1) Find a news article published any time after 2020 that relates to course materials of Physical Geographies of North America and/or Texas. I’d like you to explore recent topics that have occurred within your living memory. It’s likely that these events are still shaping the world, and will continue to do so. Specifically, find an article that connects to one (or more) of the following topics:
• Deforestation or wildfires;
• Water quality in coastal regions (i.e., Gulf of Mexico);
• Drought in the American West and Southwest;
• Habitat loss or protection in Texas/North America;
• Habitat restoration in Texas/North America;
• Invasive species in Texas and impacts on pre-existing ecologies;
• Current and projected water use in Texas or another North American state/region;
• Indigenous environmental movements in North America; or
• Major storm systems and internally displaced peoples in North America.
2) Cite the news article in a consistent Citation Style of your choice. MLA, APA, and Chicago all are appropriate.
3) In 250-400 words, summarize the article’s content and explain why you think it fits into the materials covered in our PowerPoint / other class materials. Your summary should be in your own words, and avoid long quotations from the news article. Similarly, your explanation as to why it fits within the context of our course materials should be original writing.
Proofread your work for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
There are many ways you can go about searching for news items. Google News Search is a decent place to start, but be sure to check the date and place of publication, as the search algorithms often present older material first. I encourage you to explore your options! Sure, MSNBC, Fox, and CNN all cover diverse topics and are ubiquitous in our lives. For international or regional topics about physical geographies, however, they often lack depth and scope. Below are some free (at least limited access) English language news websites you may wish to consult that cover a range of topics and often have long-form journalism. They’re by no means the only sources out there, and I encourage you to explore further. I share them with you, however, because I don’t want you purchasing a subscription to paywall news sites (though if you’re already a subscriber to an outlet like The New Yorker, The Economist, NYT, Washington Post, etc., feel free to use them!). Note, too, that many paywalled sites offer a few free articles a month.
High Country News: https://www.hcn.org/.
High Country News covers topics in the intermontane West—think the Rockies, Basin and Range, and Western Cordillera. Non-subscribers have access to 5 articles per month for free.
The Conversation (US): https://theconversation.com/us .
The Conversation is a useful website for materials that are intellectually rigorous, but written for lay audiences. All articles are written by academics specializing in their article’s topical focus, and are intended to reach a broad audience. The pickings may be slim for physical geographies, but you may be able to find some gold here. It’ll become more useful as a resource for the rest of the semester.
Texas Observer: https://www.texasobserver.org/ .
The Texas Observer is a nonprofit investigative news organization that covers, you guessed it, topics in Texas.
ScienceDaily—environment: https://www.sciencedaily.com/news/top/environment/ .
ScienceDaily is an aggregate news site that publishes news articles and press releases about topics in STEM research, including extensive coverage of environmental sciences broadly defined.
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