Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Environmental Geography Gamut

One of my goals in general-education classes is to ensure that students will emerge better able to interpret course-related news they encounter in the future. For this reason, my final exams often ask them to find a news item, describe it, and relate it to something they learned in the course. This is a pedagogic approach I learned from the work of geographer L. Dee Fink; it is also a way to ensure that I continue to learn from my students.

At the moment I am taking a break from grading summer courses to share some of the articles that came my way as the result of such an assignment, because all of them fit nicely into the theme of this blog -- and the title of the course in question -- Environmental Geography. (See my "What is environmental geography, anyway?" web page if you've been wondering about that title. Most of what is on this blog fits somehow into that category, though some of it is more appropriately called political, economic, or cultural geography.)

Here -- without elaboration, in the interest of time -- are the articles and radio pieces that students shared. Each one made a connection between the article and Carl Safina's book The View from Lazy Point. (See more Safina references throughout this blog.) In some cases, several students commented on the same stories, making different connections.

Supreme Court Blocks Obama Administration Plan on Power Plant Emissions. NPR June 29th, 2015.

Note From A Civilized City: Boston Parks To Offer Dispensers Of Free Sunscreen. WBUR June 26, 2015.

New Panda Count Brings Cheers And Debate. WBUR March 2, 2015.
Shameless and gratuitous use of cute charismatic megafauna.

Survival Of The Greenest Beer? Breweries Adapt To A Changing Climate. NPR June 24, 2015.

Risk of Extreme Weather From Climate Change to Rise Over Next Century, Report Says. New York Times, June 22, 2015.

Chinese Couples Urged to Have More Children. The Guardian June 29, 2015.

The Dutch Ruling On Climate Change That Could Have A Global Impact. NPR June 25, 2015.

The Evolution of Birdsong. Living on Earth, June 26, 2015.

Genetically Modified Salmon: Coming To A River Near You? NPR June 24, 2015.

How A Historical Blunder Helped Create The Water Crisis In The West. NPR June 25, 2015.
Image: NPR
To Tackle Food Waste, Big Grocery Chain Will Sell Produce Rejects. NPR June 17, 2015. (In searching for this, I also found Landfill of Lettuce by the same reporter.)

Decisions On Climate Change Will Affect Economic Future Of U.S. NPR June 22, 2015.

Save Wildlife, Save Yourself? NPR June 26, 2015.

Scientists Build Case for 'Sixth Extinction' ... and Say It Could Kill Us. NBC News. June 19, 2015.

OK, so I will elaborate on this one. This story was cited by a couple of students. I had seen the headline but had not yet worked up the nerve to read the article. Not only will I now be assigning it in some of my classes -- such as Land Protection -- but I will also be assigning the original article on which it is based:

Accelerated modern human–induced species losses: Entering the sixth mass extinction.  Science Advances 1(5): June 19, 2015. Gerardo Cebellos, Paul Ehrlich, et al.

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