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January 3, 2013
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News for geographers

  Geography in Action 
  • Discovering the urban center of sprawling Los Angeles
    Samuel Krueger set out to locate the borders of Los Angeles' urban core for his master's thesis in geography studies at the University of Southern California. Using an algorithm, he determined where the L.A. area has pockets of "urban amenities," such as restaurants, theaters and museums, and called the resulting oddly shaped area the "Santa Monica/Wilshire Corridor," for the major roadways running through it. Though it does not look like a traditional city center, the area functions as such, he suggests. "Great cities of the world define themselves," Krueger said. Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (12/27) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Researcher studies impact of restoration on bog fires
    Mike Waddington, an ecohydrologist and professor in the department of geography and earth sciences at McMaster University, has spent nearly 20 years studying the functional processes of wetlands and watershed ecosystems. Now, Waddington is embarking on research to determine whether restoration can help prevent fires such as one that smoldered for weeks last year in the Wainfleet Bog in Ontario, Canada. "Unlike a forest fire, which is usually restricted to the forest canopy and has a limited fuel source, peat moss can burn deep down into the peat," Waddington said. "It's more expensive and more time consuming to extinguish, and the air quality can become quite poor." (Canada) (1/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Explaining the movement of tornadoes
    Nicholas D'Andrea, a geography professor at Troy University, has been researching tornado behavior for more than 20 years, and his expertise is helping explain the damage caused by the Conecuh River Tornado in Alabama. Following the disaster, some residents wondered, among other things, how a home or business could be spared when another close by was destroyed. D'Andrea cites a phenomenon known as "suction spots," which typically last for less than 20 seconds but produce a surge of wind speed about 100 miles per hour faster than the actual tornado. The Messenger (Troy, Ala.) (12/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Research, Education and Global Change 
  • Urbanization in China may face hurdles under hukou system
    The growth of an aspiring middle class in Suzhou Industrial Park in China is seen as a model for urbanization -- expected to help the country transition to a more consumption-based economy. However, some suggest a wider transformation may be hampered under the country's hukou system, which requires migrants to pay for basic services such as education. "If China wants to create a truly powerful consuming middle class and succeed with urbanization as a key driver to growth, the hukou system has to go and the fiscal system must be reformed," said University of Washington geography professor Kam Wing Chan. Al-Jazeera (1/1) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology and Applications 
  • Maps may decide who rules mobile's future
    Advanced location-based services linked to maps are at the forefront of mobile technology and could play a critical role in which corporate behemoth emerges on top, Rolfe Winkler writes. Apple's disastrous mapping application reinforced Google's sizable lead in the arena, and Google has a sophisticated predictive tool to provide wireless-device users with information before they even request it, Winkler writes. The Wall Street Journal (12/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Association News 
  • Nominations for new creativity in geography award due Jan. 22
    The AAG Stanley Brunn Award for Creativity in Geography has been established to annually honor an individual geographer or team that has demonstrated originality, creativity and significant intellectual breakthroughs in geography. The deadline to submit nominations is Jan. 22. The AAG Executive Committee will select the awardee, and the award will be presented at the Awards Luncheon during the AAG Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Submit nominations for AAG Standing Committees by March 1
    Appointments to the set of AAG Standing Committees will be made at the AAG Annual Meeting in April to replace members whose terms expire in July. Nominations for vacancies should be submitted to AAG Secretary Jenny Zorn,, by March 1. The current charges for AAG Standing Committees may be found in the AAG Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas or online at Get details. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Well done is better than well said."
--Benjamin Franklin,
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