This Week in Geographic History, January 9 – 15

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, January 10 TDIGH: London Underground Opens The London Underground opened in 1863, making it the oldest underground railway in the world. Map: London … Continue reading This Week in Geographic History, January 9 – 15

‘Lost’ Camera Records Stunning Footage From Edge Of Space

SCIENCE A GoPro camera lost after being launched in a weather balloon two years ago has been recovered, and it has some incredible footage of the Grand Canyon as seen from the edge of space. (Huffington Post) Launch your own out-of-this-world photos with kiteography! Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit. Discussion Ideas The footage from the edge … Continue reading ‘Lost’ Camera Records Stunning Footage From Edge Of Space

How Old is the Grand Canyon?

SCIENCE To the untrained eye, the Grand Canyon might just look like one big hole in the ground. But to some scientists, the American Southwest’s iconic gorge is increasingly looking like several ancient canyons of different ages, stitched together by erosion. (National Geographic News) Use our resources to color-code the Grand Canyon’s ages. Discussion Ideas Look at our cool coloring page of the Grand Canyon. … Continue reading How Old is the Grand Canyon?

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). 

Continue reading “Colorado River: Adventure, Learning, and Advocacy”