Geography Education
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Jackalopes Return to Yellowstone Ecosystem

Jackalopes Return to Yellowstone Ecosystem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
After a 93 year hiatus, the elusive Jackalope has returned to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem! These beautiful, yet frightening, creatures were once widely collected by tourists, but better management practices have allowed a re-introduced pack to thrive again. These guys have been sporadically spotted all around the west, including Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, and New Mexico. Idaho allowed a “shoot on sight” policy for jackalopes, so they have not been seen there in quite a while.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Long live the Jackalope!!  May the majestic creature once again flourish in the West. 

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, fun.

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The Dakota Access Pipeline Map

The Dakota Access Pipeline Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Thousands of Native Americans and their allies have gathered on unceded Sioux land delimited by the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie to try and stand in the way of the “black snake” that could poison the Standing Rock Reservation’s water supply. Many have noted that the pipeline corridor was repositioned from its original route north of Bismarck after white citizens spoke up against the threat a spill would pose to their drinking water ― a threat duly recognized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Yet the Corps failed its federal mandate for meaningful consultation with the Standing Rock Tribe before signing off on a route that moved the pipeline to their doorstep."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Maps can tell truths, and maps can be used to obscure other truths. Creating a map, choosing what data to include (and exclude) is an inherently political act.  Maps have the power to convey geographic perspectives that might otherwise be muted.

 

Tags: industryconflict, economic, energy, resources, environmentindigenous, ecology.

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Liz Caughlin's curator insight, November 4, 2016 12:03 PM
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Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying.

Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In Madagascar, the booming charcoal business is contributing to deforestation and may exacerbate the effects of global warming.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Deforestation does not happen in a vacuum--it occurs in an economic, political, and historical context.  Rural Africans have less access to high value commodities and converting forests into charcoal is one of the few options (similar to the issue in Haiti).  The short-term economic gain for a few individuals leads to long-term environmental problems such as soil erosion, flooding, and habitat destruction for many species.  

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, poverty, development, economic, labor, Madagascar, erosionAfrica, resourcespolitical ecology.

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Launceston College Geography's curator insight, June 13, 2017 9:51 PM

Deforestation drivers

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 9, 2017 9:41 AM
If we know that furthering education and economic opportunities will help alleviate the problems present here, why aren't we as a planet seeing that they are implemented? 
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 10:23 PM
Charcoal has become the unlikely hero of the informal economy of Africa. This is a positive for the economy. However, this is not a positive for the environment. Deforestation has become a large issue since the boom of more people using charcoal. This will speed up the issue of climate change. This post shows the negative and positives a product can have involving geography.
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Where our food came from

Where our food came from | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Explore the geographic origins of our food crops – where they were initially domesticated and evolved over time – and discover how important these 'primary regions of diversity' are to our current diets and agricultural production areas."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an incredibly rich website with great interactive maps, dynamic charts, and text with rich citations.  This is one of those resources that an entire class could use as a starting point to create 30+ distinct project.  This is definitely one of the most important and best resources that I've shared recently, one that I'm going to use in my class.  Where did a particular crop originally come from?  Where is it produced today?   How do these historic and current agricultural geographies change local diets and economies around the world?  All these issues can be explored with this interactive that includes, but goes beyond the Columbian Exchange

 

Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness, agriculture, APHG, unit 5 agriculture, globalizationbiogeography, ecology, diffusion.

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Sally Egan's curator insight, June 16, 2016 6:43 PM

Great interactive map to illustrate the source regions of the world and foods that originated there. Hover over each region and the foods of that area popup.


Rory McPherson's curator insight, July 3, 2016 5:39 PM

Very informative! It's great to learn where our food comes from. The author is able to communicate this information through simple but effective maps and visualizations.

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The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally

The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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?

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Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 2, 5:40 PM
This is an unfortunate example of the impacts of climate change. As water temperatures rise and massive amounts of carbon dioxide and other pollutants acidify our oceans, we will continue to see amazing biological wonders like the Great Barrier Reef become sick and die. This will have very real effects for human populations, too: if this trend of bleaching continues, Australia's ecotourism industry will suffer as people stop coming to visit, hurting the economy. It will also hurt people's livelihoods because as fish and other forms of marine life disappear from the reef, fishermen will no longer find it profitable to try to make their living from the reef.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 1:32 PM
(Oceania) As expected, the warm sea temperature that is killing the Great Barrier Reef is man-made. A new all-time high recorded warmth in the Coral Sea is due to climate change. In fact, scientists found that in simulations, the bleaching of the coral reefs is 175 times more likely under climate change and is only 0.1% likely in a natural climate. However, a strong El Nino in March 2016 also played a part in the destruction of worldwide reefs, in addition to sea temperatures rising dramatically.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 3, 10:30 PM
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.
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It's official: a global mass extinction is under way

It's official: a global mass extinction is under way | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tagsphysical, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 28, 2016 7:03 PM

Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns and Trends; Interrelationships;

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Galapagos Islands and Biodiversity

Galapagos Islands and Biodiversity | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Radiolab wraps 2015 with a series of special episodes.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Galapagos Islands (as are most islands) filled with remarkably distinct species from the mainland--one of the key reasons that the island were so instrumental in shaping Charles Darwin's thinking about evolution.  This environmental Radiolab podcast is mainly about the Galapagos wildlife and it's conservation and covers many important biogeographic concepts (with time in the episode): 

  • Traveling to the Galapagos (5:25)
  • Who will fight to protect the environment? (10:00)
  • Tortoises and their role in habitats (13:30)
  • Invasive Species and goats (16:30)
  • Removal of Invasive species (19:00)
  • The return of the original habitat (25:40)
  • Local anger against conservation (26:30)
  • 'Restoring' extinct tortoise species (30:00)
  • How do we best protect nature? (37:00)
  • Genetically engineering extinct species (41:00)
  • Tourism and ecological change (46:45)
  • Darwin and finches (50:00)
  • Endangered finches and flies (55:00)
  • Hybrid species (1:02:00)

 

Tags: Ecuador, biogeography, environmentecology, historical.

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Marianne Naughton's curator insight, January 14, 2016 1:33 PM

Wildlife & Conservation

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The World’s Driest Desert Is in Breathtaking Bloom

The World’s Driest Desert Is in Breathtaking Bloom | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"After historic rains, Atacama, Chile is exploding with vibrant wildflowers.  Here's a softer side to the disruptive weather phenomenon known as El Nino: an enormous blanket of colorful flowers has carpeted Chile's Atacama desert, the most arid in the world. The cyclical warming of the central Pacific may be causing droughts and floods in various parts of the world, but in the vast desert of northern Chile it has also caused a vibrant explosion of thousands of species of flowers with an intensity not seen in decades."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The driest place on Earth, the Atacama Desert in South America, has spectacular vistas and biogeography ... especially when it rains.  To read more (and see some stunning images) check out the links from the Washington Post, Yahoo, and the Smithsonian Magazine.   It is amazing that life can flourish in even some of the harshest of physical environments. 


Tags: physicalweather and climate, ChileSouth America, biogeography, environmentecology.

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Taylor Doonan's curator insight, February 9, 3:03 PM
These flowers are a once in a lifetime view. Chile's Atacama Desert is known as the driest place on earth, but in 2015 the region got two inches of rainfall. 2 inches to most parts of South America is  not that much rain, but the 2 inches overwhelmed the region, rivers flooded and these flowers that hadn't been seen in decades bloomed. Amid all the tragedy and violence that goes on in South America it is nice to see something so beautiful. 
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, February 13, 8:50 PM
This article truly shows just how beautiful mother nature is. Even in the driest place on the planet, plants come to life when they absorb even the slightest amount of rainfall. Because of the rare precipitation that occurred in Chile's Atacama Desert, wildflowers began to bloom in a place that is normally desolate and colorless.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 20, 9:52 PM
(South America) Plant life has boomed in the Atacama Desert in Chile, the driest place in the world with 0.2 inches of rain a year. 2 inches of rain in March 2015 led to the flooding of river banks and long dormant wildflower seeds bloomed with the moisture. This excitingly rare moment led to thousands of tourists who hopefully had little effect on the natural beauty.

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China Fences In Its Nomads, and an Ancient Life Withers

China Fences In Its Nomads, and an Ancient Life Withers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Chinese government is in the final stages of a 15-year-old effort to transform millions of pastoralists who once roamed China’s vast borderlands.


TagsCentral Asia, culturefolk culturesecology, China.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Chinese government claims that this project is ecological in nature and that pastoralism will degrade the grasslands; however, this is stamping out cultural groups that have been resistant to assimilation. 

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Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 3:26 PM

Discrimination exists in every industrialized society in every part of the globe, the result of poverty, ignorance, and hatred. The US is guilty of it just as much as any other nation, evident by the continued existence of income gaps between whites and blacks in the US, as well as the policy of the US in its handling of our native populations. Chinese discrimination against ethnic Tibetans has long been documented and observed within the West, meeting the condemnation of much of the Western world, and such cultural discrimination has continued in other provinces within China. As the coast has exploded in wealth per capita, and the culture there becomes increasingly westernized, these other cultures and peoples are in danger of inevitably being wiped out. This is the result of Chinese policy, which has actively worked to suppress and kill of these resistant cultures, for the sake of national identity and unity. Is America in a position to judge others for how they treat their ethnic minorities? Not at all- just look at the demographics of our prison system and our families who fall below the poverty line. Such racism has long been a facet of human civilization, and it is up to us to make it a thing of our past and not of our future. For these cultures in China, I fear the worst will inevitably pass, and the world will sit passively by as they are lost forever. It saddens me, and I hope that I am proven wrong.

brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 3:10 PM
China is gaining control of a whole group of people who some have changed their nomadic way of life to that of a more current and modern lifestyle, but others feel forced and unable. China is not giving the pastoralists the help they need, but still want them to assimilate to the country's currently way of life. Geography is important because it is important to understand that these nomadic people are losing their land, or rights to roam their country's land.
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Population growth far outpaces food supply in conflict-ravaged Sahel

Population growth far outpaces food supply in conflict-ravaged Sahel | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Sahel’s ability to produce food is not keeping pace with its growing population, and global warming will only exacerbate the imbalance, according to a new study.  Among the 22 countries making up the arid region in northern Africa, the population grew to 471 million in 2010 from 367 million in 2000, a jump of nearly 30%. As the population grew rapidly, the production of crops remained essentially unchanged.  Using satellite images to calculate annual crop production in the conflict-ridden Sahel belt, south of the Sahara desert, the researchers then compared output with population growth and food and fuel consumption."

 

Tags: Africa, Sahelpopulation, environment, water, ecology, environment depend, weather and climate, sustainability, agriculture, food production.

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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:59 PM

with the strife in this region it is hardly surprising that it is hard to maintain food supplies in the face of large scale immigration. in a region where it is hard to survive, immigration would be a massive threat, straining already thinly spread resources.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:22 AM

If a country has a big population growth, the resources that it has if they are already scarce may become devastating. As the population of Sahel does increase, the amount of food resources will not have the proper time to react to the growth. Granted it may take a while for agricultural crops to grow and many citizens may face hard times facing finding food, but their hardships will be overcome by farmers trying to produce more crops to help ease that hardship.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:38 PM

this seems like an alarmingly common problem in the world today with population growth happening at an alarming rate in many parts of the world. most notably india and china. as well as in sahel, if your population grows by 100 million in 10 years it will be impossible to keep up and be able to provide for that many people in such a reletively short time.

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Natural gas leaking from faulty wells, not fracked shale

Natural gas leaking from faulty wells, not fracked shale | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A new study adds to growing evidence that the risk of fracking contaminating drinking water wells is to due to problems with the lining of the gas wells, not the high-pressure fracturing of deep shale to release natural gas. In a new study, scientists examined isotopes of helium and two other noble gases to identify the source of methane found in drinking water wells in the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania and the Barnett Shale of Texas, areas where a lot of fracking has taken place. The pattern of isotopes suggested that the stray gas had leaked out of the well casing near the surface, rather than escaping from the fracked deep shale, according to a story in The Dallas Morning News. The findings will be published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."


Tagsenergypollution, resources, environment, environment modify, ecology.

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The World's Largest Trees

"The world's second-largest known tree, the President, in Sequoia National Park is photographed by National Geographic magazine photographer Michael 'Nick' Nichols for the December 2012 issue."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There is a beauty and magnificent in nature, both is the microscopic and delicate as well as the grand and powerful.  The biosphere's diversity is a great part of it's allure that keeps geographers exploring for to understand the mysteries on our planet.  The incredible image at the end of this project really is truly stunning.  


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, California.

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Hemant Galviya's curator insight, April 17, 2014 2:55 AM

hiiiiiiiiiiii

Basant Kerketta's curator insight, April 21, 2014 4:26 AM

Magnificent !!!

These kind must be saved.

Wish I could plant and replicate this size and height here in my home town.

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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context...click here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at: http://geographyeducation.org/2013/12/06/island-biogeography/

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.

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Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:45 PM

It is fascinating to see how life evolves differently on isolated islands. The unique biomes often lack enough diversity to fill certain roles, so the animals move to fill them. For example, the komodo dragon was able to evolve to its large size because there was not large predator sitting on top of the food chain to prevent its growth. Sadly, the unique nature of island biogeography also makes it much more delicate, and species are much more likely to become extinct.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 2015 12:35 PM

There are times where I wish certain species don't spread.  Other times I understand the migration and think it's great.  If humans died out then I believe all species would flourish just as Sir Ken Robinson says.  

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:06 PM
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.
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Senegal's Great Green Wall combats desertification

"A 7,000 km barrier is being built along the footsteps of the Sahara to stop the desert expanding. The Great Green Wall project started in 2007 in Senegal, along with 10 countries in Africa to combat the effects of climate change. Al Jazeera’s Nicolas Haque reports from Widou, deep in the Sahel."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The Great Green Wall initiative is composed of 11 countries that are cooperating together to combat the physical and human geographic characteristics that make the Sahel one of the more vulnerable ecosystems in the world.  This swath running through Africa is the transition zone where tropical Africa meets the Sahara.  The Sahel is susceptible to drought, overgrazing, land degradation and desertification.  These issues of resource management and land use transcend international borders so this "Green Wall" was created with the intent to protect the environment, landscapes and people of the Sahel from desert encroachment (the shorter, social media friendly version of this video is available here).

 

Tags: Africa, Senegal, development, environment, waterbiogeography, ecology, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, supranationalism, political ecology.

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, March 31, 9:34 PM
This “Green Wall” was originally supposed to span the southern border of the Sahara from the east to west coast of Africa. It was made up of trees and elements of forests in order to prevent the desert from expanding and reducing the amount of land available for food production. This seems like it would be a great idea that would work well, but the plan has some flaws. In the early stages of building up the barrier, nomadic herders are supposed to be prohibited from using the land, as their cattle would destroy it. However, the system in place in Somolia sees only one soldier guarding hundreds of kilometers by himself. The nomadic people are often desperate for food, so they often try to break in and sometimes resort to violence. This is problematic because it defeats the purpose of the barrier in increasing the farm land. Many of the countries in along the “Green Wall” do not maintain it as well as they should and Nigeria actually abandoned the project all together. For this reason many ecologists believe the effort is a waste and the climate change can not be stopped. But the efforts of the Somalians has paid off. Crops such as grapefruit and watermelon have been grown in areas that would have been unsuitable for such crops a few years ago. Migratory European birds also settle in the area during the winter. Another benefit that comes from the Wall is that nomads are not forced to join terrorist organizations as their only sources for food, because farming is made easier in the Sahel. 
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 5, 3:12 PM
The great green wall is a man made ecological wall from the Atlantic ocean thru 10 countries to the red sea.  This is to prevent the desert from expanding, but also it is protected from nomadic herders, and loss of food.  This project still has a long way to go but ha not been completely abandoned yet. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 10:12 AM
Although Senegal is one of the few countries in the Sahel to actually follow through on its promise of building its green wall, it may be fruitless in the long run. The expansion of desert regions seems relentless. However, what is most surprising is how rapidly the ecosystems have changed and the crops that can be grown there. Watermelon, grapefruit, and European migratory songbirds have all taken hold, drastically altering the agriculture and environment of the region. 
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Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know

Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Conflict between Native American protesters and private security personnel over construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has turned violent. What is the Dakota Access Pipeline?

 

Tags: industryconflict, economic, energy, resources, environmentindigenous, ecology.

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Ecotourism in Australia

Ecotourism in Australia | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"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.

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ROCAFORT's curator insight, July 10, 2016 2:46 AM
Ecotourism in Australia
Sally Egan's curator insight, July 18, 2016 9:08 PM
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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Cutting Haiti's Forests

The major environmental problem facing Haiti's biodiversity is explained, including video of tree-cutting within a national park.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Deforestation does not happen in a vacuum--it occurs in an economic, political, and historical context.  Having successfully staged a slave revolution against France in 1806, they were ostracized from the global community (since the powers that be did not want to see slave rebellions or colonial uprising elsewhere) and were forced to look within for their own energy resources.  The nation's forests were (and still are) converted into charcoal, leading to long-term environmental problems such as soil erosion, flooding, and habitat destruction for many species.  All of this increased  increased Haiti's disaster vulnerability in the earthquake of 2010.     

 

Tags: Haiti, biogeography, environmentecology, video, poverty, development, economic, labor.

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chao pan's curator insight, June 15, 2017 6:50 PM

a good video to show how human activity negatively impacts the ecosystem. I will use this video in phase three

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In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Scientists think an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. In today's extinction, humans are the culprit.  [In this podcast] our guest is Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the book The Sixth Extinction.  The book begins with a history of the big five extinctions of the past and goes on to explain how human behavior is creating this sixth, including our use of fossil fuels which has led to climate change."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As stated in a JSTOR daily article, "New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tagsphysicalpodcast, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

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Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, March 20, 2016 8:22 AM

As stated in a JSTOR daily article, "New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tags: physical, podcast, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

Jukka Melaranta's curator insight, March 20, 2016 2:41 PM

As stated in a JSTOR daily article, "New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tagsphysicalpodcast, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

Tania Gammage's curator insight, March 20, 2016 9:26 PM

As stated in a JSTOR daily article, "New research confirms that the next mass extinction is in progress, and we’re the cause. There’s been little doubt that humans have been severely altering the planet and reducing biodiversity, but it has been unclear how many species go extinct under normal circumstances, without human influence.

This new research clarifies the rate of 'background extinction' (the rate of extinction during the point before humans became a primary contributor to extinction). The research confirms that human activity is driving species extinct at a rate far higher than the background rate. A look at previous events suggests cause for concern. Geologists recognize five previous mass extinction events— the end of the Ordovician, Devonian, Permian, Triassic, and Cretaceous periods, meaning that we’re now in the 6th."

 

Tags: physical, podcast, biogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, sustainability, geology.

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Mesmerizing Migration: Watch 118 Bird Species Migrate

Mesmerizing Migration: Watch 118 Bird Species Migrate | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For the first time, scientists at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have documented migratory movements of bird populations spanning the entire year for 118 species throughout the Western Hemisphere. The study finds broad similarity in the routes used by specific groups of species—vividly demonstrated by animated maps showing patterns of movement across the annual cycle. The results of these analyses were published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This still image above doesn't do justice to this animated map of bird migrations (species key here).  While modern humans by and large are tied to particular plots of land, not all species have that same approach to gathering and using resources.  On #DarwinDay, it is important to consider the connections between biology and geography; many of the greatest biological discoveries were spatial and geographic in nature.   

 

Tagsphysicalecology, biogeography, environment, mapping, scale, location.

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What are Lavakas?

What are Lavakas? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The word lavaka means 'hole' or 'gully' in Malagasy, and it has become the accepted international term for the spectacular erosional features that characterize the highlands of Madagscar. Lavakas are gullies formed by groundwater flow, with steep or vertical sides and flat floors."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Lavakas are often seen as an ecological catastrophe since rapid deforestion leads to young, active lavakas that can silt up rice fields.  While obviously not desirable, these scars on a deforested landscape do offer a glimmer of hope as well. Some National Geographic explorers are finding that older, stabilized lavakas can become great agricultural pockets for rebuilding in these denuded communities.

 

Tags: Madagascar, erosion, environment adapt,  environmentecology, political ecology, Africa, National Geographic.

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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.

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Chris Costa's curator insight, December 1, 2015 4:27 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, 1:03 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 3, 10:42 PM
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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How Wolves Change Rivers

"When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable 'trophic cascade' occurred. What is a trophic cascade and how exactly do wolves change rivers?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

When a complex system gets one aspect of it changed, there are many other changes that occur, some of which are nearly impossible to envision beforehand.  Here is some Oregon State research on the changes in Yellowstone's ecosystems and physical environments since the introduction of wolves. 


Tagsecology, biogeography, environment, environment adapt, physical, fluvial.

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What would happen if humans became extinct?

Seth Dixon's insight:

What would Earth be like if all humans suddenly disappeared? This question posed on the YouTube series Earth Unplugged, has many intriguing ecological and biogeographic ramifications that are worth considering to explore how systems are interconnected. 


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, video.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 27, 2014 10:29 AM

I find this youtube video interesting but for sure, the planet has become very interconnected with humans but that has not been a postiive effect. Humans have done nothing but manipulate the natural order of the ecosystem. If humans went extinct I would assume the earth would balance its self out.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, January 27, 2015 7:50 PM

It is funny because this video just made me think about TV shows such as The Walking Dead and Z-Nation.  Of course, not for the zombies, but what if some disease might wipe out the human race, and also how the earth will looks like after human extinction. The impact on earth when human life is gone will be catastrophic for domestic animals left behind. The wild animals will become dominant. Many species will also become extinct and a lot of chemicals will poison grounds and infrastructure will collapse with the force of the weather after few years. Although, it is fascinating how humans can preamble the fact that satellite can be worked forever after humans are gone from Earth. It is not only about humans, but also about the Earth that we need to come up with more reasons to be green on the planet. 

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Colombia's Herd of Hungry Hippos

Colombia's Herd of Hungry Hippos | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A herd of hippopotamuses once owned by the late Colombian drug baron Pablo Escobar has been taking over the countryside near his former ranch - and no-one quite knows what to do with them."

Seth Dixon's insight:

An important idea in biogeography is the concept of invasive species. An invasive species is an organism that is not indigenous to an area but causes great economic or environmental harm to the new area as it quickly adapts and alters the ecosystem.   Colombia's hippopotamus herd certainly qualifies as an interesting example to share with students of unintended ecological consequences that occur through human and environmental interactions.  For further explorations into invasive species, see this National Geographic lesson plan.   

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, Colombia, National Geographic.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 1, 2014 6:30 PM

Ecosystem imbalance

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The world's oldest living tree

The world's oldest living tree | Geography Education | Scoop.it
At 4,841 years old, this ancient bristlecone pine is the oldest known non-clonal organism on Earth. Located in the White Mountains of California, in Inyo National Forest, Methuselah's exact location is kept a close secret in order to protect it from the public. (An older specimen named Prometheus, which was about 4,900 years old, was cut down by a researcher in 1964 with the U.S. Forest Service's permission.) Today you can visit the grove where Methuselah hides, but you'll have to guess at which tree it is. Could this one be it?
Seth Dixon's insight:

I freely admit that I have a strange fascination with the twists and turns in a majestic tree; I find that they are great reminders of the wonders and beauty to be found on Earth. 


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, historical, California.

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Beatrice Do's curator insight, January 31, 2014 3:40 PM

the exact location is kept a close secret O_O

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 5, 2014 7:17 PM

After reading this article, I am pleased to know that the world oldest non-clonal organism is located in California. It is amazing that a tree could still stand after almost 5,000 years. Hopefully, people do not destroy this tree, as it is fascinating.