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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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ecology

Jackalopes Return to Yellowstone Ecosystem

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

Source: jellostone.com

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

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, fun.

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Senegal’s Great Green Wall combats desertification

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

Source: www.youtube.com

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

 

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

The Dakota Access Pipeline Map

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

Source: www.huffingtonpost.com

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

 

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

Dakota Access Pipeline: What You Need to Know

Conflict between Native American protesters and private security personnel over construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline has turned violent. What is the Dakota Access Pipeline?

 

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

Source: blog.education.nationalgeographic.com

Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying.

In Madagascar, the booming charcoal business is contributing to deforestation and may exacerbate the effects of global warming.

Source: www.nytimes.com

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

 

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

Ecotourism in Australia

“Ecotourism strives to protect the native cultures and environments of destinations while entertaining and informing tourists of all ages. For many years people within the tourism industry have debated what destinations and practices truly qualify as ecotourism without reaching a definitive consensus.”

Source: cardinalscholar.bsu.edu

Ecotourism is an important aspect of Australia’s success. The Australian Government produced a website, that is dedicated to the tourism and ecotourism industry.  There is a debate of land claims between the Australian Government and indigenous people. The cultural difference plays a significant role in the success of ecotourism because tourists enjoy the cultural heritage. The separation has created social, political, and economic reasons to be involved or not in ecotourism. The Australian Government has developed certificates and policies to allow aborigines rights of their land.

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentindigenous, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

Where our food came from

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

Source: blog.ciat.cgiar.org

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

 

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

Cutting Haiti’s Forests

The major environmental problem facing Haiti’s biodiversity is explained, including video of tree-cutting within a national park.

Source: www.youtube.com

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

 

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

Anthropocene: Why You Should Get Used to the Age of Man (and Woman)

Via Scoop.itGeography Education

The cover package of this week’s TIME—which should still be on newsstands—detailed the 10 ideas that are changing your life. What kind of ideas, you ask?

“Welcome to the Anthropocene. It’s a new geological epoch, one where the planet is shaped less by natural forces then by the combined activity, aspirations—and emissions—of more than 7 billion human beings.”  Humanity’s technological advancements and impact on the Earth’s planetary systems is significant enough that many scientists agree that it has fundamental shifted the geologic paradigm.

Via ecocentric.blogs.time.com

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