Geography of the Borderlands

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by bjzawack
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Social Studies

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Geography of the Borderlands

Geography of the Borderlandsby Brittany Zawacki

Standard 1 Focus: EPA Map of the U.S. Mexico Borderlands Source (URL) presented here:

Standard 8 Focus: The characteristics and special distribution of ecosystems and biomes on Earth’s surface are important. This demonstrates examples of perennial streams and ephemeral washes. Source:

Standard 7 Focus: Great many different physical processes make the borderlands a beautiful landscape. This is an example of a stream terrace that is formed that includes a new flood plane and cutbank. Source:

Standard 2 Focus: Mental map of a trip from The District on Apache Apartments through the ASU campus to Tempe Butte (“A” Mountain.) Drawn by Brittany Zawacki

Standard 3 Focus: Interpreting geographic patterns. The map shows that there are 1,138 deaths and some places have more than just one. There are many more deaths on the Mexican side of the border, and the area between Pima and Santa Cruz have the most. There are a few deaths on the border and hardly any in the U.S. Different colors are used to show different regions and symbols are used to show water stations and rescue bacons, with not many being represented. Source:

Standard 4 Focus: The borderland includes both human and physical characteristics, such as vibrant clothing representing the culture of dancing (pictured) rails representing the transportation, armadillos as wildlife in the area, and the Sierra Madre Occidental running through Sonora. Source:

Standard 6 Focus: My own cultural perceptions and background affect how I view a region like the borderlands. I do not have much experience with the borderlands and that is why I do not judge the culture harshly. I feel as if some people have high hopes in coming to the U.S. from Mexico and the people who cross the border illegally wreck positive perceptions for them. I come from a small town in Illinois and have not had much exposure to being around illegal immigrants in states such as Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

Standard 5 Focus: What is the region of the borderlands? The region of the borderlands of the U.S. and Mexico is a formal region. It is a formal region because borderlands are a region based off of facts such as population and the climate in the area. The region does not have a focal point and linked areas with communication or transportation, so it is not a functional region. The region also does not that perceptual images or shared thoughts about the area, so it is not a perceptual region. The region is formal because it is a common human property. The U.S. and Mexico borderlands is an actual designated area that has official boundaries and they can be seen on various maps. The way that the borderlands has an immigration policy, patrols bordering, and a set wall for the border shows that it is a region with boundaries and a place that can be described with facts. The formal region is outlining an area and formally recognized by people and structure. Source:

Standard 16 Focus: Many types of resources can be found along the borderlands. Among these, are places of good soil and irrigation. Source: and

Standard 9 Focus: Human population on Earth’s surface is relevant when looking at aspects of life around the world. This map shows the amount of people living around the world and the U.S./Mexico borderlands that are refugees in a destination. Source:

Standard 12 Focus: Towns and cities are places where more than half of people live. They have a form and function that is a mix of history and the people who manage and live in the city today. Presidio, Texas was a very popular place for farmers to live. The Rio Grande and Rio Conchos was settled in this area and gave it rich and abundant soil. Presidio also has very healthy drinking water, making it a good sanitary place for settlement. Source:

Standard 10 Focus: The rich mix of cultures in the borderlands makes this region a wonderful place to live if you are a person who appreciates other cultures. The cultures that are presented are things like the food, clothing, religion, and language. The cross represents religion and ceremony of victims who died crossing the border. Source:

Standard 11 Focus: Mexico and the US are economically dependent on each other, as exhibited by this image that shows border delays that cost both of the economies in the U.S. and Mexico billions in forgone gross and a lot of jobs annually. The problem will continue to increase and the amount of output losses could be very high in the next decade. The traffic congestion is a pattern that has been seen in the area of Baja, CA and San Diego and affects the economies of the borderlands. Source:

Standard 13 Focus: Cooperation or conflict? The borderlands has dealt with conflict over time. The U.S. Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program is a way the borderlands cooperate to help public health and change environmental challenges. Water resources are shared by both and borderlands collaborate to help both sides of the border with health risks. Agreements are also made with wildlife, national parks, and other resources. Compatible services are used for telecommunication across borderlands as well. Source:

Standard 15 Focus: The physical environment greatly affects people driving on the road during monsoon season when flash flooding occurs. As shown in the picture, flash floods carry debris and make driving conditions on roads very dangerous. Source:

Standard 17 Focus: Geographic perspectives can help understand the past. For example, it appears that mining and agriculture were both reasons for settlement in Arizona. The copper mines were available for miners, and the Salt River supplied water for agriculture. Sources: and Agricultural settlements (Mormon and non-Mormon) in the Salt River Valley.

Standard 14 Focus: Humans can alter the environment dramatically, as evidenced by this aerial photograph of the mining going on near Cananea, Mexico. One of the impacts is because miners went on strike here and put up bunch of tents and buses along the highway with dust and smoke from cooking fires. Another affect was a toxic spill that caused health problems and economic devastation in this area. Miners and farmers are both angry because there is no protection of the workers or the community that is being affected by pollution. In addition, the mining pit is an open pit copper mine and no ore has been mined there in a few years. There has been contract workers working in the area and clashes have erupted at the mining site seriously injuring some workers and not allowing the jobs to get done on this mine, which is one of the oldest. Source: and

Standard 18 Focus: Geography has many uses in the present and future. This elementary school in the Cartwright School District does not have many resources around the area for the children. There is bus and car transportation, but there are no parks, mountains, or lakes in the view. Many homes and a large open field with not much else surround the area.

Peralta School in upper right corner by arrow. Source:


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