Geography Education
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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 29, 2018 11:52 PM
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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Skokomish River salmon cross the road

"Watch salmon race across the road on their way to spawn; for more footage, watch this extended version."

Seth Dixon's insight:

We often see examples of how human modifications to ecosystems or watersheds have devastatingly negative impacts.  This is a remarkable example from Washington's Olympic Peninsula that shows the resiliency of natural systems to overcome human modifications to the physical landscape.  If you study the world, you will always have something to both amaze and surprise you.   

 

Tagsfluvial, biogeography, environment, geomorphology, physicalwater, environment adapt, environment modify.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 17, 2016 11:45 PM

Sometimes the natural world finds ways to adapt to human environmental changes. 

Useful when studying inland water / rivers for the option study. 

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Factory farming practices are under scrutiny again in N.C. after disastrous hurricane floods

Factory farming practices are under scrutiny again in N.C. after disastrous hurricane floods | Geography Education | Scoop.it
As fecal waste and bacteria flow from hog lagoons into the water supply, North Carolina is revisiting a contentious battle between the pork industry, health experts and environmentalists.

 

In regions where hog farm density is high, there is an overall poor sanitary quality of surface waters. The presence of mass-scale swine and poultry lots and processing plants in a sandy floodplain – a region once dotted by small tobacco farms – has long posed a difficult dilemma for a state where swine and poultry represent billions of dollars a year for the economy. [Past] hurricane’s environmental impact in North Carolina were so severe in part because of the large number of hog lagoon breaches. Following Hurricane Matthew, the department has counted 10 to 12 lagoons that were inundated, with floodwaters topping the berms and spreading diluted waste.

 

Tags: food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture, agricultural environment, environment, environment modify, pollution

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Live chart: Fish stocks

"The world's fish are in danger—as is everyone who depends on them."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Every semester I share with my students this New York Times video about the rapid rise in industrial fishing and the production of Talapia.  Even with the rise of aquaculture as a major source of seafood, the world's oceans are still depleted.  As the world's population rises, many folk cultures with their roots in small fishing villages have transformed into primarily urban societies, but these urban societies still have a strong cultural preference for seafood and consume at levels that are not sustainable.    

 

Tags: environment modifyfolk culturesconsumption, water, physical.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 6, 2016 1:24 AM

Impact of overfishing and ecosystem disruption on marine environments 

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India to 'divert rivers' to tackle drought

India to 'divert rivers' to tackle drought | Geography Education | Scoop.it
India is to divert water from major rivers like the Brahmaputra and the Ganges to deal with severe drought, a senior minister tells the BBC.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The drought has been bad enough that (coupled with rising debt to seed companies) many farmers are committing suicide to escape the financial pain of this drought.   The monsoon rains can be lethal, but critical for the rural livelihoods of farmers and the food supply.

 

TagsIndia, agriculture, labor, agriculture, South Asia, physical, weather and climate.

 

 

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 22, 2018 1:07 PM
As everyone knows, water is key. We usually talk about water in geography has a way to export/import or for key military purposes. Here we are talking about survival and certain states within in India (29 to be exact) that were suffering through a drought and whose rivers had been completely dried up. India has tried a new plan to try to get water to these areas, by diverting water from there other rivers to these states. This is an interesting way to try to deal with this problem, however is it really feasible to do this?  Would this eventually causes problems in the areas in which we are taking the water from? Also this would be very expensive and India , who is still a growing country,  could hurt them economically for years to come. No one has said this will work and while yes, its horrible to see what has happen to these areas, but is this just a quick fix. What would the plan be for a future drought, is there anyway to come up with a better plan? Possibly will these people need to move in the future. Our rivers and lands are constantly changing so as people we might have to move away from areas that which were once habitable, but now may not be. 
Douglas Vance's curator insight, April 23, 2018 12:26 PM
Extreme drought combined with inefficient agricultural practices and the depletion of groundwater resources have creates a water crisis in India. However the solution to the drought seems poorly planned and likely to fail. There is no evidence showing that a massive water diversion project like this will succeed in alleviating the effects of such a massive drought. 
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:45 PM
Drought is a factor of the physical geography of an area that is in trouble. India is heavily depended on monsoon rains, and for two years have no received what they normally do, and 330 million people are affected by it. The country is planning to divert different rivers to solve the issue. "The government says the scheme will irrigate 35,000 hectares of land and generate 34,000 megawatts of electricity." This will exponentially help those dealing with the water crisis, but also help with other thing such as electricity. 
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Animals Rule Chernobyl 30 Years After Nuclear Disaster

Animals Rule Chernobyl 30 Years After Nuclear Disaster | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Three decades later, it’s not certain how radiation is affecting wildlife—but it’s clear that animals abound.

 

It may seem strange that Chernobyl, an area known for the deadliest nuclear accident in history, could become a refuge for all kinds of animals—from moose, deer, beaver, and owls to more exotic species like brown bear, lynx, and wolves—but that is exactly what Shkvyria and some other scientists think has happened. Without people hunting them or ruining their habitat, the thinking goes, wildlife is thriving despite high radiation levels.

 

TagsNational Geographic, physicalbiogeography, environment, ecology, environment modify, disasters.

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Utah's Great Salt Lake is shrinking

Utah's Great Salt Lake is shrinking | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Human activity is playing a role in the dwindling size of Utah's Great Salt Lake, according to new research.While the research group acknowledged the role that climate fluctuations, such as droughts and floods, have played in the shift of the lake's water levels over time, the decrease in the lake's size is predominantly due to human causes. According to the report, the heavy reliance on consumptive water uses has reduced the lake level by 11 feet and its volume by 48 percent.

 

Tags: physical, Utah, environment modifyenvironment, water.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The railroad causeway that creates the color difference between the northern and sotuhern portions of the Great Lake is as the Union Pacific plans to change the causeway; the proposed bridge would allow for the two distinct salinities to intermingle more.  Environmentally, this lake is not exceptional.  Like many lakes in dry climates with growing populations, the people are using the freshwater flow into the lakes more extensively than they have in the past.  The Great Salt Lake, the Aral Sea, Lake Chad, Lake Urmia, and the Dead Sea are all drying up.  

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Sally Egan's curator insight, April 10, 2016 11:05 PM
Another great example of human activities changing the biophysical environment.
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In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

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

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

Seth Dixon's insight:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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Human impact has pushed Earth into the Anthropocene, scientists say

Human impact has pushed Earth into the Anthropocene, scientists say | Geography Education | Scoop.it
New study provides one of the strongest cases yet that the planet has entered a new geological epoch

 

Tags: Anthropocenedevelopment,  land use, environment, environment modify.  

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Sally Egan's curator insight, February 21, 2016 4:30 PM

Good discussion for syllabus dotpoint Human impacts on ecosystems within the HSC topic Ecosystems at Risk.

Andrea J Galan's curator insight, February 22, 2016 6:58 PM

I chose to add this article into my folder because it talks about earth entering a new geological epoch. This is exciting yet scary news because it's mostly pollution that justifies /proves the new epoch. The news is exciting because it's something that we are currently experiencing. The evidence that proves the geological epoch on the other hand is terrifying. It just goes to show how awful we have been treating our planet like if the next generation is going to be finding fossils in plastic bags that is a problem.

nukem777's curator insight, June 2, 2016 7:21 AM
Thought we were still officially in the Holocene...did I miss a memo?
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The Geography of New Orleans

The Geography of New Orleans | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Geographers make a distinction between site and situation as they consider the underlying foundation of a place. Few cities represent such a wide chasm between these two aspects as does New Orleans. The situation, or the answer to why does a place exist, was imperative. The Mississippi River was a major artery for the North American continent. As first the Europeans and then the Americans assumed control of the area, a port was essential at the mouth of this river. But the site, the response to where a city is placed, continues to confound. Few environments were or are more inhospitable to human habitation. Poor soil, disease, floods, and hurricanes are constant threats that have plagued the city for over three centuries. But the why trumped the where and hence the paradox of New Orleans persists.
Seth Dixon's insight:

New Orleans is the classic example to use to explain the difference between site and situation...lousy site, incredible situation.  These maps are a nice introduction to the city.  

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Gilbert C FAURE's comment, November 27, 2015 8:08 AM
names of streets were obviously french!
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The Periodic Table of Elements Scaled to Show The Elements’ Actual Abundance on Earth

The Periodic Table of Elements Scaled to Show The Elements’ Actual Abundance on Earth | Geography Education | Scoop.it
When you learned about The Periodic Table of Elements in high school, it probably didn’t look like this. Above, we have a different way of visualizing the elements. Created by Professor William F. Sheehan at Santa Clara University in 1970, this chart takes the elements (usually shown like this) and scales them relative to their abundance on the Earth’s surface.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Periodic Table of Elements shows each element as a box, but that doesn’t help us understand which elements are the most scarce and abundant.  The “rare earths” are crucial ingredients in cell phones, laptops and magnets that create clean energy; China controls 95% of the rare earths production and are no longer exporting these materials to other countries (some consider the availability of rare earths a risk to U.S. national security).   This image is not a mathematically accurate representation of the true proportions, but an artist's rendition with the given limitations.  For an article on WHY the image above isn't (and can't be) mathematically accurate, read this article.    

 

Tagspollution, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify, sustainability.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, November 19, 2015 7:57 AM

elements abundance

16s3d's curator insight, November 23, 2015 7:16 AM

Morphisme du tableau périodique des éléments en fonction de leur abondance

Lilydale High School's curator insight, May 17, 2016 5:57 AM
science!
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Human activities are reshaping Earth's surface

Human activities are reshaping Earth's surface | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"By moving the slider, the user can compare 1990 false-color Landsat views (left) with recent true-color imagery (right). Humans are increasingly transforming Earth’s surface—through direct activities such as farming, mining, and building, and indirectly by altering its climate."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This ESRI interactive web app uses the "swipe" function to compare 12 places over time.  These locations have experienced significant environmental change since 1990.  This is an user-friendly way to compare remote sensing images over time.  Pictured above is the Aral Sea, which is and under-the-radar environmental catastrophe in Central Asia that has its roots in the Soviet era's (mis)management policies.  

 

Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, esri, unit 1 Geoprinciples, Aral Sea.

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James Piccolino's curator insight, March 24, 2018 9:46 AM
Wow. This is depressing. I knew of the Aral sea thanks to class, but the others I had no idea. They were so green and lush way back in the day. Now they are dead and seriously in a sad state. There is nothing wrong with development and advancement, but this is just a lot when it comes to impact.
othni lindor's curator insight, October 20, 2018 4:01 AM
This map shows how human activities like farming has shaped the Earth's surface. The example they show is the Aral Sea. It is a 
regional environmental problem. It is located between the Southern part of Kazakhstan and Northern Uzbekistan. It used to be the world's fourth largest saline lake. Human activities have caused the lake to be almost completely dried up. Over the years, the Aral Sea became polluted with pesticides and chemicals. 


Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, October 28, 2018 9:51 PM
The Aral Sea is a severe environmental issue in Central Asia. This map that we are looking at shows how human activities such as farming have destroyed a natural wonder. The Aral Sea USED to be the fourth largest saline lake but has dried up. The Aral Sea has five times less volume and is five times more saltier than it once was. This occurred because people surrounding the area used more water and used it more intensely. The soviets thought it would be a good idea to use more water projects such as planting cotton, and rice which are water intense crops. This severely dried up the Sea. The area that the sea once was that is now dry land in uninhabitable because of the levels of salt left behind. As well the rivers that connected to the Aral Sea have either dried out or are on the verge of drying out causing many economic problems for those that depended on that water.
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40 years of human activities you can see from space

Satellites have been watching us for 40 years. Here's what their images reveal.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is simple entry point into the various applications of remote sensing as well as various human and environmental interactions. This video highlights 5 examples: 

1. Deforestation (Brazil)

2. Water Use (Aral Sea)

3. Urban Sprawl (Las Vegas)

4. Energy (Coal in Wyoming)

5. Climate Change (Ice Shelf in Antarctica)


Tags: remote sensing, geospatial, unit 1 Geoprinciples, K12, land use, environment.

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Ambre Cooper's curator insight, June 25, 2015 4:04 PM

This is a cool little video. It even shows the level of Aral Sea we read about.

Hamdou Wane's curator insight, June 29, 2015 7:55 AM

Satellites have been watching us for 40 years. Here's what their images reveal

Alex Smiga's curator insight, August 6, 2017 8:45 AM
Seth Dixon's insight: 
This video is simple entry point into the various applications of remote sensing as well as various human and environmental interactions. This video highlights 5 examples: 
 1. Deforestation (Brazil) 
2. Water Use (Aral Sea) 
3. Urban Sprawl (Las Vegas) 
4. Energy (Coal in Wyoming) 
5. Climate Change (Ice Shelf in Antarctica)
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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 14, 2017 7:49 PM
Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns and Trends, Interrelationships, Geographic Perspective.
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Finding North America’s lost medieval city

Finding North America’s lost medieval city | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Cahokia was North America's biggest city—then it was completely abandoned. I went there to find out why.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The earthen mounds of Cahokia on the flat flood plains must have been the most awe-inspiring demonstration of political power and economic wealth in its day.  Like so many other civilizations before them (and many more in the future?), Cahokia probably declined from too many environmental modifications that led to unforeseen consequences.

 

Tagsurban ecology, indigenousenvironment, environment modify, historical, North America.

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James Piccolino's curator insight, January 31, 2018 5:54 PM
Why have I never heard of this? This is too interesting to have somehow just passed most of us by. The entire time I was reading this, I was hoping that they would offer an image of what the site looks like today, and luckily they did. As a history lover there has always been something so amazing about being able to compare historical sites in their prime vs what they are like now. I tend to look up locations of historic places after, say watching a tv show based there, for this same reason. To think this all was hidden under an old drive in movie theater, it's a little crazy, but then again that is what makes this sort of thing so interesting.
Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, February 9, 2018 1:25 PM
(North America) The common view of Native Americans involve nomads and small villages in the north and technologically advanced cities in Mexico. However, the largest Native American settlement was in modern day Illinois. At the time, Cahokia had a greater population than Paris or London and had huge intricate mounds, plazas, agricultural centers, and, most importantly, places of ritual worship. It's amazing how archaeologists can piece together so much of day to day life. Rooms with bones and pottery are discovered to be centuries old feasting rooms, a place with distinct pottery and mats is deemed to be a ritual burning ground. The fact that the workers can tell if objects were imported from other villages or how fast the city was built allows the ancient Americans to communicate with us over 600 hundred years later, especially on their religious beliefs of the Upper and Under Worlds. Not only are the archaeologists able to see daily life, they can see the changing history of the city through different housing patterns further below the soil.
David Stiger's curator insight, September 6, 2018 8:59 PM
It is a shame that probably not enough residents of the United States are aware that this wondrous city ever existed. People recognize the name "Manchu Picchu" but not Cahokia. Why is that the case in our American culture? The article reports that this city has been under serious excavation since the 1970s. Cahokia is a First Nations example of highly advanced civilization - something that even overtook medieval European civilization when the city was in its prime (1200 BCE). The hegemonic narrative of white, patriarchal supremacy - a view that is characterized as 'Eurocentric' - still dominates our culture and prevents stories like these from impacting and shaping how Americans view history. This is important because Cahokia is further evidence that no European ever introduced civilization to the First Nations. More accurately stated, Europeans introduced a different kind of civilization to the Indigenous Peoples implying a sense of equality and humanness. The resulting genocide of the First Nations by white Americans is even harder to justify and ignore because "savages" do not build magnificent cities based on complex systems of religion, spirituality, politics, and artistic expression. 
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Cahokia – why did North America's largest city vanish?

Cahokia – why did North America's largest city vanish? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Long before Columbus reached the Americas, Cahokia was the biggest, most cosmopolitan city north of Mexico. Yet by 1350 it had been deserted by its native inhabitants the Mississippians – and no one is sure why
Seth Dixon's insight:

This article is the eighth in the "Lost Cities" series (Babylon, Troy, Pompeii, Angkor, Fordlandia, etc.).  The earthen mounds of Cahokia on the flat flood plains must have been the most awe-inspiring demonstration of political power and economic wealth in its day.  Like so many other civilizations before them (and many more in the future?), Cahokia probably declined from too many environmental modifications that led to unforeseen consequences.

 

Tagsurban ecology, indigenousenvironment, environment modify, historical, North America.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, September 28, 2016 8:55 PM

A great example of the importance of environmental quality to liveability 

Kelly Bellar's curator insight, September 29, 2016 10:32 PM

This article is the eighth in the "Lost Cities" series (Babylon, Troy, Pompeii, Angkor, Fordlandia, etc.).  The earthen mounds of Cahokia on the flat flood plains must have been the most awe-inspiring demonstration of political power and economic wealth in its day.  Like so many other civilizations before them (and many more in the future?), Cahokia probably declined from too many environmental modifications that led to unforeseen consequences.

 

Tagsurban ecology, indigenousenvironment, environment modify, historical, North America.

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How Geospatial Analytics Are Changing Habitat Conservation

"The BirdReturns program is an effort to provide 'pop-up habitats' for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers that migrate along the Pacific Flyway, a route that spans from Alaska to South America. Birds flying on this journey seek out the increasingly rare wetlands teeming with tasty insects to fuel their long-distance flights.  Over the last century, California's Central Valley has lost 95% of the wetlands habitat to development, agriculture, and other land use changes. As a solution, scientists use big data, binoculars, and rice paddies."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This project combines data from satellite imagery to map surface water in California's Central Valley, and individual bird observations to select locations that can be temporarily converted into wetlands to aid the migratory birds (for more information than the video provides about this project, read this article). 

 

This is a great example of using both 'big' geospatial data as represented by the satellite imagery and combining it with field data and actual observations to make the world a better place.  We need more decision makers that can think spatially and use geographic skills.  

 

Tags: physicalCalifornia, water, environmentbiogeography, remote sensing.

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Matt Manish's curator insight, May 4, 2018 12:51 AM
Many bird species migrate North from South America up to Alaska when the weather changes and becomes warmer. Many birds like the birds in this video use wet lands along the way of their migration route to stop and rest. Unfortunately, many wet lands along the West coast have dried up due to farming or drought. Fortunately, pop up wet lands are being created along the migration route for birds to use to stop and rest. Some farmers are being paid to flood their land in order to create a temporary wet land for birds. This is not only nice for the birds, but also for the farmers who get paid to flood their land.
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Vultures, Environment, and Mapping Trash

"For generations we vultures, armed with our senses, have fought in silence. We’ve waged a battle against garbage, but now we’re losing that battle. We want to help humans, so we’ve launched a movement to help you detect piles of garbage so that you can take action to eliminate them. Join us in this fight. Vultures Warn, you take action!"

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is an introduction to a fascinating (Spanish language) website and project that uses GPS-tagged vultures to map out the urban trash hot-spots in Lima, Peru.  We look at vultures as the dregs of the food chain and ascribe moral filthiness to the species (just think of any number of movie, literary, and cultural references), but they are simply filling an ecological niche.  This mapping project is a way to use vultures nature in a way that allows for humanity to fix our trash production/disposal problems.    

 

Tagspollution, PerudevelopmentmappingGPSbiogeography, environment, environment modify, South America, land use, megacities, urban ecology, consumption.

 

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Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, September 29, 2018 11:00 PM
An ingenious idea to clean up the environment. This group is based out of Lima, Peru uses the vultures in the city to find the piles of garbage and refuse left by people and set up events to clean up the area. It is an amazing way to utilize nature to help us solve the problems we caused ourselves. They utilize the vultures by putting GPS devices and GoPro cameras on them and wait until they locate large trash piles. The video itself is so well-made and interesting that it almost forces you to learn more by checking out their website and their social media pages. The phrase they use is "Gallinazo Avisa, Tu Actuas" translates to vultures warn, you act. 
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Thanks to Humans, the Great Salt Lake Is Drying Up

Thanks to Humans, the Great Salt Lake Is Drying Up | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Diverting more water could pose serious health and economic threats to Utah.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Follow-up: The drying up of the lake can't be blamed on the current drought, this is a human-induced modification of the environment.  This lake is not exceptional, even if the imagery is startling.  Like many lakes in dry climates with growing populations, the people are using the freshwater flow into the lakes more extensively than they have in the past.  The Great Salt Lake, the Aral Sea, Lake Chad, Lake Urmia, and the Dead Sea are all drying up.  

 

Tags: physical, Utah, environment modifyenvironment, water.

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Mary Grace Bunch's comment, April 21, 2016 10:21 PM
The Great Salt Lake in Utah is drying up which will lead to an unpromising future for the environmental health of the area. This is occurring due to the consistent reductions from rivers feeding into the lake that have been taking plays for 150 years. This past year the Great Salt Lake reached record low levels, dropping 11 feet. As a result of this increase in salinity and loss in half the volume of the lake, there is going to be trouble involving the economy and ecology of the state of Utah. This can be seen by dust storms or pollution.

The agglomeration of these rivers and gateways into the lake for human use are leading to the backwash effect. The backwash effect can be seen as the drained/dried out of water, an important resource to Salt Lake City, being drained in its regions. The impacts of the rivers outside of the lake are affecting the resources of the lake, even though it may not seem direct. Primary Economic Activities such as fishing will be impacted by the drying up of the Great Salt Lake. As a result of this, the development of Utah will be threatened. Utah is very reliant on the lake for it’s valuable resources that help them develop. A solution may be found through ecotourism. If the city is motivated in solving this problem, they could very well promote ecotourism in order to preserve the lake since Salt Lake City is very popular and many people travel there.

This article was relative to the Development Unit we are in now. It made me aware of what is going on in Utah. I never would have known this issue was occurring until I took the time to read it. I look forward to following along with this issue in the future and to see how the state of Utah will deal with it.
Kayla McIntosh's comment, June 1, 2016 11:14 PM
I agree with Mary Grace that they should use ecotourism to conserve the Great Salt Lake. Since the Great Salt lake is so economically important to Utah, ecotourism would help bring money into the state and make people more aware on what human use of rivers can to do the environment, which will eventually dry up the river that can cause dust storms, creating more air pollution.
Keone Sinnott-Suardana's curator insight, June 22, 2016 10:23 PM
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The Dead Sea's Geography

The Dead Sea's Geography | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Fields of sinkholes instead of beaches, roads swept away by floods, large industrial ponds instead of a sea and one overarching question: What can be done so that things don’t get even worse in the next 20 years?
Seth Dixon's insight:
This interactive really is a dramatic look at Israel's endangered natural wonder, the Dead Sea, and explores the reasons why it is in danger of dying. Now if you are a wise guy like my students you are asking "How can it die if it is already the Dead Sea?"  Historically, we have undervalued the role of salty lakes in the broader ecosystem and physical landscape.  Humanity has searched for freshwater to fuel our settlements and has considered them 'dead weight' and not 'living waters.'  The Dead Sea isn't alone; hypersaline lakes such as the Aral Sea and the Great Salt Lake have also undergone transformations.    
 
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Frans Paffen's curator insight, March 27, 2016 4:28 PM
This interactive really is a dramatic look at Israel's endangered natural wonder, the Dead Sea, and explores the reasons why it is in danger of dying. Now if you are a wise guy like my students you are asking "How can it die if it is already the Dead Sea?"  Historically, we have undervalued the role of salty lakes in the broader ecosystem and physical landscape.  Humanity has searched for freshwater to fuel our settlements and has considered them 'dead weight' and not 'living waters.'  The Dead Sea isn't alone; hypersaline lakes such as the Aral Sea and the Great Salt Lake have also undergone transformations.    
 
Tags: land use, environment, environment modify.
Mariaschnee's curator insight, March 31, 2016 7:59 AM
This interactive really is a dramatic look at Israel's endangered natural wonder, the Dead Sea, and explores the reasons why it is in danger of dying. Now if you are a wise guy like my students you are asking "How can it die if it is already the Dead Sea?"  Historically, we have undervalued the role of salty lakes in the broader ecosystem and physical landscape.  Humanity has searched for freshwater to fuel our settlements and has considered them 'dead weight' and not 'living waters.'  The Dead Sea isn't alone; hypersaline lakes such as the Aral Sea and the Great Salt Lake have also undergone transformations.    
 
Tags: land use, environment, environment modify.
Jyoti Chouhan's curator insight, March 31, 2016 11:16 PM
This interactive really is a dramatic look at Israel's endangered natural wonder, the Dead Sea, and explores the reasons why it is in danger of dying. Now if you are a wise guy like my students you are asking "How can it die if it is already the Dead Sea?"  Historically, we have undervalued the role of salty lakes in the broader ecosystem and physical landscape.  Humanity has searched for freshwater to fuel our settlements and has considered them 'dead weight' and not 'living waters.'  The Dead Sea isn't alone; hypersaline lakes such as the Aral Sea and the Great Salt Lake have also undergone transformations.    
 
Tags: land use, environment, environment modify.
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It's official: a global mass extinction is under way

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

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

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

 

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

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

Geographic Thinking Concepts: Patterns and Trends; Interrelationships;

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Dam Collapse

Dam Collapse | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"On November 5, 2015, two dams collapsed at an iron ore mine in southeastern Brazil. The dam is owned by Samarco, a joint-venture between the mining companies Vale and BHP Billiton. News outlets estimate that more than 62 million cubic meters of wastewater have been unleashed so far with catastrophic consequences. The immediate release of sludge wiped out numerous villages including Bento Rodrigues (shown in greater detail above), causing the death of twelve people. Eleven others are still missing. Because of this pollution, more than half a million people do not have access to clean water for drinking or irrigating their crops. By November 23, the contaminated waters covered a 400 mile stretch of the Rio Doce River and entered into the sea, killing significant amounts of planet and animal life along the way. Officials are concerned that the toxins will threaten the Comboios Nature Reserve, a protected area for the endangered leatherback turtle."

 

Tags: dam, environment, land use, sustainability, landscape, images, environment modify, pollution.

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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 | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The country’s future depends on keeping the holy river alive.
Seth Dixon's insight:

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.


Tags: religionSouth Asia, culture, Hinduism, pollution, industry, economicenvironment, environment modify, unit 3 culture.

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Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, April 24, 2018 1:20 PM
(South Asia) Varanasi, the oldest city in India and the religious center of Hinduism, has an enormous business focusing around cremating bodies to scatter in the Ganges River. Hindus believe the Ganges can break the cycle of reincarnation, so many who do not have money to pay for cremation drop their deceased directly into the river to help them break this cycle. However, the river supports approximately 10% of the entire worlds' population and belief in Ganga, "the self-cleaning river god" allows for Indians to poison the same water they drink out of. It is estimated that 70% of people that use the water become diseased by the sewage and industrial waste poured into it.
India cannot stop dependence on the river. Hindus bath in the holy water of the Ganges, and an increasing population means increased water consumption. It will take concentrated efforts from government and spiritual leaders to change the dominate opinion.
brielle blais's curator insight, May 1, 2018 6:39 PM
This article showcases how different aspects of geography can both help and harm a country. The Ganges River is incredibly important to India. It is a sacred place where the people believe in Ganges, the idea of allowing the dead to reach eternal liberation. Here, hundreds of bodies are burned a day. If they aren't burned, family members of the deceased let the dead float down the river. This phenomenon attracts many tourist and allows for the economy of India to thrive. However, the bodies are beginning to seriously pollute the river. Areas have become stagnant, full of disease. The problem doesn't end however, as India's population is increasing steadily as well. Water needs to be cleaned to meet the demand or India will face a true crisis.
Kelvis Hernandez's curator insight, December 14, 2018 2:52 PM
10. Approximately 10% of the world's population lives on the Ganges river basin. Soak that in for a second. 10 % of the world's population rely on one way or another this religiously significant river. The god of the river, Ganga, is worshipped, but the river is also highly polluted. With waste both artificial and human, being thrown into the river and the number of dead bodies that float down to Varanasi, the oldest city in India, to be cremated. As dead bodies flow down the river the people still need to use it to wash. There are ceremonies that the people on the river hold where they dump waste into the river as they know that Ganga will clean the river. The pollution of the river is an issue that will, unfortunately, continue as India's population continues to grow. 
 
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Changes in Three Gorges Dam

NASA's animation of China's Three Gorges Dam construction over the years.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The world’s largest dam was created to generate more energy for China’s ever-expanding economy and to increase the interior economic development by increasing the navigability of the river.  The dam also can control downstream flooding and protect important industrial centers such as Shanghai.  This ambitious hydroelectric dam produces the same amount of energy as 18 nuclear power plants.  This dam also displaced over 1 million people as the reservoir flooded properties upstream.  The Three Gorges Dam prevents the nutrient-rich sediments from being deposited downstream; this heightens Chinese farmers’ need for fertilizers, this has led to drought downstream and limits residents’ water access. The dam also disrupted the local ecology (part of the reason the Yangtze River Dolphin went extinct), preventing fish to migrate to upstream breeding grounds. 

For good and ill, the dam has profoundly modified the environment and this video animation from NASA is a powerful demonstration of the changes.       


Tags: remote sensing, geospatial, video, land use, environment, environment modify, water, economic, development, China, East Asia, unit 1 GeoPrinciples.

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Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, November 9, 2015 5:40 PM

The impact of the Three Gorges Dam on the residents upstream is amazing. I cannot imagine anything like this happening in the US, mostly because of the impact on the people both upstream and downstream. Ecological damage from this dam may not phase the Chinese government, but I think any North American or European government would shudder at the thought of the backlash among their citizens this would create.

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:27 PM

Three Gorges damn in China is the largest dam ever constructed. This was created to save on power by creating hydroelectric power for the people of the land. One of the issues with this was the the flooding of the land up streams displacing millions of people. It created a larger up stream area and very small down stream. A lot of the people that lived up stream had to be relocated further inland and faced changing climatif weather. The banks of the river are carved out between what seems like mountainous regions so as you move more uphill the weather and temperature will be a whole new category of life (Depending on how far you relocated).

Stevie-Rae Wood's curator insight, December 9, 2018 6:09 PM
From the animation that NASA has created of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam it is apparent that land has been lost. The Three Gorges Dam was created to generate more energy for Chinas growing economy. It is known as the largest hydroelectric project ever costing around 40 billion dollars and requiring 20,000 workers. There is a good and bad side to the creation of this dam. It has helped Chinas economy grow however to the expense of the people that were displaced because the dam took away land as we can see In the animation. It also effected people downstream negatively as we can see as well because there water supply was depleted. Like most things that take place today the people that benefit from something usually live far away from the problem while those that live closest pay the more costly price.
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Living in the Shadow of Industrial Farming

"The world eats cheap bacon at the expense of North Carolina's rural poor." 

Seth Dixon's insight:

In a recent article by QZ (the video above comes from the same investigation), they explore the negative impacts of the pork industry.  People love their bacon memes, but forget about social and environmental impacts of an increased global trend towards higher pork consumption


Tags: food, agriculture, agribusiness, unit 5 agriculture, agricultural environment, environment, environment modify, pollution. 

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Lilydale High School's curator insight, August 17, 2015 7:33 PM

Consequences of living near industrial sites - even if it is farming.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, September 28, 2015 12:23 PM

This is pretty insane. I've seen other video's where it is a similar situation around chicken farms in the U.S. The people can't even go outside most of the time due to the smell, and it makes me wonder how much of the way we eat is truly devastating the planet. Beyond the smell, I can't help wonder what these types of farms would do the ground water beneath.