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Science, technology, engineering and math in K-12
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Homeland of tea

Homeland of tea | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"China is the world’s biggest tea producer, selling many varieties of tea leaves such as green tea, black tea, oolong tea, white tea and yellow tea. Different regions are famous for growing different types of tea. Hangzhou is famous for producing a type of green tea called Longjing or the Dragon Well tea. Tea tastes also vary regionally. Drinkers in Beijing tend to prefer jasmine tea while in Shanghai prefer green tea. Processing raw tea leaves for consumption is a time and labor-intensive activity and still done by hand in many areas in China. The Chinese tea industry employs around 80 million people as farmers, pickers and sales people. Tea pickers tend to be seasonal workers who migrate from all parts of the country during harvest time. In 2016, China produced 2.43 million tons of tea."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 1, 10:06 AM

Tea, the world's most popular beverage, doesn't just magically appear on kitchen tables--it's production and consumption is shaped by geographic forces, cultural preferences, and regional variations.  These 21 images show the cultural, region, and environmental, economic, and agricultural context of tea.  

 

Tagsimages, foodChina, East Asia, economic, labor, food production, agriculture.

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The Final Days Of Hawaiian Sugar

The Final Days Of Hawaiian Sugar | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
The sugar industry in Hawaii dominated the state's economy for over a century. But it has shrunk in recent years. Now, the last of the state's sugar mills has wrapped up its final harvest.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 19, 2016 9:50 PM

I grew up hearing commercials that sold the purity of the Hawaiian sugar Industry (C & H, Pure Sugar, that's the one!).  These commercials sold not just the purity of Hawaii's sugar, but also of the people and the place.  These commercials were some of my first geographic imaginings of an exotic tropical paradise on the peripheral edge of the United States.  Just like the imagined tropical bliss, the actual sugar industry of Hawaii is also coming to an end.  "For over a century, the sugar industry dominated Hawaii's economy. But that changed in recent decades as the industry struggled to keep up with the mechanization in mills on mainland U.S. That and rising labor costs have caused Hawaii's sugar mills to shut down, shrinking the industry to this one last mill."   

 

Tags: industrymanufacturinglabor, economic, agribusiness, agriculture.

Jane Ellingson's curator insight, December 20, 2016 9:42 AM
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The Spice Trade's Legacy

The Spice Trade's Legacy | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"In its day, the spice trade was the world’s biggest industry. It established and destroyed empires and helped the Europeans (who were looking for alternate routes to the east) map the globe through their discovery of new continents. What was once tightly controlled by the Arabs for centuries was now available throughout Europe with the establishment of the Ocean Spice Trade route connecting Europe directly to South Asia (India) and South East Asia."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, November 17, 2016 2:37 PM

The spice trade changed how we eat forever but it did so much more.  The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Empire cut off Europe from the vital trade routes to the east and access to the most prized commodities of the day.  What drove European exploration to get around Africa and to cross the Atlantic?  It was to reshape their situation location relative to the economic networks that shaped the emerging global economy.  In essence, the spice trade reshaped the fortunes and trajectories of several major world regions.   

 

Tags: Southeast Asia, food productiondiffusionglobalization, agriculture, economicindustry, economic, historical, regions.

Liz Caughlin's curator insight, November 21, 2016 7:45 PM
Spice trade and connections with diffusion of Islam
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Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying.

Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying. | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
In Madagascar, the booming charcoal business is contributing to deforestation and may exacerbate the effects of global warming.

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Launceston College Geography's curator insight, February 1, 10:44 PM

deforestation

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

Deforestation drivers

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 9, 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? 
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This is an incredible visualization of the world's shipping routes

This is an incredible visualization of the world's shipping routes | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"Ships carry 11 billion tons of goods each year. This interactive map shows where they all go.  About 11 billion tons of stuff gets carried around the world every year by large ships. Clothes, flat-screen TVs, grain, cars, oil — transporting these goods from port to port is what makes the global economy go 'round.  And now there's a great way to visualize this entire process, through this stunning interactive map from the UCL Energy Institute."


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South Florida Guide's curator insight, May 3, 2016 11:40 AM
Very interesting.
Caitlyn Scott's curator insight, June 14, 2016 10:25 PM
This resource shows great detail into where are products travel when they are imported but also shows us what and where Australian products are going. Good source in regards to showing how large Australia's export market is. Article contains a good amount of information as to why the routes shown on the map are taken as well as having in-depth data showing the different cargo on board ships. This data helps high light what different countries are renowned for in their exports as well as giving so information into why some countries are poorer than others when analysing their exports. Planned use within unit regarding the cost of Australian exports and its sustainability for the future.      
Alex Smiga's curator insight, September 1, 2016 7:24 PM
A rainbow of shipping routes and info
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This is how our favorite foods look in their natural habitats

This is how our favorite foods look in their natural habitats | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
We know how to harvest potatoes and apples. There are other fruits and vegetables, however, which have natural habitats we can barely imagine. We see these items in the grocery store every day, but often we have no idea how they got there.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, March 28, 2016 1:17 PM

This set of teaching images hammers home how natural items become commodities that are removed from their original context.  The fact that these foods are somewhat difficult to recognize shows just how most consumers have been removed from the full geographies of their food.  

 

Tagsfood production, images, agriculture, foodeconomic.

Lilydale High School's curator insight, April 24, 2016 4:39 AM
Food - naturally.
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The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India

The Ganges River Is Dying Under the Weight of Modern India | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
The country’s future depends on keeping the holy river alive.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 7:00 PM

The Ganges River is a place of religion for these people, they see it as a place where they can bathe for the forgiveness of sins and for ancestors alike. The only problem with this really is that it is a very dirty river, sewage and other sorts of waste, germs and disease are running through it. Unfortunately, the people are drinking from this river.  

Alex Vielman's curator insight, December 15, 2015 12:21 AM

The Ganges River is the most populated region in all of India. The river is sacred and is very holy to the people of India. The river is a religious river in which the people residing in the area use it as a symbolization or purification, life, bathing and drinking. The bigger issue for 'purification' is the fact that the river is very polluted and unsanitary. The pollution not only threatens the people because it could be used for drinking but it also affects the thousands of species, for example fish, that are in the river. The fish could be a source of food for the very overpopulated area but instead the very own people of India are damaging the river. One would think that a river so sacred would be protected and cleaned but it fails to meet these standards. Overall, regardless of the pollution, India still uses it for its religious beliefs and still declare it a holy river. 

Sarah Holloway's curator insight, February 16, 2016 6:26 PM

This article touches on very serious religious and environmental issues connected to the Ganges River.  The Ganges is the sacred river of Hinduism and in part because the river valley is the most heavily populated region of India.  Simultaneously, this holy river is an incredibly polluted river as it's the watershed for a industrial region that struggles with significant sanitation problems; this is a great article on the environmental and cultural issues of development.

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The Atlas of Economic Complexity

"The Atlas is a powerful interactive tool enabling policy makers, entrepreneurs, academics, students and the general public to map the path of diversification and prosperity for 128 countries.  The tool will allow users to explore growth opportunities by country and industry, with the potential to provide input into economic policy and private investment decisions. The analysis may also be used to inform the agendas of development banks in policy recommendations and loan programming; an entrepreneur developing a market plan; an investment promotion agency pitching a new factory, as well as guide other choices we have yet to imagine." http://wp.me/P2dv5Z-21a


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 14, 2015 8:15 PM

This video is an introduction to the Atlas of Economic Complexity; in it they use the visualization tool to analyze the Netherlands' economy and the cut flower industry.  The Atlas of Economic Complexity is hosted by the Center for International Development at Harvard University (MIT also worked on this project and on their site it is called the Observatory of Economic Complexity).


Tags: developmentindustry, visualization, statistics, economicNetherlandsvideo.

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Food Processing

"Trying to break a whole lamb into steaks and roasts in just a little over three minutes."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, September 19, 2015 2:04 PM

Where does our food come from?  As the global population becomes more urban, the percentage of our population that is more disconnected from their food sources grows.  Additionally, our economic system works to actively separate consumers from the unseemly parts of the commodity chains, in hopes that our propensity to spend money on more goods won't decline.  All animals killed for human consumption go through some sort of butchering process before they become a meat product that we might recognize in the grocery store. 


Tags: foodeconomicfood production, agribusiness.

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Product of Mexico - Harsh Harvest

"Farm exports to the U.S. from Mexico have tripled to $7.6 billion in the last decade, enriching agribusinesses, distributors and retailers.
American consumers get all the salsa, squash and melons they can eat at affordable prices. And top U.S. brands — Wal-Mart, Whole Foods, Subway and Safeway, among many others — profit from produce they have come to depend on.These corporations say their Mexican suppliers have committed to decent treatment and living conditions for workers.  But a Los Angeles Times investigation found that for thousands of farm laborers south of the border, the export boom is a story of exploitation and extreme hardship."

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Todd Scalia's curator insight, December 14, 2014 1:12 AM

we work the fields for our families. 

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:36 AM

It’s crazy to see how desperate some of these people are to get working and how much they do for such a little reward. These people are working longer and harder than probably all Americans and they are barely surviving. They work for survival. It’s hard for some of these people to stay healthy, especially in the harsh conditions and tight living spaces that these people have to deal with on an everyday basis. 

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 2:10 PM

Corporations are always looking for the cheapest base product to import. Unfortunately for the laborers of Mexico, their country does not enforce globally accepted standards of labor. The US cannot police other countries' policies and procedures, but we can educate our own consumers about the working conditions behind the product they buy. The consumers then have a choice; do they want to pay 49 cents a pound for bananas or 99 cents. What is more important, the health and welfare of the employee who picked the produce or the financial well-being of the consumer who purchases it?

This obviously is big business for Mexico and the US should apply some pressure to motivate our friends south of the border to foster better working conditions for their employees. It would seem to me that Mexico could afford to pay their workers a little more and still be competitive given their proximity to the US. I think I will start buying my bananas from Ecuador....

 

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The Legacy of Canals

The Legacy of Canals | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"The historical geography of Erie Canal reshaped a nation."


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Actually George Washington was interested in canals and the C and O and other canals in the area flourished for a time.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, October 28, 2014 8:54 AM

Back in the early 1800s, New York was one of the three biggest cities in the United States, but what led to it's surge past Philadelphia and Boston?  Geography and new technological innovations that favored New York City's relative location.   NYC was the only city on the East coast that could access the Great Lakes via canal, and after the construction of the Erie Canal, NYC has always been the preeminent city in the USA.  

TagsNYC, transportation, industry, economic, globalization, technology.

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Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings

Battling Blight: Detroit Maps Entire City To Find Bad Buildings | STEM Connections | Scoop.it
The high-tech project would help officials decide which abandoned buildings can be demolished.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 19, 2014 8:36 AM

This crowd-sourced mapping project is an great example of how a community can work together (using geospatial technologies and geographic thinking) to mitigate some of the more pressing issues confronting the local neighborhoods.  Many optimists have argued that Detroit has "good bones" to rebuild the city, but it needs to built on as smaller scale.  This project helps to assess what is being used by residents and should stay, and what needs to go.  Want to explore some of the data yourself?  See Data Driven Detroit.      

 

Tagsurban, unit 7 cities, housing, economic, povertyplace, socioeconomic, neighborhoodmapping, GIS, geospatial.


Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, September 17, 2014 1:18 PM

So many of the buildings in Detroit have fallen out of use, and are being inhabited by squatters, drug users and vermin. The kindest thing to do is to demolish the ragtag structures in hopes of a chance to revitalize the fallen city. It was one of the first major cities in the US to be primarily built for the automobile. Although the city has fallen out of favor as industry has relocated, it was a well planned metropolis, and has a repairable infrastructure. The sewer lines, electric grid and paved streets lend to the idea of regrowing the city. By using input of the citizens, the government and city planners are able to identify what is useful and what needs to be demolished.

 

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"The Last of the Free Seas"

"The Last of the Free Seas" | STEM Connections | 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."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 14, 5:23 PM

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.

 

PIRatE Lab's curator insight, August 8, 9:08 PM
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America's Wealth Is Staggeringly Concentrated in the Northeast Corridor

America's Wealth Is Staggeringly Concentrated in the Northeast Corridor | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"At the county level, America is a tremendously unequal place."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 1, 2016 1:30 PM

The concentration of wealth within U.S. cities is one of the most powerful geographic patterns in North America (and remains of of the key geographic stories of the 2016 presidential election). NYC served as a hub for the import/export of primary economic resources during the 18th and 19th centuries as the Erie Canal opened up the interior of the United States to become part of NYC's hinterland.  NYC expanded as a hub for the manufacturing of consumer products and then began to transition to a more tertiary based economy. “There are more than 3,000 counties in the U.S. Of the 75 with the highest incomes, 44 are located in the Northeast, including Maryland and Virginia. The corridor of metropolitan statistical areas that runs from Washington, D.C., through Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and Boston includes 37 of these top-earning counties (where the median family takes home at least $75,000 a year)."

 

Tags: urbanindustrymanufacturinglabor, economic, NYC, Washington DC. Boston.

Tom Cockburn's curator insight, December 13, 2016 3:54 AM
UK wealth is in South East
Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 18, 2016 12:00 AM

Influences on settlement patterns. 

Where is Australia's population concentrated? 

Syllabus
Students investigate differences in urban settlement patterns between Australia and another country, for example:
- examination of urban settlements to determine patterns of concentration
- explanation of factors influencing urban concentration eg climate and topography, transportation networks, land use or perceptions of liveability
- assessment of the consequences of urban concentrations on the characteristics, liveability and sustainability of places


Geoworld 9 NSW
Chapter 7: Urban settlement patterns Australia and the USA
7.1 Population concentrated near coasts
7.3 Is Australia a nation of tribes?
7.4 Nature in control
7.5 Coastal colonial cities and ports
7.6 USA: Settlement, geography and history
7.7 Large cities: Contrasting patterns
7.8 Sprawling suburbs: similar patterns
7.9 Consequences of urban concentration

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Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know

Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know | STEM Connections | 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: industry, conflict, economic, energy, resources, environment, indigenous, ecology.


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Robotics in Agriculture

Autonomous robots created at the University of Sydney can count fruit on trees, spray weeds, and even herd cows.

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LEONARDO WILD's curator insight, May 20, 2016 10:08 AM
Until robots understand holism and acquire a metaphysical connection with Nature, agriculture will probably continue down a path where soon they'll design artificial bees for pollination, and chemical-exuding worms to breakdown the nutrients predigested by bacteria ... if that works, which I doubt.
John Edwards's curator insight, June 2, 2016 4:18 AM
I remember doing my GCSE French oral presentation on exactly this matter - "L'exode rural". Seems we're moving slower than I thought.
Nicole's curator insight, January 4, 5:10 PM

Is this the future of #Agriculture? #agrobots #ffce2017

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Big Seed: How The Industry Turned From Small-Town Firms To Global Giants

Big Seed: How The Industry Turned From Small-Town Firms To Global Giants | STEM Connections | Scoop.it

"Most food, if we trace it back far enough, began as a seed. And the business of supplying those seeds to farmers has been transformed over the past half-century. Small-town companies have given way to global giants. A new round of industry consolidation is now underway. Multibillion-dollar mergers are in progress, or under discussion, that could put more than half of global seed sales in the hands of three companies."

 

Tags: food, economic, food production, agribusiness, podcast.


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Zack Zeplin's curator insight, April 24, 2016 5:16 PM
The seed industry, one of the largest industries in modern agribusiness, is quickly being swallowed up by the global giants that lead the seed industry. All over the world small seed businesses are being bought out by larger businesses who seek to mass produce their own genetically modified seeds and strengthen their grip on the global seed market. In American agriculture seed giants rule by providing the highest quality seeds to grow the cereal grains in the U.S. produces. But as a result the consumer benefits, farmers can now run farms that aren’t as capital-intensive because of the biotechnology that goes into these seeds. However it is also important to realize that the number of seed companies is dwindling, and that there are only a few large corporations that control all of the seeds that the world needs to grow enough food to survive. I found this article to be very helpful in shedding some light on how the seeds that go into our food is handled, and the truth on how modern agriculture is run.