Explaining Colorado’s Extreme Floods

ENVIRONMENT Experts say flash floods in the Boulder area, which have already claimed at least four lives, may be connected to fires and climate change. (National Geographic News) Use our resources to better understand floods—their causes and their effects. Discussion Ideas According to the NG News article, President Obama declared emergencies in Boulder, Larimer, and El Paso counties. Look at our 1-Page Map of Colorado. … Continue reading Explaining Colorado’s Extreme Floods

Colorado River: Adventure, Learning, and Advocacy

At 15, I had the opportunity to join a three week rafting trip down the Colorado River, under the crimson canopy of the Arizona sky and through the majestic red castles of the Grand Canyon. I jumped off 60 foot cliffs, slept next to white scorpions, photographed black condors from a few feet away, and watched in terror as one of our adrenaline-hungry rafters handled a rattle snake. It’s hard to describe in words the river’s emotional, spiritual, and intellectual stimulation. 
Left: Grand Canyon,” in pen and ink, 18” x12”, by Cedar Attanasio.
Last Sunday, I relived my trip by watching Grand Canyon Adventure, which has amazing rafting footage, vividly depicted in 3D Imax. The movie features great commentary by Wade Davis and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who narrate the rafting adventure with information on the Colorado River and its exploitation for hydropower and agriculture. I needed Davis and Kennedy’s commentaries, because rafting the Grand Canyon–only a short section of the Colorado River’s 1,500 mile path–didn’t teach me everything that I needed to know about freshwater rivers. 
All travels inform the spirit and the mind in some way, but for the geographer, they also serve as nodes of understanding, starting points in a wider web of cultural and biological systems that can only be understood through study (which usually means the abstraction of studying maps or reading books, both of which are summarized or paraphrased expressions of what exists in the field). 

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Finding a Balance Between Technology and Nature

Rule of thumb: When heading to a technology conference, even things out by doing at least one thing outside and away from the technology that permeates our lives.  In my case, the conference is the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Annual Conference. And the doing something outdoors: a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, outside of Denver where the conference is taking place.


Well, I exaggerate. I didn’t throw all technology in the trash bin and head into the Rockies empty-handed. I did bring my iPhone to take photos with and to use the National Geographic Birding app (we identified robins, gray jays, and stellar jays along with the mammalian marmots and pikas identified with the field guide we got from a park ranger).  

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Farewell! My time here at National Geographic has come to an end. I have enjoyed writing about the world, events, places and people for My Wonderful World readers. There has been so much that has happened in the last few months, from earthquakes to volcanoes, and even the Cherry Blossom Festival. My next step is to head back to Colorado to finish my Secondary Education/Geography … Continue reading Farewell