Geography 200 Portfolio
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Paris mayor unveils plan ​to restrict traffic and pedestrianize city center

Paris mayor unveils plan ​to restrict traffic and pedestrianize city center | Geography 200 Portfolio |
Anne Hidalgo says she wants to cut the number of cars in French capital by half as part of campaign to tackle pollution
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
In an effort to clear some of the traffic in Paris, the mayor has created plans that will prevent some of the traffic in the country’s capital city. She is making these plans because of the pollution that covers the city. By getting rid of half of the traffic, having an electric tram, and introducing more bike lanes, mayor Anne Hidalgo is planning to make the city “green”.
Richard Aitchison's curator insight, February 6, 2018 10:02 AM
Traffic, nobody likes to hear that word, but we are always unable to avoid it. In any major city traffic is a way of life, but how can we control it. The Mayor or Paris Anne Hidalgo has been looking for a way to limit the amount of the cars in the city or find a way to diverge traffic to some areas. Some of the reasons behind it are to address pollution issues in a city that has seen incredible increase in population and a rise in cars, which obviously gives way pollution. However, it will take time to improve public transportation and they can divert traffic as much as possible, however people still need to be able to get to work and from place to place. Also for foreigners  on vacation in Paris, obviously a popular place to go, how do you deal with population problems and vacationers?  Tourism is very important for Paris and there is a few concerns with cars, first off if the city becomes overtaken by smog that is never a good thing. Second, if you divert traffic to areas it may confuse travelers, and thirdly if you make major changes to roads or buildings do you change the beautiful landscape of Paris? These issues will be challenges for many Mayors or government officials all over the world, sadly there is not an easy answer. 
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How dead is the Great Barrier Reef? original

Coral bleaching is the biggest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. But it's too early for obituaries. Start your Audible 30-day free trial a
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This video explains just how the Great Barrier Reef is dying. Even though it can be built up again, that is only if the conditions are right. Because of the increase in water temperature, the algae that feeds the polyps on the reef will die, causing the polyp to starve. The video suggests that humans can slow down global warming, which would allow the coral reef to adapt to warmer water, thus saving it. However it would most likely still shrink.
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Papua New Guinea

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

Tags: Papua New Guinea, Oceania.

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This video let’s us see into the world of Papua New Guinea. Even though it is Australia’s neighbor, the video focuses on the poverty and inequality that plagued the nation. PNG has extremely low life expectancies, birth and literacy rates. The country has over 800 languages and cultures that are all significantly different. Nearly half of the girls have not been educated, and some people experience extreme poverty without access to clean water and plumbing.
Chris Costa's curator insight, December 1, 2015 4:20 PM

I found this video to be very interesting, providing a brief overview of contemporary Papua New Guinea and the struggles the nation faces as we push deeper into the 21st century. Once a colonial possession of Australia, the nation gained its independence in 1975, although it retains close relations with its former colonizer; Australia is the nation's greatest provider of foreign aid. Although great strides have been made in areas such as education, health, and infrastructure, the nation lags far behind the West in terms of industrial development; just 58% of Guineans are literate, with a meager 3% of reads being paved, and the average Guinean having a lifespan some 20 years shorter than their Australian contemporaries. Although this may seem backwards to many Westerners, Guineans are proud of a rich, vibrant culture, with some 800 languages being spoken on the island. With each language representing a different culture, it becomes apparent how diverse the population really is, achieving a level of cultural complexity that has oftentimes been discouraged in today's Western world. We would do well to embrace the differences that are celebrated today in Papua New Guinea. While it is hoped that improved education will ultimately lead to a higher standard of living for all the people of Papua New Guinea, this writer hopes they don't lose track of the differences that make them so wondrous in a world that is oftentimes so intolerant of others.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, December 7, 2015 2:49 PM

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

Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:55 PM
Papua New Guinea is a very unique country, it has an extremely diverse population and speaks more languages than any other country in the world. There are over 800 languages spoken in Papua New Guinea. This country is very interesting, they became independent from Australia in 1975 and have been slow to urbanize. Many of the countries villages are so un-urbanized that they can only be reached on foot, and many of the hundreds of languages that are spoken are only spoken on one of the villages that does not connect with another village. The country also struggles with clean drinking water and bathroom facilities. There is malnutrition across the country, but despite the difficulties the country faces they are improving their education and becoming a better country. 
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Climate Comparison Maps

Climate Comparison Maps | Geography 200 Portfolio |

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

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This is an interesting map that compares Australia's climate to that of other regions. By doing this, the artist clearly explains how vast Australia's climate truly is. Because of its size, it is possible to think that Australia would not have such a diverse climate. However, its regions are comparable to deserts, the tropics, and temperate zones.
Taylor Doonan's curator insight, May 3, 2018 12:44 PM
This images shows how diverse Australia really is, they have climates similar to different cities all over the world. The southern coasts are similar to California, but the interior of the country is a desert, for such a small continent it has some of the most varying climates. 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 4:30 PM
I found this very interesting. I always imagined Australia as a temperate cost with a vast dessert/prairie interior that was generally inhospitable. Though the interior part is true I learned that the coastal areas vary greatly in climate. This allows for a much more varied ecosystem in Australia than I ever imagined. 
Corey Rogers's curator insight, December 15, 2018 8:39 PM
This map makes it easier to understand the climate that is inside Australia. It is cool how every part of the country has its own unique climate. It also shows just how big Australia is and how crazy their climate can be. 
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Sprawling Shanghai

Sprawling Shanghai | Geography 200 Portfolio |
If you could go back in time to the 1980s, you would find a city that is drastically different than today’s Shanghai.
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
Shanghai os growing at an incredibly rapid rate. As more and more people begin to inhabit the city, the neighboring towns have morphed into one large city. However, the city's amazing population increase has taken a toll on its ecosystem. With the rapid growth, Shanghai's temperature has increased dramatically. Similarly, the wild and plant life has declined in the region as well.
Mr Mac's curator insight, June 13, 2017 10:17 AM
Unit 7 - Urban Sprawl 
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South Africa Tests Potential Game-Changer in HIV Treatment (ORIGINAL)

What if refilling a prescription was as easy as withdrawing money from an ATM? A South African tech company wants to make that possible. Its innovation, the Pharmacy Dispensing Unit, is being tested in Johannesburg, and health experts say it could provide a strong boost for the fight against...

Via Ed Rybicki
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
As the HIV/AIDS epidemic becomes a major problem in Johannesburg, picking up medication at pharmacies has become an all day process. In an attempt to make it easier, an ATM that dispenses medication has been created. The video discusses that this not only makes picking up easier, but it allows patients to have more time to do other things.
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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."

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
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 Manish's curator insight, May 2, 2018 11:26 PM
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.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, November 19, 2018 1:50 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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The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers

The Real Threat to Hinduism: The Slow Death of India's Rivers | Geography 200 Portfolio |

Hinduism shares an intricate, intimate relationship with the climate, geography, and biodiversity of South Asia; its festivals, deities, mythology, scriptures, calendar, rituals, and even superstitions are rooted in nature. There is a strong bond between Hinduism and South Asia’s forests, wildlife, rivers, seasons, mountains, soils, climate, and richly varied geography, which is manifest in the traditional layout of a typical Hindu household’s annual schedule. Hinduism’s existence is tied to all of these natural entities, and more prominently, to South Asia’s rivers.


Hinduism as a religion celebrates nature’s bounty, and what could be more representative of nature’s bounty than a river valley? South Asian rivers have sustained and nourished Hindu civilizations for centuries. They are responsible for our prosperous agriculture, timely monsoons, diverse aquatic ecosystems, riverine trade and commerce, and cultural richness.  Heavily dammed, drying in patches, infested by sand mafia and land grabbers, poisoned by untreated sewage and industrial waste, and hit by climate change — our rivers, the cradle of Hinduism, are in a sorry state.


If there is ever a threat to Hinduism, this is it. Destroy South Asia’s rivers and with it, Hinduism’s history and mythology will be destroyed. Rituals will turn into mockery, festivals, a farce, and Hinduism itself, a glaring example of man’s hypocritical relationship with nature. The fact that we worship our rivers as mothers and then choke them to death with all sorts of filth is already eminent.

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This article discusses the relationships that Hinduism shares with its geography, climate, and wildlife. Specifically, it focuses on its relationship with the rivers in South Asia. However, the author argues that though the inhabitants love their rivers, they are also the ones destroying them. Through heavy pollution and waste, the rivers, that are supposed to be sacred ground, are being destroyed.
Nicole Canova's curator insight, May 1, 2018 1:21 AM
Religion is shaped by the geography of the region in which it develops.  For example, Hinduism is heavily influenced by the rivers of India, and these rivers are considered holy places sites and places of cleansing and purification.  However, the cleansing power of the rivers is diminished by pollution that makes it unsafe to take part in ritual bathing.  Pollution, climate change, and deforestation are also having an impact on other aspects of Hinduism, which is about celebrating nature in it's entirety, including monsoons, forests, and agriculture.  As nature continues to be negatively impacted by human activity, many aspects of Hinduism will also be negatively impacted.
David Stiger's curator insight, November 12, 2018 3:19 PM
Sometimes both sides can be wrong in an argument, as illustrated in this article. The secular left in India has mistaken their conservative Hindu counterparts as a people stuck in tradition, unable to address the environmental calamities facing modern society. The more right-leaning Hindus believe the secular environmentalism of their countrymen to be antagonistic to the practice of Hinduism - such as the environmental restrictions on firecrackers. Hindus celebrating Diwali feel that fireworks are a central part of the festivities and do not want environmentalists restricting them. The author notes that both sides have missed the point. Hinduism is closely tied to nature and expresses notions of environmental stewardship as a holy endeavor. Liberal Indians do not need to see Hinduism as opposed to environmental sustainability and should stop criticizing Hinduism as a whole. Traditionally religious Hindus should be aware that their own faith would have them be environmentalists - not because of secularism - but because of divine inspirations to coexist with nature. While both sides bicker, failing to understand how Hinduism is pro-nature, the rivers are being ruined by pollution. This pollution will destroy nature, and nature is the foundation and driving force of the Hindu religion. This is because Hinduism was founded around a  river valley civilization - the river and arable land being central to the culture's vitality. 

In some ways, this situation reminds me of Christianity in America. Liberals are very concerned about the environment and climate change in particular. Conservative Christians, buying into a theology of "Dominionism" of Genesis, believe God gave the earth to humans to use however they please. Paired with a suspicion of science, conservative evangelicals have largely shunned environmental sustainability and conservation. A closer reading of the Bible would show that God values nature and wants creation to grow and thrive. Humans should be stewards of the environment - its destined caretakers. Instead, liberals think Christianity preaches stupidity while conservative Christians believe the science behind environmentalism is anti-God, aligned with communism, and probably a hoax to manipulate the faithful. 

Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 3:08 PM
The river plays a key role in India. Whether its culture, religion, histor,y in agriculture, in transportation, and in many other aspects. These once bountiful rivers that sustained Indian civilizations are now threatened by pollution, climate change, damns, and other man made reasons. At best if this is problem is not solved it will lead to drastic changes in Indian society, at worse it could lead to the collapse of Indian society, Starting with the end of Hindu rituals. 
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What to Know About Diwali, the Festival of Lights

What to Know About Diwali, the Festival of Lights | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"Diwali, one of the biggest holidays in Indian culture, is a five-day festival of lights celebrated worldwide by Hindus, Sikhs and Jains. This year, the traditional day of Diwali falls on Oct. 30, though celebrations span the entire week leading up to and following the holiday, which marks the triumph of good over evil."

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
Diwali is the Indian festival that lasts 5 days and celebrates the “triumph of good over evil”. The article explains that the holiday is recognized worldwide, the festival is marked by lighting fireworks, and other objects that give off light and has many origins.
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 12, 2018 2:54 PM
This festival seems interesting and all the different lights must be cool to experience.A nice mix of old cultural celebration with more modern traditions (like gift giving, sweets, etc). 
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A tear opens up in Kenya's Rift Valley. Geologists say it will - in a few million years - lead to the continent splitting in two Subscribe
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This video shows the Great Rift Valley and explains that the continent of Africa is splitting in two. The weak spot runs through the eastern part of Africa and is projected to split in millions of years however, there is an immediate threat on the roads. Like most rifts, this rift valley was a result of seismic activity underground, this suggests that the continent of Africa is splitting into two separate continents
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How did Zimbabwe get so poor?

President Mugabe's economic mismanagement of Zimbabwe has brought the country poverty and malnutrition. After 36 years in charge, he's looking to extend his rule by 5 more years.
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This video investigates how the country of Zimbabwe managed to become impoverished. Under the reign of Robert Mugabe, the country’s agricultural sector was destroyed. In doing so, he caused the money run out, so he printed more which caused worst hyperinflation ever. This video shows how the countries that are run poorly can affect its inhabitants.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 10:02 AM
Robert Mugabe's blatant and stunning incompetence and corruption destroyed the value of the Zimbabwean dollar and the resulting hyperinflation decimated the national economy. This is one of the premier examples of how a total lack of competent and powerful institutions can undermine a once promising economy and devolve a nation into one of the poorest on earth. 
David Stiger's curator insight, November 7, 2018 11:40 AM
Setting the record for world history's worst case of hyperinflation should send a signal to any sane person that a change of course is drastically needed. But, it seems Zimbabwe's chief dictator (parading as a "president"), Robert Mugabe, made one-too-many errors leading to the collapse of his country's economy. The unemployment rate hit 95% in 2008. One could argue this disaster started with British racism and exploitation. To deal with the complex legacy of European colonialism, Mugabe confiscated all the commercial farmland from white owners and redistributed the business to friends, loyalists, and family who did not have any expertise in running agricultural businesses. To make a few short-term gains, the valuable lands were sold off and neglected. Consequently, the agricultural sector crumpled severely reducing the flow of revenue and trade. To combat this, Mugabe decided to cheat and print more money - causing a process of vicious hyperinflation. The excessive regulations and taxes also make it difficult for new businesses in Zimbabwe to get off the ground. 

In relation to geography, it is interesting to analyze how the aftermath of British colonialism and good natural resources are present in the world's poorest country. Mugabe's decision to push out white farmers was clearly a big man method of dealing with the shame, grief, and anger of colonial exploitation, theft, and degradation. This aggressive backfired as even though the land is quite arable, it requires special knowledge, management, and dedication on part of the land's stewards to reap success. This seems to be a trend in some African countries. They are endowed with good natural resources to build a strong economy. The problems created by colonialism, however, and the lack of human capital in these African nations have led to cases of severe mismanagement and struggle. 
Matt Danielson's curator insight, December 11, 2018 2:30 PM
ItIt is horrible that after Zimbabwe gained it independence from a apartheid like government that oppressed some of its people, its leaders including Mugabe turned around and continued to oppress certain people. They kicked out all the white farmers (a majority of farms at the time in Zimbabwe were owned by whites)  and replaced them with government friends. This obviously leads to famine with not many crops being grown. The market was decimated because Zimbabwe went from being a bread basket of African agriculture to a malnutrition state begging for economic aide to prevent mass starvation. History may repeat itself today where South Africa is attempting to make the same mistake. 
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What is the Arab Spring?

The Choices Program asks Brown University's Political Scientist Melani Cammett to briefly explain the Arab Spring.  This is a great primer to teach young students who don't follow international news to understand the beginnings of the Arab Spring.  For more videos by the Choices Program in their "Scholars Online" series, see:

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This video explains what the Arab Spring means and why it was significant. According to the woman being interviewed, the Arab Spring was the uprisings that occurred in the Middle East in December 2010 and into January 0f 2011. In an effort to protest police brutality against him, a fruit vendor set himself on fire which caused various protests around the country, eventually spreading around the region
Matthew Richmond's curator insight, October 26, 2015 2:17 PM

Re-scooped from my geography course. Arab Spring led to upheaval in the region that wasn't totally like western democracy. Could be a failure, or maybe not. It seems like it worked out in some countries, but others haven't had the same experiences. That's a whole lot of oil up for grabsl.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 6:09 PM

The Arab Spring refers to the various popular uprisings that started in December 2010. It began officially when a farmer set himself on fire in protest to his treatment by the police. This protest by one man sparked a protest throughout the rest of the country and other countries too through out the region.  The people that have lived under authoritarian rule and lived in oppression have lost their fear to protest and rise against their government. They protest peacefully, weekly, sometimes daily. One place of protest is Tahrir Square. 

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:35 PM

i had no idea what Arab spring was before this video. i am now wondering how bad the oppression was if it drove a man to light himself on fire.

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Dubai, The World Islands

We are told that we should change the world to be what we think it should be...this urban development has taken that to the extreme, showing human/environmental interactions, development and urban issues in Dubai, UAE.  For more information about this place, see: ;

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
Interconnected by a series of channels and waterways, the World Islands in Dubai is an innovative way to expand tourism in growing city. This video explains how the islands were made and how they can be used. It is supported by the marinas and is divided into separate “regions” that can be used commercially, for estate plots and residential developments.
Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 7, 2015 4:38 PM

Dubai has gone into a massive transition over the past few decades. Once oil was discoveredit has become a thriving city full of many high rise buildings and other rich amentities that people like to experience. Its a land that was built from sand and building up from the sea floor. This includes palm tree shape jetties, high rise tennis courts, and an overwhelming strip of buildings. Many of the things that are done here in Dubai are taken to the extreme with human and the environmental interactions.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 5:30 PM
This is amazing! It is a country of high advancement. After it found oil, it became something it never was. Over the past decade or so, Dubai has come from nothing, to something with everything. Although there is probably still high poverty that is not shown. The fact that something like this can be done is quite amazing, pretty much building a world inside a single country.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 28, 2018 9:01 PM
Dubai has boat loads of wealth. We can see this wealth through their remarkable World Islands. These islands were designed to look like all the continents on earth. This development is considered to be the most innovative real estate development on earth. They have not only created a intricate design but have also developed transportation hubs throughout forming an intricate passage of traffic control. These islands have pretty much everything located here from hotels, residential houses, commercial areas, and retail malls. These islands however, are mainly for the rich sine there are man made and include private beaches and marinas for every estate. The creation of these islands is a man made wonder. However I can see many issues that could occur here, like natural disasters and climate change making sea levels rise.
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Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia

Fields of Green Spring up in Saudi Arabia | Geography 200 Portfolio |
Saudi Arabia is drilling for a resource possibly more precious than oil by tapping hidden reserves of water in the Syrian Desert.
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
In this NASA article, the authors explain that Saudi Arabia has uncovered water in the Syrian Desert. In doing so, the Saudi Arabian people are able to cultivate the land and grow crops for roughly 50 years.
Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 4:08 PM
These random fields of green are coming from the rocks that still have water that is trapped inside them from the last ice age. Saudi Arabia reaches these underground rivers and lakes by drilling through the desert floor, directly irrigating the fields with a circular sprinkler system. This technique is called center-pivot irrigation. Because of low rainfall, they get minimum water each year. Hydrologists estimate water will only be able to be pumped out for 50 years. With water popping up fields of green, a new agricultural economy will appear, maybe farming life and new resources that the country never had for their people, they will now have.
Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 28, 2018 8:27 PM
Saudi Arabia is known to be a dry region, but over the past thirty years there has become patches of green apparent in Saudi Arabia. Mainly this country is known for drilling of oil as one of their main resources. However, a resource that Saudi Arabia is drilling for is water. The water that Saudi Arabia is looking for is located in aquifers under the ground. Water to Saudi Arabians is a more precious resource than oil because water helps a population thrive not just economically, and to only a few members of a society. This new vegetation and water resource in Saudi Arabia has now turned useless land into useful land. They are making this land more livable for its inhabitants. The water that is being found is helping feed vegetation possibly reducing the costs that they have to spend on foreign food imports by a small margin (not anything dramatic). Drilling for water in such a dry climate I believe is more remarkable than their ability to produce oil resources to the world. I think this because they export the oil to other countries benefitting the economy mainly. The discovery of aquifers however benefits the lives of those people that lie in Saudi Arabia for the better. Internal progress for this country I believe will help them as a whole.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 9:56 AM
In the Saudi Desert, there are old water deposits hidden deep under the sands that are now starting to be discovered and used for irrigation. Water is a very important resource to those in the region, but it's also a non-renewable resource. Hydrologists estimate water there can only be pumped for 50 years, so it is interesting to think what will Saudi Arabia choose to do with this new commodity. 
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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, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
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.
Sally Egan's curator insight, November 23, 2015 6:29 PM

Great article for the GBR as an ecosystem at risk.

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, 2018 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.
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The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally

The Great Barrier Reef was not bleached naturally | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"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, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
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.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 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.
K Rome's curator insight, October 6, 2018 7:30 PM
The Great barrier Reef is ana amazing area to explore. Its truly a marvel and a beautiful site. It is also a major boost for tourism and well the majorty of the Reef is seeing heavy bleaching. The updated analysis is that most of the damage has done done by higher sea temps caused by climate change through human beings. Most of these studies however, have not been peer reviewed, but the study was very through. If this continues to happen we will see one of the worlds great marvels continue to to bleach and many of the corals could die.  This is devasting for a few reasons first off people that want to visit this beautiful site and take it in this limits there opportunity. Also for the locals this will greatly hurt the tourism business. Tourism is a huge ecnomic boost in this area and if the Reef continues to be damaged we could see a major turn in the economics in this area. This could eventually lead to the upright in migration from this area and could cause other issues within the country. People owning businesses in the area could be greatly affected as well. This would be a shame to see a beautiful area be tarnished.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 5:30 PM
A terrible occurrence in many ways for the Great Barrier reef in Australia. This bleaching is occurring because of warm sea temperatures. The damage could cause many corals to die and that forces other animals to adapt and migrate. This is an environmental issue that definitely needs to be looked at, but it is also an issue for Australia's tourism. Ecotourism is a huge pull for Australia that gets people and money into the country so it is in their best interests to figure out a way to save the Great Barrier Reef.
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China sends first freight train to London

China sends first freight train to London | Geography 200 Portfolio |
Time for a long trip along the new silk road.


The train is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's vision for 'One Belt, One Road' -- dubbed by some as the new silk road. It's China's infrastructure initiative, which Xi hopes will improve China's economic ties with Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


Tags: regions, transportation, economic, globalization, diffusion, industry.

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This article briefly discusses the train that travels from China to London. By sending this freight train, the Chinese president hopes to take initiative in the infrastructure. The route has been compared to the silk Road that was used as means of trade many years ago.
Olivia Campanella's curator insight, January 18, 2018 7:45 PM

On January 1st China sent a freight train to London carrying goods, clothes and other materials. The train is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's vision for "One Belt, One Road" -- dubbed by some as the new silk road. It's China's infrastructure initiative, which Xi hopes will improve China's economic ties with Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Nicole Canova's curator insight, March 23, 2018 11:21 PM
It is easy to see why this freight train is being called "the new silk road," with its similarities to ancient trade routes that brought spices, silks, and other goods to Europe for centuries.  It will strengthen the links China has with countries throughout Eurasia.  To what extent will it succeed?  How did the Chinese reach their decisions on which countries the train should pass through and which should be bypassed? What are the economic--and perhaps political--implications for China's relationships with nations completely bypassed by the freight train, such as India, Iran, Turkey, Ukraine, Italy, etc.?
James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 2018 10:12 AM
I can see why this would be considered a new silk road. I think that this idea is a great one and works wonders for trade between many cultures and countries along the way.
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Homeland of tea

Homeland of tea | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"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."

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This article looks into how the popular beverage, tea, is produced. China is not only the world's largest producer, but also creates many different types of tea including green, black and dragons well. The drink was discovered in 2737 by a Chinese emperor, and the industry employs approximately 80 million people and it produced 2.43 million tons in 2016
Katie Kershaw's curator insight, April 11, 2018 1:11 PM
When I first read that tea was the most popular drink in the world I was a bit surprised.  But once I thought about where tea was popular, specifically China and the United Kingdom (not to mention all the areas that they once colonized), it definitely made sense that tea was consumed by so many.  After looking at all of the images regarding tea production, a few things stood out to me.  First, almost all of the employees on the tea plantations were females.  I’m guessing that women are probably not educated to the same extent as men in the regions where most tea is grown and that is why they must take the low skill jobs of picking tea leaves.  Another thing that caught my attention was how much land is used to produce tea.  The regions in China where tea is grown have vast, rolling fields of tea that seem to reflect what the economies in these areas are based off.  It doesn’t seem like too many people that do not work in the tea industry live in these areas because tea takes up most of the land and because there seem to be no jobs outside of the industry.  I’ve heard of tourism based on cuisine or alcohol consumption, but I wasn’t aware there was entire tea tourism industry.  This article highlighted tea expos where people would gather to work as tea art masters or sample teas from the region.  The tea industry is much larger and more complex than I ever would have guessed, but it tells me that my perspective on the world is tainted with a Western point of view.  Obviously a lot of Americans drink tea, but it is not as popular a beverage as say Coca-Cola.  But the rest of the world drinks so much tea, that entire regions of China are shaped by the industry.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 2, 2018 8:45 AM
This shows the importance of a product to a countries economy, culture, and use of physical geography. China is the worlds biggest producer of tea. This stimulates the economy greatly, and gives 80 millions people jobs as farmers, pickets and in sales. Exporting the tea to other countries also helps the economy. The workers are seasonal, and travel to the tea come harvest season. This also boost the economy in the travel sector. Tea is also hugely part of the cultural geography of China as it is believed to bring wisdom and lift the spirit to a higher level. 
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 2, 2018 9:49 PM
(East Asia) China, the founder of tea, is the largest producer of the most consumed drink in the world. With such an enormous country, regional differences between tea cultivation and culture naturally developed. There are approximately 80 million people involved in tea cultivation, which is non-mechanized in many parts. Linking tea with sanctity, farmers work long hours and come from across China seasonally.

A series of images follows the article. Most remarkable are the depictions of old and young Chinese farmers handpicking tea leaves, the vast plantations and agricultural architecture, and the tea tourism industry
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Nal’ibali is growing a collection of fables and stories in a range of South African languages | Sunday Times Books LIVE (ORIGINAL)

Nal’ibali is growing a collection of fables and stories in a range of South African languages | Sunday Times Books LIVE (ORIGINAL) | Geography 200 Portfolio |
Via TimesLive When you read to your children, you invest in their future. Image: Rico   Many stories for children have been adapted over time from stories that were originally created for adults. In fact, translators have often been responsible for crafting and reshaping stories across time and space to suit their different audiences. Think of Aesop’s fables. Aesop was a slave and storyteller in Ancien

Via Charles Tiayon
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This article explains that Nal’ibali is a growing website that has many stories for children. It’s goes on to say that the stories have all been translated into South African dialects and that it is increasingly beneficial to read to your children. By doing so, a parent can influence their child’s future
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#Zimbabwe #National #Railways sees increase in passengers since #Transnet deal. #Africa (ORIGINAL)

#Zimbabwe #National #Railways sees increase in passengers since #Transnet deal. #Africa (ORIGINAL) | Geography 200 Portfolio |
“The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has recorded passenger increase following the company’s acquisition of train coaches from South African rail utility, Transnet. NRZ is leasing 13 locomotives, 200 wagons and seven locomotives from Transnet as a stop gap measure under an agreement with the Diaspora Investment Development Group (DGIG/ Transnet Consortium). In an interview…”
Via Moses Junior
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
Throughout this article, the author discusses Zimbabwe’s new railway system. The company has leases 13 trains, 200 wagons and 7 trains that will be used as a “stop gap measure”. This new system has increased the amount of passengers riding the railway system.
Moses Junior's curator insight, April 30, 2018 1:28 AM

"The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has recorded passenger increase following the company’s acquisition of train coaches from South African rail utility, Transnet."

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India and Pakistan Reunited

"It’s rare that a video from a brand will spark any real emotion--but a new spot from Google India is so powerful, and so honest to the product, that it’s a testament not only to the deft touch of the ad team that put it together, but to the strength of Google’s current offering."--Forbes

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This emotional video only makes sense to those who have the political context, however, its story is one that is not uncommon in the region. The video depicts and old man and his granddaughter discussing his life before he and his family moved after the partition. It shows his granddaughter using google to send his a surprise for his birthday. 
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 2:38 AM

This video is reminiscent of the families separated during the Korean war recently being allowed to visit one another. While tensions still exist between India and Pakistan many have begun to come to peace with the concept their nations won't be unified under either's rule. Because of this cooling of tensions families and friends are now able to see each other again after years without seeing them. Of course this is a Google commercial so the sincerity is somewhat diminished because of it's origins.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 3:11 PM

The most intriguing commercial that shows the differences and consequences of what happens between two nations. It shows hurt and feelings no human should have to go through. The biggest thing with this is how that after so much time apart two different people of different religions or countries can come back together and remain friends after so long of conflicting issues.

MA Sansonetti-Wood's curator insight, January 26, 2016 9:29 PM
Seth Dixon's insight:

True, this is a commercial--but what a great commercial to show that the history of of a geopolitical conflict has many casualties including friendships across lines.  This isn't the only commercial in India that is raising eyebrows.  This one from a jewelry company is proudly showing a divorced woman remarrying--something unthinkable for Indian TV one generation ago. 

Questions to Ponder: How does the Indian media reflect the values and beliefs of Indian culture?  How does the Indian media shape Indian culture?

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Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy

Why Somaliland is east Africa’s strongest democracy | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"Though unrecognized by the international community, the country benefits from a strong social contract between government and citizens."


Drop a pin on a map of eastern Africa and chances are it will not land on a healthy democracy. Somalia and South Sudan are failed states. Sudan is a dictatorship, as are the police states of Eritrea, Rwanda and Ethiopia. In this context tiny Somaliland stands out. Somaliland was a British protectorate, before it merged with Italian Somalia in 1960 to form a unified Somalia. It broke away in 1991, and now has a strong sense of national identity. It was one of the few entities carved up by European colonists that actually made some sense. Somaliland is more socially homogeneous than Somalia or indeed most other African states (and greater homogeneity tends to mean higher levels of trust between citizens). For fear of encouraging other separatist movements in the region, the international community, following the African Union, has never obliged [to recognize Somaliland]. Nation-building on a shoestring helped keep Somaliland’s politicians relatively accountable, and helped to keep the delicate balance between clans.


Tags: devolution, political, states, sovereignty, autonomy, unit 4 political, Somalia, Africa.

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
Although it is not recognized as its own country Somaliland is Somalia's strongest state. Surrounded by dictatorships, Somaliland built a strong state by creating a strong contract between the government the people. 
David G Tibbs's curator insight, March 29, 2018 7:46 PM
Its ironic that a small unrecognized country like Somaliland holds elections and is one of the most democratic "nations" in the region. With countries that have western backing falling to corruption and endless war. This nation has peacefully had elections for almost two decades, while there has been some problems. That being said their is a remarkable bond between the people and the people that they elect. They have also gained some notice from nations like the United Arab Emirates. It is interesting to see how this small democratic country develops.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, March 30, 2018 4:02 PM
(Africa) Somaliland, an universally unrecognized state in Somalia, recently held it's sixth peaceful election. Originally a British colony that then merged with Italian Somalia, Somaliland declared independence in 1991, leaving the rest of the war-torn and lawless country. Despite their constitution and pursuit of democracy, no other country will acknowledge their sovereignty to prevent other African separatist movements. Usually democratic reform in Africa comes from foreign aid but without external help citizens of Somaliland created a working representative system. Yet, like most of the continent, corruption and delayed elections poses a problem for the autonomous state, and it is hard to tell the future of the only democracy in east Africa.
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 21, 2018 1:48 PM
Although plagued by many of the problems facing African democracies; corruption, abuse of power and delayed elections, Somaliland remains one of the bright spots of African democratic movements. The natural democratic development of the autonomous state within Somalia has been a prime example of how a relatively stable democracy can develop when people can trust the government and are left to their own means to form a free and open government.
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Is being childless a taboo in Nigeria?

Is being childless a taboo in Nigeria? | Geography 200 Portfolio |

"Childlessness affects millions of women and couples around the world. Infertility in the man or woman is sometimes the cause, as can be the presence of a medical condition or untreated illness. Women across Africa report that not having a child is often frowned upon, and sometimes carries a stigma. Market-goers in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, share their views with BBC Africa's Bola Mosuro."

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This recording from BBC describes the negative attitude that comes from being childless. She explains that it is frowned upon to not have kids. Women will be rejected and questioned even though it may not be her choice to be childless. The woman being interviewed explains that in the eyes of the in laws, a woman is not a real woman until she has had a child. She goes on to explain the significance of having a child in African culture. She says that it is important to have someone, specifically a son,  to carry out the legacy of the family name and inheritance. 
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Gendered Cultural Narratives

"As a Muslim woman who chooses to wear hijab,I'd like to apologize for this poster, to my non-hijab wearing cohorts.

Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This particular photo is quite interesting. On the right side of the photo, a woman wearing a hijab isis painted in green, a color that symbolizes life and peace in the Middle Eastern region. Under the woman is a piece of uneaten, clean candy and she is surrounded by beautiful butterflies. On the left is a woman who chooses not to wear a hijab. The color red could symbolize something evil, while the candy bar under her is half eaten and crawling with pests. The use of colors and imagery suggest that a woman who does not dress modestly is vermin, rather than a clean, wholesome women. It also represents how women are expected to be in this society. 
David Lizotte's curator insight, March 25, 2015 8:19 PM

This poster/advertisement raises many questions. Having discussed it in detail during class it left me with a few questions and comments. One is whom created this poster? Two, where was this poster advertised? Three, its an extremely original piece of propaganda which passes judgement on woman and the way they are to live. Four, as discussed in class, the color green is a dominant "true" Islamic color. But what's also interesting is that the preferred character of women is on the east side of the poster while the scandalous-less preferred- woman is on the west side. Western influence in a middle eastern Islamic region is not quite received with open arms... Its almost saying Arab women should stay true to Islam and cover themselves. Women whom are influenced by western culture have lost there way and are damaged goods that no true man of Islam would want to pursue. 

This piece of propaganda has many layers to it. Although I personally am not too keen on the message it is an interesting and creative "piece" to say the least. Its too bad it is used to label and even dehumanize women.  

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, March 29, 2015 4:37 PM

Im sure this poster was highly offensive to many people in the middle east, both male and female.  There is a lot of meaning in each picture, but the basic point seems to be that the image on the right is the way that a lady is supposed to dress, the way that is more appropriate.  Conservative with the candy wrapped, it shows that a woman should dress and act a certain way, while the other image has a girl, who appears to be naked with her hair blowing around, who looks like she has no values, or respect for her religion.

Matt Danielson's curator insight, October 31, 2018 12:19 PM
Its crazy in this region of the world how restrictive they are on Women rights. Especially in places like Iran were for example wearing the hi jab is enforced by law. In other middle eastern regions like Afghanistan for example it may not be government law that enforces it but tribal , Sharia law. Penalty in these regions could be death. Inspiring to see the women who protest this by walking around without an hijab. 
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Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars All Without a Flamewar: Crash Course World History #13

Crash Course World History is now available on DVD! Visit to buy a se
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
In this video, John Green explains the Islamic faith. He goes into depth about the faith and compares it to Christianity and Judaism. He goes on to describe the 5 pillars of faith which are the foundations of the religion. He then goes into depth about the Islamic Empire and argues that “the small group of people from an area of the world with no natural resources managed to create of the great empires of the world and one of its great religions”
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The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split

The Origins Of The Shiite-Sunni Split | Geography 200 Portfolio |
The division between Islam's Shiite minority and the Sunni majority is deepening across the Middle East. The split occurred soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, nearly 1,400 years ago.
Kelsey McIntosh's insight:
This article explains the difference between the Sunni and Shiite Muslims. The separation of the two has been crucial and adds to many of the conflicts throughout the Muslim world. The author explains that the Shiites are the minority in this group and make up about 15% of the population. After the death of Muhammad, the Shiites believed his son in law was the rightful successor while the Sunnis believed there should’ve been an elected successor. He also explains that this split the two groups and it was supposedly a violent one even though the two groups have been known to coexist.
Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 1:57 PM

having been to this part of the world and encountered obviously countless muslims and talking to several. i learned and witnessed first hand the hate that these people have for eachother, they are on such opposite sides of this religion and it is perplexing because it is the same religion and the debate is over such minor details of it (but judeism christianity and islam are all pretty much the same with minor differences arnt they?)

Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 28, 2018 9:18 PM
The Shiite Sunni conflict in the middle east has been going on for 1,400 years with the death of the Prophet Muhammad. There reason for splitting is who should succeed Muhammad. Shiite's believe that succession and leadership should stay in the family of the prophet. Sunni's believed that leadership should fall to the person who was deemed by the elite of the community to be best able to lead the community. This division of who they believed should succeed Muhammad caused the split between Sunni and Shiites. This split of Islamic religion has led to many horrific wars in many different countries located in the Middle East. The Shiites are the minority of the two groups and are concentrated in Iran, southern Iraq and southern Lebanon. The Shiite and Sunni conflict has spread all over the Arab nations making it a regional conflict rather than just an inter-religious conflict.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, November 3, 2018 7:10 AM
The split between Sunni and Shia Muslims was naturally religious. Specifically, a dispute over succession between the Muslim community after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. While "most" followers wanted the community of Muslims to determine who should succeed him, another smaller group believed Ali, a member of Muhammad's family should take leadership. The latter was the views of Shia Muslims and the former would be known as Sunni. These divisions are exacerbated by the political influence and goals of different nations.