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Geography in the News: Worldwide Wheat Production

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Role of Wheat in Worldwide Agriculture Wheat is the principal grain used to make most breads and pastries. Grown mostly in the middle latitudes and Northern Hemisphere, annual wheat harvests are watched carefully. As the “staff of life” to multitudes, annual harvest assessments…

Svalbard Reindeer: Thriving Again on the Tundra

Perhaps the most endearing animal observed on our summer 2014 sojourn in the Arctic was the Svalbard reindeer, a subspecies of reindeer endemic to the archipelago midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. Depleted by hunting over more than six decades, the Svalbard reindeer has been recovering strongly under Norway’s conservation measures, and there may now be as many as 10,000 of them on the islands.

Geography in the News: The Great Lakes’ Mounting Problems

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM The Great Lakes’ Mounting Problems Recent news about an algae bloom on Lake Erie leading to Toledo, Ohio’s municipal water plants closing is just one of the many problems affecting the Great Lakes. Toledo’s 400,000 people were forced to purchase bottled water for two…

Arctic Svalbard: A Summer Paradise for Birds

Svalbard is one of the world’s great wild places to see birds. Millions of them trek to the archipelago in summer for the abundance of food, and to breed and raise their young in relative safety.

Geography in the News: Climbing The Highest Mountains

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM In Thin Air: Climbing the Highest Peaks Just as the 2014 climbing season got underway, an avalanche killed 16 climbers on Mt. Everest on April 18, four of whom were Sherpas. This tragic accident is just one of the dangers that can befall climbers…

Expedition to the Land of Ice Bears

It was almost at the exact moment of the northern solstice that we boarded the National Geographic Explorer for a week-long expedition to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard–the time of year when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky as seen from the North Pole. We were in the land of the midnight sun, and we would not see the darkness of night for the entire time we were there.

Geography in the News: Kaliningrad

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Russia’s Kaliningrad’s Westward Look Now Questioned  Kaliningrad, a small Russian exclave, is frequently in the news in Eastern Europe, as it has become more and more westernized and increasingly a tourism destination. Most Americans probably never heard of Kaliningrad, but Russia’s recent support for…

Geography in the News: Bats Dying

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Bats Dying: An Epidemic A deadly disease is destroying native bat populations in North America. Unfortunately, the “white-nose syndrome,” as the disease is named, is spreading more quickly than scientists had anticipated. The white-nose syndrome is just the latest threat to the world’s bat…

Geography in the News: Fire Ants, Surviving and Thriving

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Fire Ants: Surviving and Thriving Summer is in full swing and an invasive pest is making life miserable for residents, visitors and native and domestic animals across the southern United States. Fire ants have an incredible ability to survive and geographically expand their territories…

Geography in the News: The Uncoupling of Iraq

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Uncoupling Iraq As the 2005 Iraqi election approached following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, ethnic and sectarian hostilities increased dramatically. Now, more than 10 years after the invasion and with the departure of American and allied troops, Iraq appears to be uncoupling. Iraq watchers have…

Geography in the News: Geocaching

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Geocaching: Geography in the Hunt A new kind of hunter is lurking in our woods and parks, in our parking lots and shopping malls. This hunter is called a geocacher and is usually part of a team (most likely his or her own family)…

Geography in the News: Hernando De Soto’s Famous Battle

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM De Soto’s Famous Battle Site at Mabila, Still Lost After 474 Years It’s amazing that the site of one of the largest battles between Native Americans and Europeans in the history of North America is still lost to antiquity. Researchers from numerous disciplines have…

Lindblad-National Geographic, a Ten-Year Expedition of Inspiration and Discovery

Ten years ago Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society joined forces to inspire, illuminate, and teach the world through expedition travel. The collaboration in exploration, research, technology, and conservation has provided extraordinary experiences to thousands of travelers, raised funds and awareness to address critical challenges to the environment, and inspired people to be better stewards of the planet. In this National Geographic-behind-the-scenes interview, Sven-Olof Lindblad, founder and president of Lindblad Expeditions, talks about the impetus behind the partnership, some of the accomplishments, and his thoughts of the future.

Geography in the News: Declining Panda Habitat

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Lost Panda Habitat Two days after the devastating earthquake hit China in mid-May, 2008, officials were able to confirm that all of China’s estimated 239 giant pandas in captivity were alive and well. Unfortunately, the fate of the 1,590 pandas living in the wild…

Geography in the News: Svalbard Global Seed Vault

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Svalbard’s “Doomsday Seed Vault” The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, nicknamed the “Doomsday Seed Vault” by some, has opened its doors and is accepting seeds. The seed vault was created to preserve samples of seeds from around the world to protect the earth’s crop diversity.…