‘Geographic research and news’ Category

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How the Los Angeles Aqueduct began

A recent Los Angeles Post feature article provides a history of the L.A. Aqueduct and its visionary, colorful, water chief William Mulholland, celebrated as a hero in Los Angeles but vilified as a thief in California’s Owens Valley, from where the water is diverted.

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Guess the Scale: Macro or Micro?

If you love the concept of scale as much as the next geographer, you should check out this Smithsonian website. It contains images collected at the macro scale by a geographer (using remote sensing) and at the micro scale by a herpetologist (using a microscope). Can you guess which are the macro images and which […]

A deserted beach in southern Sri Lanka in 2010. (Photo by Sri Lanka Tourism Promotions Bureau. Creative Commons License.) 

Sri Lankan beach tourism: Sustainable development of the coastline

When Sri Lanka’s internal conflict ended in 2009, miles of tropical beaches became ripe for international development and tourism. In this Al Jazeera opinion piece, Geographers William Moseley and Vinad Malwatte argue that tourism development in Sri Lanka must take into account local communities and environmental impacts. They critique current plans for large resort-style hotels […]

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Illegal Clearings in ‘Isolated Indigenous Peoples’ Reserve – Peru

Photos released by the Peruvian government confirm the presence of illegal clearings in the Kaguapakori-Nahua-Nanti Reserve (KNNR).  The KNNR was created in 1990 in an effort to protect the territorial rights of the Nahua and Nanti, who had limited contact with the outside world.  The creation of the Reserve was based primarily on contact between […]

(Photo by Jonathan Bellinger. 

Salary data and trends for careers with a geography degree

  There are many different occupations that require knowledge of and skills in geography. Using information from the U.S. Department of Labor, the Association of American Geographers (AAG) has compiled data on a broad list of occupations related to geography. Using this online careers database, you can explore the diversity of career opportunities available to […]

(Image by SkyTruth, Creative Commons License) 

Monitoring environmental impact: The satellite revolution

Here’s an article in the Washington Post that features SkyTruth, an organization that is using satellite technology to monitor environmental impacts of mining and other extractive industries. “This is the world we’ve built for ourselves — the modern world runs on hydrocarbons — but you have to wonder, floating in a little metal box thousands […]

Jialiang Gao, www.peace-on-earth.org 

Why geographic knowledge is more important than ever

Michigan State Geography Professor Kirk Goldsberry makes the case for the importance of geographic education and spatial thinking: “In its 375 years, Harvard has only ever eliminated one entire academic program. If you had to guess, what program do you think that was and when was it killed off? “The answer: Harvard eradicated its Geography […]

Wheat fields in Ukraine ( 

China signs deal to farm 5% of Ukraine

Earlier this year, China signed a deal that will allow China to lease and farm 3 million hectares of agricultural land in Ukraine, or five percent of Ukraine. With fertile plains and a climate similar to the wheat-growing regions of Manitoba, Ukraine is one of the world’s top grain-producing countries. According to Mandy Zuo of […]

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“Overpopulation is not the problem”

This recent op-ed piece in the New York Times by geographer and environmental scientist Erle Ellis sums up perfectly last week’s lesson in GEG/ENV-250 Nature & Society. Here’s an excerpt: “Unable to explain how [human] populations grew for millenniums while increasing the productivity of the same land, I discovered the agricultural economist Ester Boserup, the […]

A GoogleEarth screenshot showing the missing island of Jura, Scotland. 

An island disappears from GoogleEarth

Jura, a small island off the Atlantic coast of Scotland with a population less than 200, disappeared from GoogleEarth in early July 2013. Instead of showing the 144-square-mile island, GoogleEarth depicts Jura’s single road running through the ocean. The loss of the island is not due to sea level rise but a glitch in digital […]