Geo-Joint: The Spring Break-up

Source: Wikipedia: Northwest Boreal LCC (CC 2.0) It’s that time of year again, when the sun has crossed over the equator, and spring is bringing everything in the Northern Hemisphere to life. The storms abate, the temperatures rise, and if you live where it’s cold enough in winter, you see the snow and ice begin to melt away. If you … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Swamp Ghost and Kee Bird

The earth has a way of swallowing things up. Flood deposits, growing vegetation, landslides, tsunamis—plenty of ways to bury the past. Life moves on, people forget, mysteries are formed. This was especially true of some events of World War II. Massive scenes of destruction were played out worldwide, and when it was over, many of the participants went back to … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Strait of Hormuz

Geography affects commerce. The lay of the land determines how we move, and how we transport goods. Sometimes nature sets up a fiendish tableau, as it forces people to travel through dangerous landscapes to carry on business. One such convergence of goods, politics, enmity, and travel is in the Strait of Hormuz, at the south end of the Persian Gulf, … Read More

Geo-Joint: Raiders in the Amazon

The Geo-Joint has often focused on the intricate balance of natural systems and how they are thrown off-kilter by the introduction of foreign species. In some cases, the invaders do not survive because of climate extremes in the new land; other times they are able to find a niche that is not too disruptive to those organisms already functioning there. … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Untied States of America

“One nation, indivisible…” It’s right there in the Pledge of Allegiance that is repeated in classrooms and government events every day. Of course, at one point the nation did divide, and it was a horrific mess, but we pulled it back together. Still, there are other ways that the various states can be reorganized, and it has happened four times … Read More

Geo-Joint: Challenges for Chocolate

You don’t miss your water til your well runs dry. What could be more commonplace than a candy bar or a cup of hot chocolate? Always around, always cheap, always enjoyed, sometimes required. But the ubiquity of chocolate may diminish in years to come, because chocolate doesn’t just grow on trees. Well, actually it does grow on trees, but for … Read More

Geo-Joint: A Little Bit About Kyrgyzstan

If you’re like most people casually interested in geography, you know there are a bunch of countries in Central Asia that get somewhat dismissively referred to as “the Stans.” All their names end in “…stan,” and except for the ones that end up on a map behind the news anchor (Afghanistan, Pakistan), they don’t make a big impression on the … Read More

Geo-Joint: The St. Francis Dam Disaster

The story of how Los Angeles grew from a sleepy little village to a world-class megalopolis is well known. Though it began next to a river, that watercourse was unreliable—sometimes a raging torrent, but mostly a small flow, or in bad times, dry. If Los Angeles was to grow, it needed more of that liquid. William Mulholland and his fellow … Read More

Geo-Joint: New Brunswick

Americans are funny. By and large, we don’t pay much attention to the world outside our borders, except when there is some kind of concern that something just over the border is an issue. Hence everybody is aware of Mexico and all the various points of view on immigration. So of course if we had a neighbor that was low-key … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Saguaro Cactus

The saguaro cactus, Carnegiea gigantea, can’t be missed. Not only are they everywhere in western design, symbolic of the desert landscape, but in real life, they are huge. The largest cactus in the United States, they can tower above the surrounding landscape, a bold form in a climate where the residents tend to be smaller, struggling in the blazing sun … Read More