Geography Education
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Geography Education
Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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Manila Times Gives China The Finger With Its Own “Nine Dash Line” Map

Manila Times Gives China The Finger With Its Own “Nine Dash Line” Map | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Philippines’ oldest newspaper recently made what could be considered a provocative gesture towards China regarding its notorious nine-dash-line."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I've shared some more substantial resources about maritime claims in the South China Sea than this flippant political cartoon.  Still, this cartoon beautifully illustrates a geopolitical perspective quite powerfully.  As always, use your own discretion when sharing resources in your own classroom (my college students love this). 

 

GeoEd Tags: borders, Political, conflict, water, Philippines, China.

Scoop.it Tags: borders, political, conflict, water, PhilippinesChina.

  

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Identifying Illegal Overfishing

Identifying Illegal Overfishing | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The vast majority of fishing vessels follow the rules governing fishing – but many are not, and these bad actors can cause a lot of damage. Vessels may take too many fish ­– overfishing – which is causing our fisheries to collapse. Then there is the problem of illegal fishing, which can occur in protected areas, in another country’s waters or on the high seas. This threatens jobs and food security for millions of people, all around the world.

The trouble is, so much of this illegal activity is hidden – it happens out to sea, making it difficult to scrutinize what individual vessels are getting up to. Fortunately, we are now beginning to see what happens after commercial fishing vessels leave port.

The interactive map we created allows anyone in the world with an internet connection to see the activities of the commercial fishing fleet globally."

 

Scoop.it Tags: water, conservation, biogeography, environmentpollution, resourcesmappingfood production, agriculture.

WordPress TAGS: water, biogeography, environment, pollution, resources, mapping, food production, agriculture.

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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 | Scoop.it

"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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How to Defeat Drought

How to Defeat Drought | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Cape Town is running out of water. Israel offers some lessons on how to avoid that fate.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Most droughts are caused by a combination of human and physical geographic factors. Cape Town is current in the midst of a 3 year long drought that is causing many officials to consider drastic measures such as cutting off all private water taps and rationing out 13 gallons per resident per day.  

 

I would like for us to also consider cases beyond South Africa, and think about the the broader issues of resource management, urbanization, resilience, and changing climatic conditions.  Resources Watch discusses critical water shortages in Morocco, India, Iraq and Spain with excellent maps, charts, and graphs. This article from Foreign Policy demonstrates how Israel has worked to maximize their minimal water resources (recycling grey water for agriculture and desalinization). The World Resources Institute discusses 3 things cities can glean from the South African crisis (1. Understand risks, 2. Manage the water budget, and 3. Invest in resilience).  

 

Tags: drought, water, environment, technologyenvironment modify, South AfricaIsrael, Spain, MoroccoIndiaIraq.

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dustin colprit's curator insight, September 30, 2018 4:52 AM
Droughts are a serious issue that many countries can often experience. Developing more solutions to future droughts and water supply will be beneficial for everyone. 
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The 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics

The 10 Worst River Basins Contributing to Ocean Plastics | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"[A new paper], published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, calculates that rivers contribute between 410,000 and 4 million tonnes a year to oceanic plastic debris, with 88 to 95% [of that total] coming from only 10. Those rivers are the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai He, Pearl, Amur and Mekong in east Asia, the Indus and Ganges Delta in south Asia, and the Niger and Nile in Africa."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Of river-based plastic pollution, these 10 rivers are responsible for 88%-95% of all the plastic gyrating in the world's oceans.  Improvement in these key places could make a world of difference in improving marine ecosystems (NOTE: the map came from this alternative article on the same subject).

 

Tags: pollution, water, environmentsustainability, consumption, fluvial.

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Matt Richardson's curator insight, January 3, 2018 6:22 PM
Baltimore harbor has an odd contraption that is scooping plastic out of Jones Falls before it reaches the outer harbor. If only this machine could operate in these 10 river systems, which are contributing waste to our embattled/trashed/overfished/warming oceans. .
Matt Manish's curator insight, April 4, 2018 5:44 PM
It struck me as odd to learn that the majority of plastic that winds up in the ocean isn't actually from ocean activities. Also, that these ten rivers contribute up to 88 to 95% of plastics in the ocean. This is a huge margin of these materials coming from these ten major river systems, most of them being in Asia. This makes me wonder why are mostly Asia's rivers carrying so much trash to ocean. It could be the major cities sitting along the banks that are dumping trash into the river and letting float down steam. Also, I wonder if there possibly isn't an efficient enough sanitation system set up in Asia which could lead to more people just throwing their trash into these rivers. To summarize, something from the data in this article tells me that their is a common denominator as to why most of the rivers that carry the largest amount of plastic materials to the ocean every year are located in Asia.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, December 14, 2018 6:48 PM
In East Asia the Yangtze, Yellow, Hai He, Pearl Amur, Mekong. South Asia, Indus, Ganges Delta and in Africa the Niger and Nile River are responsible for dumping 4 million tonnes of plastic into the sea each year. Previous research has found 1/4 of plastic and trash comes from marine activity such as ships, fishing boats or drilling platforms. The 4/5 left comes from land totals 4.8 to 12 million tonnes. 
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Corinth Canal

Corinth Canal | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"This photograph, taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station, shows the straight line of the Corinth Canal as it crosses a narrow isthmus between mainland Greece (right) and the Peloponnese Peninsula. The canal cuts through the narrowest part of the isthmus of Corinth. The goal was to save ships from the dangerous 700-kilometer voyage around the ragged coastline of the peninsula."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What does the word Isthmus mean and how does this image help tell that story?  When did people start modifying Earth's physical systems?  What factors do we need to consider when evaluating the impacts of human modifications to the environment?    

 

Tags: water, coastal, landformsGreece.

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"The Last of the Free Seas"

"The Last of the Free Seas" | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Last of the Free Seas is the title of this fantastic map of the Great Lakes made by Boris Artzbasheff.  It was published in Fortune Magazine in July 1940."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The inland waterways were absolutely critical to the demographic and economic development of the eastern part of the United States, especially from 1820-1940.  Before World War II, Great Lakes shipping exceeded the tonnage of U.S. Pacific Coast shipping (see hi-res map here). World War II and the beginning of the Cold War led to a consolidation of naval power for the United States and its allies, greatly expanding Pacific shipping trade and spurring fast-developing economies countries. 

 

Great Lakes shipping dramatically declined, in part because steel production has gone to lower-cost producers that were connected to the U.S. economy through the expanded trade.  Some could see irony since the steel warships created from the Great Lakes manufacturing enabled expanded Pacific and Atlantic trade that led to the decline of Great Lakes manufacturing and regional struggles in the rust belt.  Still, more than 200 million tons of cargo, mostly iron ore, coal, and grain, travel across the Great Lakes annually.

 

This deindustrialization clearly is a huge economic negative but the environmental impacts for lakeside communities has been enormous.  Industrial emissions in the watershed and shipping pollution in the lakes went down as waterfowl populations returned and more waterfront property became swimmable again.  Still this map of the environmental stress on the Great Lakes shows they are far from pristine.    

 

Tagsenvironment, historicalwater, resources, transportation, industry, economicregions, globalization.

 

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, August 9, 2017 2:08 AM
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A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard

A Remote Paradise Island Is Now a Plastic Junkyard | Geography Education | Scoop.it
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.

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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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Mapping the human impact on the Great Lakes

Mapping the human impact on the Great Lakes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"It’s no secret that the Great Lakes are suffering tremendous ecological strain — Lake Erie was even pronounced “dead” for a time during the 1960s because of an overload of phosphorus from municipal waste. Back in 1615, though, when the entire region was pristine and explorers Samuel de Champlain and Étienne Brûlé gazed out together from Lake Huron’s shores, they dubbed it la mer douce, 'the sweet sea.' Today roughly one-quarter of Canada’s population and a 10th of America’s population drink from the Great Lakes basin; the beleaguered lakes alone hold more than a fifth of Earth’s freshwater."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Questions to Ponder: What watershed do you live in?  Where does your drinking water come from?  When you flush the toilet, where does it go? How are places in your watershed linked?  How does this similar map shed more light on these issues?  

 

TagsCanada, environment, resources, waterspatial, scale

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Lou Salza's curator insight, April 15, 2017 4:52 PM
These lakes are a tremendous resource, not only for the region but the nation as well. They need our attention and protection.-Lou 
 
Nicole Canova's curator insight, February 9, 2018 2:58 AM
It is amazing, in a sad way, to see how in just four centuries these lakes have gone from "la mer douce" to "dead." This map is a reminder of the damage humans do to the environment on a daily basis, and of the importance of protecting our natural resources.  Considering the fact that these lakes hold roughly one fifth of all of the fresh water on the planet and provide drinking water for millions of people in both the U.S. and Canada, we need to think about the impact we have on the world around us and how that impact can come back to bite us on the rear end.
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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, April 1, 2018 2:34 AM
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, 2018 8:12 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, 2018 3:12 PM
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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As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream

As Climate Change Accelerates, Floating Cities Look Like Less of a Pipe Dream | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A costly plan to build floating islands shows how climate change is pushing the search for innovative solutions, but some critics ask who will ultimately benefit.
Seth Dixon's insight:

As coastal communities are considering what the tangible impacts of climate change might be, things that were once considered science fiction could be a part of how people adapt to the modifications we've collectively made to our global environment that we depend on to sustain life.  

 

Tags: physicaltechnologysustainability, climate change, environment, resources, watercoastal, environment dependenvironment adapt, environment modify.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 15, 2017 12:49 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns and Trends, Interrelationships, Geographic Perspective.
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Creating RI's Off-Shore Wind Farm

Creating RI's Off-Shore Wind Farm | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Today, to the southeast of Block Island, there are five new structures rising from the ocean. These are the towers of the Block Island Wind Farm (BIWF), the first offshore wind energy installation in the United States. The turbines will generate 30 megawatts of energy; providing electricity to 17,000 households on Block Island and coastal Rhode Island (McCann, 2016), and replacing the diesel generators that previously powered New Shoreham. The turbines are on schedule to begin turning in November 2016 once commissioning is complete.
Seth Dixon's insight:

One of the overriding, major take-home points of this ESRI StoryMap, is that a project of this scale, scope, and magnitude requires geographic data across many disciplines (to see the largest off-shore wind farm in the world, click here).

 

Tags: mapping, Rhode IslandESRIStoryMap, GISresources, water, coastalenergy, environment depend.

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The Sargasso Sea

"The Sargasso Sea occupies almost two thirds of the North Atlantic Ocean. Within this sea, circling ocean currents accumulate mats of Sargassum seaweed that shelter a surprising variety of fishes, snails, crabs, and other small animals. The animal community today is much less diverse than it was in the early 1970s, when the last detailed studies were completed in this region. This study shows that animal communities in the Sargasso Sea are definitely changing. The next step is to find out why."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Often, we define oceans and seas based on their borders with land as their defining characteristics (this is one reason why many don't know about the Southern Ocean as a distinct body of water or consider it an ocean). The Sargasso Sea is defined by ocean currents; it is surrounded by great currents but is itself without a strong current, making it perilous for early seafarers.  These oceanic doldrums became shrouded in superstition as stories of the fabled Bermuda Triangle spread, but the truth is all in the ocean currents.   

 

Tags: water, biogeography, environment, physical.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, January 23, 2017 12:38 AM
Geography Concepts: Spatial Significance, Patterns and Trends, Interrelationships
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USGS's Streamer Tool

USGS's Streamer Tool | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Streamer is a new way to visualize and understand water flow across America. With Streamer you can explore our Nation's major streams by tracing upstream to their source or downstream to where they empty.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Streamer is the online mapping application that lets anyone explore downstream and upstream along America’s rivers and streams (here is a YouTube tutorial). Streamer can be used to follow the paths of rivers up to their headwaters and down to the sea, to view location-related information such as weather radar and near real-time streamflow data, and to discover hydrologic connections between distant places.

 

Scoop.it Tags: water, mapping, physical, fluvial, regions.

WordPress TAGS: water, mapping, physical, fluvial, regions.

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Damaged and defiant: Hurricane Harvey

Damaged and defiant: Hurricane Harvey | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Houston holds strong in the wake of devastation left by Hurricane Harvey.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I am sharing these three interactive webmaps of Houston with my mapping courses to demonstrate what is technologically possible.  Texts, charts, pictures, videos, and maps can be seamlessly integrated to present spatial information in an incredibly engaging and accessible manner.  

Houston's Hurricane Harvey was incredibly impactful but the factors leading to this were also very complex.  These three Story maps lay out:

  1. Houston's urban ecological context
  2. The geographic origins of Hurricane Harvey
  3. The human stories from Hurricane Harvey

 

Scoop.it Tagsphysical, watercoastal, urbanurban ecology, disasters, mappingESRIStoryMap.

WordPress TAGS: physical, water, coastal, urban, urban ecology, disasters, mapping, esri, storymap.

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South Africa Is Still Under Apartheid

"More than two decades after the end of apartheid in South Africa, Cape Town remains racially segregated, with many black residents living in substandard townships."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The title is a bit inflammatory--news agencies may pretend that they aren't in the shock-and-awe, clickbait economy, but they invented the salacious headline to grab our attention.  Still, the racial inequities of a system as pervasive as apartheid aren't going to be reversed in a generation and the racial differences in Capetown are coming under more international scrutiny as the they are in the midst of their current drought.

 

Tags: South Africa, Africarace, ethnicityneighborhood, urban, planning, drought, water, urban ecology.   

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Matt Manish's curator insight, May 3, 2018 4:26 AM
One can see from this video that Apartheid still exists in some parts of South Africa such as Cape Town. From the drone footage in this video, one can see how divided Cape Town's landscape is from a bird's eye view. You can see how the black community lives in the part of town that is made up of mainly shacks. Right next door, you can see that the white community lives in the suburbs with regular housing and lush trees located adjacently to the black community's village of shacks. It's not just the residential areas of Cape Town that is segregated. Even in the heart of the city, a real racial tension between blacks and whites can be sensed,. Resulting in the majority of the black community being less successful than the white community. One can clearly see that even though Apartheid has officially ended, the tension between blacks and whites still exists in this part of South Africa.
Kelsey McIntosh's curator insight, May 4, 2018 2:34 AM
This video looks into the still segregated town of Cape Town, located in South Africa. Although it was racially segregated by apartheid in the 20th century, Apartheid was outlawed in 1994. Since then, it has been claimed that Cape Town has become more diverse. This is only true to some extent. Because of the apartheid, it was nearly impossible for Blacks and People of Color to get jobs in the city. Therefore, the different races now inhabit their own neighborhoods, however the segregation still lingers. In most white neighborhoods, they enjoy beautiful and safe lifestyles while the poorer neighbors can’t even afford running water or electricity. Tags: South Africa, Africa, race, ethnicity, neighborhood, urban, planning, drought, water, urban ecology.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, November 19, 2018 6:50 PM
South Africa had a long history of issues ranging back to Colonialism, through apartheid, and today with government corruption and internal strife. The great inequality left behind after apartheid is a major issue in the country for many people. One way this has been addressed recently is with land redistribution, but this policy has faced much controversy especially since many have suggested the government being able to confiscate "white owned land"  without compensation and use for redistribution.
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Houston’s stories of Hurricane Harvey

Houston’s stories of Hurricane Harvey | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Blue and her team selected 45 stories, each plotted with ESRI’s ArcGIS software on a map of Greater Houston and tied to the exact location where it was first told. The resulting story map of Hurricane Harvey, ‘Damaged and Defiant: Houston Stories,’ was published in the Houston Chronicle in December. The map shows short narratives gathered by Chronicle staffers from people across the area — from Crosby to Kingwood to Katy — each a unique perspective on the storm; told together, they’re the collective account of a city that experienced one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These interlinked Houston story maps show some of the key elements of a good story map: 1) strong spatial analytical components, 2) a powerful narrative, 3) rich visuals, 4) solid cartography, and 5) well-sourced information.

 

Tags: fluvialwatercoastal, urban, disasters, physical, mappingESRIStoryMap.

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Choosing a Map Projection

"Cartographers at National Geographic discuss how they select an appropriate map projection for the September 2012 magazine map supplement. --World maps usually center on the land, with the Pacific Ocean divided as bookends. To show each ocean as a whole with the least distortion for our 'Beneath the Oceans' supplement map, we used a map projection called an interrupted Mollweide centered on the Pacific."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There is no one perfect map projection that fits all circumstances and situations. Think of a situation in which this map projection would be an ideal way to represent the Earth and in another situation that same projection would give you an incredibly limited perspective.  This video provides good insight into how to choose a map projection for a cartographic project. Here is National Geographic's lesson using this video.

 

Tags: cartography, K12, geospatial, NationalGeographic, water

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When Climate Change Meets Sprawl: Why Houston's ‘Once-In-A-Lifetime' Floods Keep Happening

When Climate Change Meets Sprawl: Why Houston's ‘Once-In-A-Lifetime' Floods Keep Happening | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Unchecked development remains a priority in the famously un-zoned city, creating short-term economic gains for some, but long term flood risk for everyone."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Houston's development boom and reduction of wetlands leave region prone to more severe flooding.  Here is a great map of the change in impervious surfaces in the region from 1940 to 2017--when you combine that with record-breaking rainfall the results are catastrophic.  But a local understanding of place is critical and this viral post--Things non-Houstonians Need to Understand--is pretty good.     

 

Tagsphysical, fluvialwatercoastal, urban, planningtransportation, architecture.

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Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 13, 2017 1:56 AM

Houston's development boom and reduction of wetlands leave region prone to more severe flooding.  Here is a great map of the change in impervious surfaces in the region from 1940 to 2017--when you combine that with record-breaking rainfall the results are catastrophic.  But a local understanding of place is critical and this viral post--Things non-Houstonians Need to Understand--is pretty good.     

 

Tagsphysical, fluvialwatercoastal, urban, planningtransportation, architecture.

Tiffany Cooper's curator insight, September 26, 2017 4:11 PM
#geo130
Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, October 31, 2017 5:27 PM

Un dossier sur les inondations à Houston (en anglais). La présentation est très originale.

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Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise

Mapping Coastal Flood Risk Lags Behind Sea Level Rise | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Federal maps help determine who on the coast must buy flood insurance, but many don't include the latest data. Maryland is now making its own flood maps, so homeowners can see if they're at risk.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Geographic themes are overflowing (it was an unintended pun, but I'll just let that wash over you) in this podcast.  I suggest playing a game early in the year/semester called "find the geography."  What geographic theme/content areas will your students find in this podcast? 

 

Tagspodcast, mapping, cartography, climate change, environment, watercoastal,  urban, planningurban ecology.

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M Sullivan's curator insight, August 7, 2017 2:14 AM
Useful for Geographical Processes Unit of Inquiry
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How Cookiecutter Sharks Eat Is Terrifying

Do not be fooled by its adorable name—the cookiecutter shark attacks by suctioning its lips to the flesh of its victims, spins, and ejects a cylindrical plug of flesh from its prey!
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is the most delightfully fun video about one of the creepiest critters of the deep. 

 

Tags: water, biogeography, environment, physical, National Geographic.

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Water Is Life

Hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled South Sudan to escape the civil war. When they arrive in Uganda, water is what they need most. Without it, they will die.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Next to nothing in this video will make you happy about the way things operate for refugees in Northern Uganda who have fled from South Sudan.  We all know the about the dire conditions that refugees face, but knowing about the specifics, and hearing stories from the refugees about their lives and living conditions is powerful.  A huge influx of refugees can tax local resources, especially water.  Food can be shipped in, but water a much more locally variable resource.   The UN refugee camps recommend at least 15 liters of water per person be made available each day, but often it is more like 4-8 liters in these camps.  Dedicated wells (or boreholes) are more effective, but costly.  Trucking in water from the Nile River is the preferred method to simply keep these drowning people’s heads above water.    

 

Questions to Ponder: Consider how much water you drink, use for cooking, bathing, etc. per day in your household.  How difficult would it be to live on 4 liters of water a day?  What about your lifestyle would be changed? 

 

TagsAfrica, development, Uganda, South Sudan, migrationrefugees, environment, waterenvironment depend, sustainability, resources.

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Ivan Ius's curator insight, April 9, 2017 4:49 AM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Interrelationships; Geographic Perspective;
Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 5, 2017 5:15 PM

Next to nothing in this video will make you happy about the way things operate for refugees in Northern Uganda who have fled from South Sudan.  We all know the about the dire conditions that refugees face, but knowing about the specifics, and hearing stories from the refugees about their lives and living conditions is powerful.  A huge influx of refugees can tax local resources, especially water.  Food can be shipped in, but water a much more locally variable resource.   The UN refugee camps recommend at least 15 liters of water per person be made available each day, but often it is more like 4-8 liters in these camps.  Dedicated wells (or boreholes) are more effective, but costly.  Trucking in water from the Nile River is the preferred method to simply keep these drowning people’s heads above water.    

 

Questions to Ponder: Consider how much water you drink, use for cooking, bathing, etc. per day in your household.  How difficult would it be to live on 4 liters of water a day?  What about your lifestyle would be changed? 

 

TagsAfrica, development, Uganda, South Sudan, migrationrefugees, environment, water,  environment depend, sustainability, resources.

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Why China is building islands in the South China Sea

"China is building islands in the South China sea and its causing disputes among the other nations in the region; Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, and Indonesia. China claims they aren't military bases, but their actions say otherwise. The US has many allies in the region and uses its massive Navy to patrol international waters, keeping shipping lanes open for trade."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Last year this was an intriguing story but now the geopolitical drama is growing as more countries are literally building islands out of reef outcroppings to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea.  For some without geographic expertise, this might some baffling.  For those that understand Exclusive Economic Zones, maritime claims, and expanding geopolitical aspirations, this makes perfect sense. 

 

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

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Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 11, 2018 6:33 PM
China is being very sneaky in their attempt to control the South China Sea and have decided they don’t want to listen to any international laws or court rulings that don’t follow what they want.  In order to strengthen their claims to the South China Sea and increase their land holdings, the Chinese have decided to literally build islands in the body of water.  These islands are then used as naval bases to help them take over other islands that are held by other countries in the South China Sea.  Their strategy for taking over these islands is called the “Cabbage strategy” where they quietly surround and blockade the islands from the countries who hold control over them in order to take them over.  As much as the other countries bordering the South China Sea do not like what China is doing, they are unable to challenge them too much because China’s navy is the most powerful in the region.  This is a situation that shouldn’t be so escalated because international maritime laws have established that countries can control the water 200 miles off their coasts, which would mean China would control part of the sea, other East Asian countries would control part of the sea, and the center of the sea would be international waters.  However, the natural resources in the sea are irresistible to China, so they have started literally building islands and taking over tiny islands that would normally have no one on them.  Other countries in the South China Sea have responded by building and settling on these ridiculously small islands as well.  China has now taken their claims a step farther and claimed airspace above the South China Sea.  The recent breakthroughs in technology have changed the way that governments can claim their borders and made geography more complicated.  The reason that China has been getting away with this is that no country except the U.S. can keep China in check.  However, it would be impossible to threaten China with the American Navy without causing a much bigger military conflict.  So for now, China quietly continues taking over the South China Sea.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 3:23 PM
The vast resources in the South China Sea and the benefits of the Exclusive Economic Zone make it clear why china wants and currently is building islands in the South China Sea. By occupying these newly created islands and claiming them for their own, they can extend their area of economic control by 200 nautical miles. For a nation that is rapidly industrializing and is heavily dependent on fossil fuels, these new areas of control are monumentally important.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 4:49 PM
China is attempting to extend their EEZ by building islands in the South China Sea so they can claim the area 200 miles off the coasts of these man made islands. This is a problem because of the other countries that have EEZ claims in the South China Sea because if China claims more land it takes away the EEZ zones of some of these other countries. 
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Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here

Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here | Geography Education | Scoop.it
One of the driest countries on Earth now makes more freshwater than it needs

 

Driven by necessity, Israel is learning to squeeze more out of a drop of water than any country on Earth; researchers have pioneered new techniques in drip irrigation, water treatment and desalination. “The Middle East is drying up,” says Osnat Gillor, a professor at the Zuckerberg Institute who studies the use of recycled wastewater on crops. “The only country that isn’t suffering acute water stress is Israel.” That water stress has been a major factor in the turmoil tearing apart the Middle East, but Bar-Zeev believes that Israel’s solutions can help its parched neighbors, too — and in the process, bring together old enemies in common cause.

 

Tags: drought, water, environment, Israeltechnology, Middle East.

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Susan Grice's curator insight, February 4, 2017 1:51 PM
GReat!
1
Ivan Ius's curator insight, February 5, 2017 10:03 PM
Geographic Concepts: Spatial Significance, Geographic Perspective
brielle blais's curator insight, April 1, 2018 9:16 PM
This connects to the physical geography of Israel as it was once incredibly dry, facing a decade long drought. This ruined the agriculture sector of their economy as well, along with changing the people's way of life. However, desalination has saved the country, and Israel really had no other choice. Instead, the country is now a water giant, and has an overabundance through new technologies. 
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Why houses in Bermuda have white stepped roofs

Why houses in Bermuda have white stepped roofs | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The island of Bermuda has no fresh-water springs, rivers or lakes so the design of its roofs is essential for collecting rainwater.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is such as distinct, localized example of how people adapt to their physical environment.  It explains why a particularly cultural landscape is prevalent, and the article nicely shows how traditional island living comes into conflict with tourist expectations and consumption patterns.  Tons of good geographic factors in this issue for students to analyze. 

 

Tags: water, tourism, sustainabilityarchitecture, consumption, landscape, Bermuda, environment adapt.

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