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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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land use

Here’s How America Uses Its Land

The 48 contiguous states alone are a 1.9 billion-acre jigsaw puzzle of cities, farms, forests and pastures.

Source: www.bloomberg.com

This set of 15 maps on how land is used in the 48 contiguous U.S. states is a phenomenal resource to visualize how we use our land (admittedly this does exclude Alaska and Hawaii, but given that Alaska’s land use patterns can skew the patterns considerably).  This is especially useful in agricultural units, but has many other applications. 

Scoop.it Tags: agriculture, food production, land userural, USA.

WordPress TAGS: agriculture, food production, land use, rural, USA.

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27 stunning satellite images that will change how you see our world – Geoawesomeness

“The images come from the amazing book called “Overview: A New Perspective of Earth”. that just hit the stores around the world. The book is a stunning and unique collection of satellite images of Earth that offer an unexpected look at humanity, derived from the wildly popular Daily Overview Instagram account followed by almost 0.5 million people.”

 

Hagadera, seen here on the right, is the largest section of the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya and is home to 100,000 refugees. To cope with the growing number of displaced Somalis arriving at Dadaab, the UN has begun moving people into a new area called the LFO extension, seen here on the left. Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world with an estimated total population of 400,000.

Source: geoawesomeness.com

Making Ethanol from Sugarcane

This segment highlights how sugarcane is processed into ethanol for fuel and other uses.

Source: www.youtube.com

Sugarcane ethanol has proven to be one of the most environmentally safe alternative fuel sources. In addition to its green energy properties, sugarcane ethanol has fueled the Brazilian economy for over a decade. The Brazilian automotive industry have developed a complex, “Flex Fuel” engine that allows vehicles to run off of both gasoline and ethanol. Also, sugarcane ethanol has been one of their leading exports in the global economy. Due to recently discovered fuel deposits in Brazil and around the globe, there has been a decline in the need for sugarcane ethanol. This has negatively impacted the economy in addition to the Brazilian job market. But thanks to the engineering of cellulosic ethanol, Brazil is striving to become the green energy superpower yet again.

 

Questions to Ponder: Since cellulosic ethanol production is so expensive, do you think that will deter production and customers from purchasing it? Do you think that Brazil will ever become independent of fossil fuels as a result of their successful sugarcane ethanol production?

 

Tagsenergy, resourcespolitical ecologyagriculture, food production, land use, Brazil, South America.

Pros and Cons of Cotton Production in Uzbekistan

“This case study considers the pros and cons of cotton production in Uzbekistan. Since the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, revenues from cotton taxation have contributed substantially to developing the industrial sector, boosting the current account, achieving energy and food-grain self-sufficiency, and buffering domestic shocks in food and energy prices. Nonetheless, some argue that the state procurement system hampers the development of the agricultural sector. Often the payments for cotton hardly cover farmers’ production costs, and the quasi mono-culture of cotton production has adversely affected environmental sustainability.”

Source: cip.cornell.edu

Uzbekistan is a top world producer and exporter of cotton. There are many sectors involved in managing the cotton commodity chain to partake in the production. Not only is it a source of income, but provides labor jobs and food consumption. However, the land where the cotton production takes place is suffering. This land faces many types of land degradation that has an impact on the cotton. In order to secure the land, there are possible solutions and policies to improve the agriculture and the cotton benefits. Once the world’s fourth largest lake, the Aral Sea, is located in Uzbekistan, and has had a major impact on the cotton industry. This production has given Uzbekistan a world-wide reputation in cotton production, but is also known for destroying one of the world’s largest lakes.  Just because it is your greatest economic competitive advantage, doesn’t mean that it is environmentally sustainable.

 

Questions to Ponder: How much does the cotton production contribute to Uzbekistan economically? What are the solutions to address the demising Aral Sea? Who is impacted the most because of the land issues?

 

Tags:  agriculture, labor, Uzbekistan, physical, weather and climateland use, environmentAral Sea.

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