This Week in Geographic History, March 20 – 26

Here’s an advance look at some of the “This Day in Geographic History” (TDIGH) events coming up this week. For each date, we’ve matched it with a map or visual, background information, and a classroom activity so you can plan ahead.

Tuesday, March 21

Deforestation is the primary threat to forests around the world, such as this one in the La Mosquitia region of Honduras. Photograph by Dave Yoder, National Geographic.

TDIGH: International Day of Forests

Created by the UN in 2012, this day acknowledges the critical role forests play in providing clean air and protecting biodiversity around the world.

Map: Forests around the world

Background: Info about rain forests and biodiversity

Activity: Read and discuss this Q&A with forest biodiversity expert Dr. Lovejoy.


Wednesday, March 22

TDIGH: UN Agrees to Protect Ozone Layer

The 1985 agreement to protect the ozone paved the way for the later Montreal Protocol which restricted ozone-depleting substances.

Visual: What the ozone layer would look like if CFCs had not been regulated

Background: What is the ozone layer?

Activity: Watch this video about changes in the ozone layer.


Friday, March 24

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The 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill was the worst in U.S. history until the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. Here volunteers clean birds in Louisiana after the 2010 spill. Photograph by Joel Sartore, National Geographic

TDIGH: Exxon Valdez Crashes

Many species still have not recovered from the 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

Map: Exxon Valdez oil spill

Background: Collection of resources about oil spills

Activity: Using this timeline of recovery for species affected by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, discuss how the Prince William Sound ecosystem was damaged.


Saturday, March 25

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Greenhouse gases are heating the atmosphere and causing ice to melt in Antarctica, like this iceberg in the Ross Sea. Photograph by Paul Nicklen, National Geographic.

TDIGH: Part of Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapses

A major ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula collapsed in 2008, providing clear evidence of global warming.

Map: Antarctica

Background: Photos, facts, and information about ice sheets

Activity: Climate Change and Rising Seas


Sunday, March 26

TDIGH: Egypt-Israeli Peace Treaty

Relations between Egypt and Israel have remained peaceful since the 1979 treaty which forced Israel to withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula.

Map: Israel and its neighbors

Background: Division of Palestine and The Six-Day War

Activity: Read this summary of Egypt-Israeli relations and discuss how geography has played a role in their relations throughout history.


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