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November 1, 2012
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News for geographers

  Geography in Action 
  • Charting the Amazon's borderlands
    Transportation initiatives could have a significant impact on the Amazonian borderlands that lie between the Peruvian region of Ucayali and the Brazilian state of Acre, so a workshop was convened to gain a greater understanding of the region, write David S. Salisbury, A. Willian Flores de Melo, Jorge Vela Alvarado and Bertha Balbin Ordaya. Participants ran into several obstacles, but, by using ArcGIS, were able to produce maps that provide new insights into the area. "[T]he greatest result of the workshop was the formation of a transboundary network of professionals taking the first step toward an integration based on geographic understanding rather than speculation and uncertainty," they write. ArcNews (Fall 2012) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Sandy and the need to fund weather forecasting
    The arrival of superstorm Sandy emphasizes the necessity of providing resources for weather forecasting, which can save both lives and money, write J. Marshall Shepherd and John Knox, who are both in the geography department at the University of Georgia. "Such investments pay for themselves multi-fold through saved lives, property, and dollars from needless evacuations and other planning costs," they write. "The best estimates are that taxpayers reap $5 or more from every $1 spent on weather forecasts." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Political Insider blog (10/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How storms are affecting bird populations
    Hurricane Katrina wasn't only devastating for the city of New Orleans, it was also disastrous for local bird populations, according to Peter Yaukey, an associate professor of geography at the University of New Orleans. "About two-thirds of the bird population that had been here before the storm had disappeared," Yaukey said. The tornadoes that struck the U.S. in 2011 have had a similar effect on bird populations in states such as Alabama, but there are differences between the two meteorological events, he noted. "The tornado track is a much narrower impact, geographically spatially then is the impact of Hurricane Katrina," he said. Alabama Public Radio (10/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
Implementing A District-Wide Science Success
Veteran education leader Mike Dillon has helped his school district continue on a steady path of success in science. The Smithsonian’s Science and Technology Concepts program and kits, available through Carolina Biological, have ensured that an entire district maintains a culture of high academic achievement. Read the case study.

  Research, Education and Global Change 
  • Report: Change African trade rules on food to spur growth
    African farmers provide only 5% of the continent's cereal imports, and a World Bank report says that easing trade rules and fees among countries would encourage cross-border commerce in food -- and generate $20 billion annually for governments. "Too often borders get in the way of getting food to homes and communities which are struggling with too little to eat," said Makhtar Diop, the World Bank's vice president for Africa. AlertNet/Reuters (10/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • How places shape social networks
    Communities aren't defined by physical spaces but rather by connections among individuals, according to Michigan State University sociologist Zachary Neal, author of "The Connected City." Still, a city's physical features can play a key role in shaping communities because they can affect which individuals are likely to establish relationships with one another. "When it comes to making friends, the physical distance between houses is less important than the walkable distance, which ultimately is a function of street network structure," he notes in this interview. The Atlantic Cities (10/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Technology and Applications 
  • NYC uses open data to help residents map evacuation routes
    New York City is using location data to help residents deal with the effects of superstorm Sandy. The effort, using the Open Data platform as part of the city's Digital Road Map initiative, blended geographic information systems with social media and other tools to keep city residents aware of the storm. The city launched a Hurricane Evacuation Map and a Hurricane Evacuation Zone Finder to help residents tell if they would need to relocate because of flood risks. "New York City's Digital Road Map: Progress and Innovation demonstrates the strides we have made to date, propelled by a vibrant technology industry, a strong social media presence, infrastructure improvements, and historic investments in education," New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (10/31) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  • Other News
  Association News 
  • AAG election online voting
    The AAG's new web-based voting system has arrived, allowing for easy, confidential and secure elections. The voting period will be from January 7, 2013, to February 28, 2013. Prior to voting, the AAG will post a ballot listing all candidates and their biographies. A sample ballot is currently available at Eligible voters will receive an email with a voting link and instructions. Paper ballots will be made available upon request. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • AAG receives awards for contributions to geography education
    The National Council for Geographic Education has awarded its President's Award to the AAG's Douglas Richardson, executive director; Michael Solem, director of educational affairs; and Susan Gallagher-Heffron, senior project manager for geography education, for educational initiatives developed by AAG staff. An NCGE Journal Award was also given to an authoring team that included Niem Tu Huynh, an AAG senior researcher, for Journal of Geography Awards -- Best Article for Geography Program Development. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Nature does not equally distribute energy. Some people are born old and tired while others are going strong at 70."
--Dorothy Thompson,
American journalist and radio broadcaster

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