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Stories From The Field

Faculty and students in Geography are working to gain a better understanding of our world through direct experience. These stories from the field explore the research conducted by UGA geographers, sometimes at distant points across the globe, on other occasions in our own backyard.

Secret garden

There's something different about the geography-geology building roof. Instead of the usual flat, gray roof, the geography-geology building is 2,200 square feet of grass, vegetables and green space. Topped with raised beds full of rich soil, plants and produce bursting with color, the Green Roof Garden is student-run garden that started about seven years ago by a team of faculty and students in the geography department known as the Athens…

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Links, Leigh and the Leakeys

The archaeology in the region is rich and has been studied by Dr. Stephen Kowalewski. Agriculture in the region is thought to have begun about 3000 years before present, and involved constructing a series of terraces and check-dams (known as lama-bordos in Mixteca Alta) in order to preserve soil and water. The Mixteca Alta is characterized as a semi-arid environment, with the annual wet season spanning May to October. Presently, many of the vallies in the area…

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History of Maya as told by caves

I traveled to Belize to perform the field work of my thesis research.  My research examined the connections between the local climate changes and the demographic history of the Maya.  The ancient Maya flourished in Middle America for over 1000 years, but their history is interspersed with multiple instances of population and monument decline.  The most well-known decline occurred around 900 AD, when the Classic Maya civilization, culture, and…

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A rare glimpse into the Ice Age

The recent discovery of well-preserved remains of Pleistocene mammal species, including the Columbian mammoth, American mastodon and giant ground sloth, together with extensive plant matter, insects and invertebrates, at an excavation site near Snowmass Village, CO is providing researchers with a unique opportunity to assess the role that climate and environmental change played in Pleistocene megafauna population dynamics. This exceptionally well-preserved…

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The evolution of human rights

Guatemala’s armed conflict lasted for more than three decades, from the early 1960s to the mid 1990s, and it left in its wake enormous social wreckage: 200,000 people dead, hundreds of thousands displaced, and a society warped by terror. A brutal counterinsurgency campaign in the early 1980s destroyed at least 600 villages, and in a country where more than half of the population is Mayan, indigenous communities bore the brunt of the scorched earth violence. …

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Big water - little water

The Piedmont ecoregion of the Southeastern U.S. has very few natural lakes or ponds and is instead characterized by incredibly high concentrations of artificial reservoirs. Pond owners, scientists, managers, and policymakers have little information regarding the impacts of these numerous constructions. This graduate dissertation research utilizes numerous geographic techniques to examine the role of small reservoirs on the landscape of Northern Georgia. …

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