from HBO and the content might not be right for your classroom, but in classic John Oliver style he points out the political inequities that exist for those living in Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa. 

Tags: Puerto Rico, Oceania, political.  

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 13, 2015 3:57 AM

This was amazing! I love him! I  am embarrassed to admit that i had no idea about any of this. I did not know that those territories were part of my country. This populations complete commitment to serving our country without any of the benefits is jaw dropping. We should be completely ashamed of our selves. I am honestly completely surprised that even in today's day in age this hasn't been fixed. Everything about this is unconstitutional. How this case loses in a court is beyond me. One of the things that stood out to me the most was the fact that 67% of Guam shows up to vote in though their votes dont count and yet only 61% of all of the US does...that embarrassing. We have clearly taken for granted our freedom to vote.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, December 3, 2015 1:50 PM

The plight of our territories is a smudge on our nations character. The most controversial of these issues is Puerto Ricos status as a territory of the United States. Puerto Ricans are United States citizens by law, yet they have no representation in their government. They can not vote in presidential elections, have no real representation in the congress except their non voting delegate, and they have no representation in the electoral college.  Something must be done, to rectify this situation. A possible solution may be to pass a 23rd amendment for Puerto Rico. The 23rd Amendment provides residents of the nations capital the right to vote, and representation in the electoral college. DC is given a number of electoral votes equivalent to the least populous state. That number is 3 electoral votes. The amendment does not provide DC  with representation in the Congress. This Amendment has been controversial since the time of its ratification in 1961. Congress later repealed the amendment with a new DC voting rights amendment  that gave DC representation in Congress. The new Amendment failed to garner enough support amongst the states for ratification. To me the 23rd Amendment solution is the best possible compromise. It gives Puerto Rico representation, while persevering the rights and sanctity of the states.

Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 10:13 PM
John Oliver always does a great job discussing important topics such as this the rights of people in U.S. territories. People who live on the island territories are  U.S. citizens but have no real representation. Each gets one representative in the house who has no voting power and the people are not allowed to vote for president or have a senator. From the land of freedom, this is a terrible injustice. If these people are U.S. citizens than they deserve the rights of the constitution. 
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Countries in multiple hemispheres

Countries in multiple hemispheres | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

The equator is a great circle that bisects the Earth into equal halves commonly referred to as the Northern and Southern hemispheres.  The map above shows a few of the countries that straddle the Eastern and Western hemispheres as defined by two important lines, the Prime Meridian and the 180th Meridian.  Now, only ONE COUNTRY is in all four hemispheres as defined by these great circles...any guesses before searching? 

ACTIVITY: A fellow geographer shared with me that he had a map from an old atlas showing latitudes as is typically presented but the lines of longitudes along the top and the bottom were based on two different systems. Greenwich was becoming the standard at the time it was printed, but this U.S.-published map also references longitude from Washington D.C. as the Prime Meridian.   So a fun classroom exercise would be to count multiple-hemisphere countries with DC set to 0 degrees. This can be repeated for any other city or landmark.

SPECIAL TRIVIA BONUS: That previous trivia fact is about as geo-nerdy as knowing what 2 countries in the world are double landlocked.  

Tags: fun, trivia.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:12 PM

This articles starts off describing the two meridians that divide the eastern and western hemispheres, the prime meridian and the 180th meridian. The prime meridian is the line of longitude where longitude is equal to zero. Countries east of the prime meridian are considered in the eastern hemisphere, while all countries west are located in the western hemisphere.

                Eight countries intersect in-between both of these hemispheres, there are the United Kingdom, in Europe France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, and Togo.

                The 180th meridian is opposite the prime, and countries to the west of the 180th are in the eastern hemisphere.

                This is an interesting thing to examine because these locations are not set in stone. The tectonic plates that hold these countries will always be shifting in different directions. So in 20 years from now I wonder is the number 8 will increase or decrease?

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 8, 2015 2:21 AM

Pretty neat information contained on this page.  Kiribati is the only country in the world located in all four hemispheres.  That is a place that I would love to visit.  There are not many countries that can say they are even a part of two hemispheres, let alone four.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, December 4, 2015 2:27 PM

Being in multiple hemispheres at the same time is fascinating. The UK is mostly in the western hemisphere. Except, a little sliver is actually located in the eastern hemisphere. France is the opposite. The majority of the country is located in the eastern hemisphere, but a small minority is actually in the western hemisphere. This division is possible, do to the advent of the Prime Meridian. It seems to me, that the equator gets all the publicity in Geography. The Prime Meridian is the distain step cousin that everyone avoids. Looking at the world through the lens of the prime meridian is actually much more interesting. These more scientific distinctions of East and West, hardly jive with the more accepted cultural distinctions. France is a western nation, yet it is mostly in the Eastern section of the globe. The gap between science and culture, is often drastic.

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Dozens Of Countries Take In More Immigrants Per Capita Than The U.S.

Dozens Of Countries Take In More Immigrants Per Capita Than The U.S. | Geography Education |

"If you think the United States is every immigrant's dream, reconsider. Sure, in absolute numbers, the U.S. is home to the most foreign-born people — 45.7 million in 2013. But relatively, it's upper-mid-pack as an immigrant nation. It ranks 65th worldwide in terms of percentage of population that is foreign-born, according to the U.N. report 'Trends in International Migrant Stock.'  Whether tax havens and worker-hungry Gulf states, refugee sanctuaries or diverse, thriving economies, a host of nations are more immigrant-dense than the famed American melting pot.  Immigrants make up more than a fourth (27.7 percent) of the land Down Under; two other settler nations, New Zealand and Canada, weigh in with 25.1 and 20.7 percent foreign-born, respectively. That's compared to 14.3 percent in the United States." 

Tags: migration, population, USAAustraliaOceania.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 5:16 PM

the us is not the choice nation of nations. it is not the most sought nation for migrants. that means we must be doing something right or wrong.

David Stiger's curator insight, December 5, 2018 4:25 PM
Facts put major cultural issues into perspective. The facts found in this NPR article indicate that much of the world - and not just the United States - is grappling with immigration issues. Although the U.S. has the largest foreign-born population in raw numbers, it does not make up as large a percentage as the overall population as some other nations. Compared to the U.S.'s immigrant population of 14.3%, Australia's foreign-born subgroup makes up 27.7% while New Zealand's hit 25.1%. That is over one-fourth of the entire population in each country. 

Australia and New Zealand are ideal as they are both relatively safe, stable, progressive, and economically developed nations that have room to grow. 

The issue, especially for Australia, is taking in high numbers of unskilled workers who can be difficult to integrate into the economy. The U.S., mainly from the right, has also complained about this trend. Many migrant workers, however, are filling low-wage, unskilled jobs that non-immigrant workers shun and have no desire for. Considering that immigrants who fill these jobs earn their keep, pay taxes, and stimulate the economy by spending their money outweighs the potential economic burden. The truth of the matter is that natives in Australia and the United States are more fearful of the cultural, social, ethnic, religious, and linguistic changes that often take place when outside groups settle within a new country. This diversity can surely enrich a society. It can also stress out traditionalists, fearful of change, and cause social unrest and animosity. The important thing for Americans to understand is that we are not the only country wrestling with a globalized world in which people transcend boundaries, diversity is on the rise, and change happens. Just look to Oceania. 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 9:34 PM
With some countries having as many as 25% of people being foreighn born I wonder how much of this diversity could cause social upheaval. As we learned in class sometimes cultural differences can cause major issues in a country, and often times without a major culture tying every one together the country will inevitably split up or have civil strife similar to what we see in parts of Europe from mass migration.  I wonder what effect migration will have in places like Australia 5-10 years from now. Especially if the cultures these immigrants come from are drastically different then Australian culture. 
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What Happens When a Hurricane Meets a Volcano?

What Happens When a Hurricane Meets a Volcano? | Geography Education |
When Iselle crosses the Big Island of Hawaii, it will offer a rare glimpse at a clash of the titans

Tags: disastersOceania, physicalweather and climate.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, May 5, 2015 3:42 AM

It seems as though the volcanos have more of an affect on hurricanes than vise versa.  It is interesting to watch these two natural forces come together and play off of each other in their natural state.

Louis Mazza's curator insight, May 6, 2015 3:28 PM


 What happens when a hurricane meets a volcano? Well according to Victoria Jaggard of when Hurrican Iselle crosses the big island volcano of Hawaii it will show us a clash of the titans. The scientists do not believe that the hurricane will cause eruption because previous storms and numerous amounts of rainfall has not affected the lava. I assume it will just evaporate when touching lava. Although gasses and particles could make phases of the hurricane more intense.

                This is interesting to see if a change in geography does really occurs when these 2 natural forces meet eachother. 

Lena Minassian's curator insight, May 7, 2015 5:20 PM

This was very interesting because I did not realize that a hurricane can clash with a volcano. Hurricane Iselle traveled across Hawaii and clashes with the Kilauea volcano. Hurricanes rarely happen in Hawaii and this is why this was unexpected. Gases and particles from the volcano will make the hurricane worse and more intense. Heavy rain will occur but the volcanic activity may only add more lightening than anything. 

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Highly concentrated population distribution

Highly concentrated population distribution | Geography Education |

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

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

Tags: AustraliaOceania, population, density.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 2018 9:13 PM
This distribution of Australia's population should come to no surprise to people who have a vague idea of the continent's geography. The coastal areas are by far preferable to the desert areas of the continent's interior. A good example of how geography impacts population density and where people decide to live.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 10, 2018 3:20 AM
The population of Australia is highly concentrated at the coast. Only about two percent of the population lives in the yellow shaded area on the image present in the article. The reason for the middle of Australia being so lightly populated is because the harsh climates. Where most people do not live the climate resembles the Sahara desert, which is very dry, and lacks rainfall. While the coastal areas where most of the population is concentrated resembles climates like Brazil, California, and India. These climates that most people live are not as harsh on the human and better for agriculture, cattle and port cities are known to be economically more powerful and populated. Since they access to the sea is so imperative these days.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 9:38 PM
The area often referred to as the "Outback" of Australia is one of the most sparsely populated areas on the planet. Due to the harsh environment and lack of resources not many people live their at all with the exceptions being some scientist, anthropologist, and native aboriginal tribes. This environment to many   seems like a horrible, desolate place. Hence why it was a great setting for Mad Max to help Illustrate the gravity and desperateness of the situation. To people that know the land better there is a lot there and a vast array of species only found in the Outback.