New dissertation database reveals developments in geography | Peruvian advocate against illegal logging remembered | Scotland's independence voting gets underway
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September 18, 2014
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New dissertation database reveals developments in geography
Kent State University professors David Kaplan and Jennifer Mapes have created a database of doctoral dissertations to help study the evolution of geography. The compilation involves more than 10,000 dissertations that date back to 1888. Keith Woodward, assistant professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said the database could provide insight into how the discipline has been defined over time. (9/16)
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Peruvian advocate against illegal logging remembered
Peruvian activist Edwin Chota, who advocated against illegal logging in the Peruvian Amazon, has been killed along with three other people. NPR offers a look at his legacy and advocacy efforts through his friend David Salisbury, associate professor of geography and the environment at the University of Richmond. National Public Radio (9/10), The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (9/11)
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Australia aims to safeguard Great Barrier Reef with new plan
Australia's government has announced a sustainability plan for protecting its Great Barrier Reef in an effort to keep the reef off a list of endangered sites maintained by the U.N. The 35-year plan urges monitoring species' populations and breeding activities, enhancing water quality and working to keep farm chemicals from entering the reef's waters. However, some environmental advocates say more needs to be done. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (9/16)
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U.N. panel: Earth's ozone layer on its way to recovery
Efforts to regulate certain chemicals seem to be generating results, as Earth's ozone layer is showing signs of recovery, a U.N. panel said. "It's a victory for diplomacy and for science and for the fact that we were able to work together," chemist Mario Molina said. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (9/15)
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Climate change costs unevenly spread across globe, economists say
Economists analyzing climate change say past studies may have underestimated its costs and that those costs will be unevenly distributed because they vary according to geography. "Not every study goes in that direction, but the general thrust is that the estimates of the costs are increasing as we learn more," said Michael Greenstone of the University of Chicago's Energy Policy Institute. Star Tribune (Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.) (9/11)
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Technology and Applications
Is digital navigation erasing our sense of direction?
Mobile devices and applications have made it easier for people to find their way around, but some experts say an increasing dependence on digital navigation may be affecting people's spatial thinking. In a recent study by spatial geographer Toru Ishikawa, participants who used GPS navigation did worse than those who used paper maps at remembering aspects of their environment. CityLab (9/9)
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Association News
GIS in Chicagoland
In his contribution to the "Focus on Chicago" series, Todd Schuble writes on the ubiquity of GIS and digital mapping in the Chicago region and their myriad applications. "Local government offices were early adopters of mapping technology, using GIS and spatial analysis to maintain or improve their interests," he writes. Today, there are very few local government offices in the area that do not have a GIS department. Schuble is manager of GIS research and senior lecturer at the University of Chicago. Read more.
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AAG 2015 to feature theme on geography's radical intra-disciplinarity
Posters and paper sessions at the AAG Annual Meeting will be organized into a featured theme on radical intra-disciplinarity to highlight the diverse tool kits, methods, theories and ways of knowing that exist in the geography discipline. The theme's title is meant to illustrate the discipline's un-disciplined nature and point out that geography's intra-disciplinarity is at the root of and fundamental to geographical practices. It also highlights the ways in which those un-disciplined practices can lead to important transformations. Learn more.
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-- Hugh Leonard,
Irish dramatist
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