Archive for Mark Bjelland
I grew up in South Minneapolis, a great place for a budding geographer. We lived a half mile from the Mississippi River bluffs where we would stage our outdoor adventures or just sit and watch the barges go by. And we had a bus line that took us straight downtown for our urban explorations.
I've lived in Seattle, Vancouver, British Columbia, Victoria, and the United Kingdom. But I love Minnesota--from the prairies to the northern boreal forest, and from the quaint small towns to the bustling Twin Cities metropolis.
The U.K. Guardian newspaper recently reported that Iran’s minister for communication and technology announced that their country will release an Islamic version of Google Earth by August 2013. Iran has long maintained that Google Earth is a tool of western spy agencies. The concept of an Islamic Google Earth contrasts with the common view of [...]
The ice went out in early May on many northern Minnesota lakes. For some lakes it was the latest ice-out date on record. NASA’s Earth Observatory captured fantastic images of the change between May 12 and May 16 with their MODIS satellite instrument. Read more here
A F-3 tornado struck on March 29, 1998, killing a young boy and destroying over two hundred homes plus two historic schools, two historic churches, Gustavus’ oldest dormitory, and thousands of trees. Remarkably, the tornado spared the town’s three trailer parks, lessening the toll. Below is a map created in MapInfo by Gustavus geography students [...]
A provocative article in MinnPost points out the Midwest’s feelings of inferiority relative to the East Coast and West Coast. Frank Bures describes the many architectural and literary treasures of the Midwest and notes that back a few generations, there wasn’t the same feeling of inferiority. Mark Twain, Cass Gilbert, Grant Wood, Frank Lloyd Wright [...]
Geography major Jory Birkeland did a class project exploring the geographic center of hipness for the Twin Cities. The theoretical basis for his work is found in the writings of economic geographer/urban planner Richard Florida who argues that the future of cities lies in attracting creative workers. Creative class workers are the core of the [...]
Human geography students donned safety goggles and hardhats to visit the Unimin mining operation in Kasota. The trip offered students a chance to witness mining in action and see the interplay of global forces, local geomorphology, and textbook economic geography locational considerations. Unimin is a Belgium-based company with mines on all seven continents. Their Kasota, [...]
The geography über nerds at the Floating Sheep collective have made another fascinating map. They mapped geo-tagged racist tweets that emerged after President Barack Obama’s re-election and computed location quotients based on the total state volume of tweets. One weakness of the map is that the sample size was small since they only sampled 0.05% of [...]
The link below connects to an interactive map that allows the user to visualize which countries are most socially connected to other countries through Facebook friends. Try to predict which countries are most socially connected and then click on a country and find out if you are right. The importance of language, historical connections, migration [...]
The students from Dr. Bjelland’s GEG-336: Urban and Regional Analysis class used the Nice Ride bike rental system to explore park design, historic preservation, and gentrification along the Mississippi riverfront in Minneapolis. Students bicycled through the city’s Mill District, North Loop, and Nicollet Island neighborhoods. The students enjoyed a brisk, sunny fall day as they [...]
Lencho Bati, visiting instructor of geography, delivered a presentation to the U. S. State Department in Washington, D.C. on September 24, 2012. Mr. Bati gave his talk to the staff of the African Bureau of the State Department. He urged the United States to take an active role in stabilizing Ethiopia and promoting democracy in [...]