Saturday March 8, 2014
In just over a week, the Autonomous Republic of Crimea will hold a referendum to ask voters whether to remain part of Ukraine or to join Russia. The current interim government of Ukraine holds that the referendum is illegal while Russia holds that they will welcome Crimea into Russia should the voters choose that option. Crimea was transferred from Russian control to Ukrainian control in 1954 by the Soviet Union. Once the Soviet Union fell and Ukraine gained independence in 1991, Crimea became part of independent Ukraine. Based on Ukraine's 2001 census, Crimea is composed primarily of 58.5% ethnic Russians, 24.4% ethnic Ukrainians, and 12.1% Crimean Tatars. The referendum on March 16 should prove to be interesting. The BBC has a thorough article on this topic. The Crimean flag, officially established in 1999, is shown to the right.
Wednesday February 26, 2014
Tim Draper, a wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist has begun collecting signatures on a proposal to divide the state of California into six separate states. He needs to collect over 800,000 signatures by mid-July to make the November 2014 state ballot. The six states would be named Jefferson, North California, Central California, Silicon Valley, West California, and South California and can be seen in this Google Map overlay, with demographic data about each potential state. Nonetheless, even if such a proposal passed voters in November, it would still require approval by the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Senate, and the measure would have to be approved by the President of the United States. Obviously, the state of Silicon Valley would have the nation's highest per capita income and the state of Central California would have the nation's lowest per capita income, behind Mississippi. A simple outline map with great demographic data can be found on the Legislative Analyst's Office website.
Wednesday February 26, 2014
This new chart from xkcd.com is a chart of global time that is dynamic and changes based on the time of day you're looking at it. It helps one visualize the time zones of the world and where and when you might be able to connect with another part of the world. Many have such difficulty conceptualizing the time zones on our planet but this graphic is a great new way to visualize time on Earth. Another of my favorite time zone resources is WorldTimeBuddy - it's not geographic but it still helps me visualize time differences, albeit in a different way. What's your favorite time zone converter?
Sunday February 23, 2014
I am often asked by geography students how they should proceed about obtaining a career in geography after graduation. Obviously, there aren't many jobs that are titled "geographer" so one usually needs to seek out opportunities in related fields. I strongly encourage geography students to obtain as many internships as possible during their time as an undergraduate geography student. This route of exploration enables one to both gain essential job experience for your resume and for better answers during your interview, but also to help one determine what sort of work to do as an initial career. Perhaps even more important, gaining experience through internships enables one to determine what sort of work one does not want to do. During my undergraduate years, I had several different internships (in planing departments and a GIS department) that helped guide my path following graduation with my undergraduate degree in geography. Some internships are paid and some are unpaid but all internships are invaluable as you seek to obtain experience in the field of geography. Good luck!