National Geography Standards

by ASUMike
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National Geography Standards

There is both conflict and cooperation between the U.S. and México concerning drug cartels (such as the the crime syndicate Cártel de Sinaloa [CDS] which is based primarily in the city of Culiacán, Sinaloa and also known as the Guzmán-Loera Organization, the Pacific Cartel, the Federation and the Blood Alliance (see image above).[Karki, D.]. (2015, July 13). Watch Mexico's Drug War Discovery Documentary. [Video File]. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 2 Mental Map digitally drawn by me :) of the area around where I live now and the potential routes to school. I walk down Fairmont to College where I catch the Orbit which then takes me directly to ASU campus for my classes on Mondays & Wednesdays. On Tuesdays & Thursdays I take the same route followed by catching the Intercampus Shuttle which then takes me to my classes at the ASU West Campus in Glendale.Here is an interesting resource: Magor, D. [TeTT Stúdió]. (2013, May 31). Mental Map Editor - What is it good for? [Video file].http://


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GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 4Places are jointly characterized by their physical and human properties. As stated by Lawrence A. Herzog in one of his articles, "San Diego and Tijuana are the two largest urban frontier agglomerations in the western hemisphere, if not the world, crowded around an international boundary."Image SourcesTijuan Coat of Arms (above): Zona Norte image below: Citation:Tee, T. (2013, July 18). Tony Tee’s How to guide of “La Zona Norte” in Tijuana: Do’s and dont’s at the notorious Red Light District. Retrieved October 9, 2015, from

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 3Spatial Organization of People

Mexicans as Share of Unauthorized Immigrants, by State, 2012The majority of immigrants to enter this country illegally are Mexicans and they are concentrated around our Border States. Over 80% of our total illegal immigrants in Arizona are Mexican. Surprisingly, Texas is slightly lower than its southwestern neighbors. Based on my living on the east coast for over a decade I will confirm the ½ & ½ percentages there. I am not surprised at the trends up north, more specifically the northeastern part of the U.S. The fact that Mexicans outnumber other unlawful immigrants as far north as Wisconsin, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and even the State of Washington, does trend a bit higher than I might expect. But if we were to examine the full context of the data, I imagine those states have a very low unlawful immigration rate overall anyway. Upon my final analysis of California, I was indeed surprised to see them 15% lower than Arizona, at first, until I remembered that they must have a huge number of unauthorized immigrants and of whom the majority are probably of Asian decent, presuming the state’s historical trend can still be applied.Source: Citation: Niraj Chokshi. ( 2014, November 21). The undocumented immigrant population explained, in 7 maps. The Washington Post.Retrieved from

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 5The borderlands are a perceptual, functional, and formal region. The borderlands are a formal region based on shared environment, language, religion, and culture. The area is a functional region because of its shared infrastructure such as transportation and watersheds. The borderlands are also viewed as a perceptual region based upon the subjectivity of those whom live there and the family networks on both sides of the border communities.Works Cited:Avalon Project - Gadsden Purchase Treaty : December 30, 1853. (2008). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from, Monuments, and Preservation: The United States Section, International Boundary and Water Commission (USIBWC) and the HIstory of the Preservation of the Border Monuments. (n.d.). (2014). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from 2020: U.S.-Mexico Environmental Program. (n.d.). (2012). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from Import-Export Issues--Int'l Treaties & Agreements. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from Divided by US-Mexico Border Meet Across the Fence. (n.d.). (2013). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from, L. (n.d.). (2011). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from Boundary and Water Commission. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from Geography Standard 5. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. (n.d.). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from U.S.-Mexico Border Infectious Disease Surveillance Project: Establishing Binational Border Surveillance. (n.d.). (2003). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from - Mexico Joint Working Committee on Transportation Planning. (n.d.). (2013). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from - Mexico 21st Century Border Management: 2013 Progress Report. (2013). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from - la revue électronique en sciences de l'environnement. (n.d.). (2010). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from

18 National Geography Standards:Focus on U.S.-México BorderlandsbyMichael Jean-Pierre-Kaina Lepage

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 6How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions. Despite looking like a blue-eyed haole, I am native Hawaiian by birth and blood. My father is Italian and Hawaiian. My mother is Canadian. My grandmother is Irish. I am told that I may even have a Jewish grandfather and a Japanese great-aunt. There is Norwegian in my ancestry and most likely other European lineages as well. My cousins are Mexican and their children are black mixed along with my adopted baby brother. My older brother is a ginger and my little brother is a German and Amerindian mix with blonde hair and blue eyes. I am uncertain how my own cultural perceptions and background affect my view of the borderlands but I suppose it allows me greater sensitivity and open-mindedness. My familiar is walking over a scroll depicting a heraldic coat of arms I designed to represent my multi-heritage & diverse lineage from both my maternal (Lepage family) & paternal (Ho'opi'iaina) family blood lines incorporating the main 8 cultures of my ancestry. In order to see enlarged images of my coat of arms and to learn the details of my design click on the scroll (it will glow from the magick imbued within it transporting you to another realm).This is another resource which links to my main profile page:

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 1Maps, Geographic Representations, Geospatial Technologies, & Spatial ThinkingMap of the U.S.-México Border Region Communities.Source: Citation: United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2015, September 24). US-Mexico Border Region - Región Fronteriza México-Estados Unidos. Retrieved October 5, 2015 from

As we can see from this map of North American ecoregions, the U.S.-México borderlands consist of far more than desert terrain (though the Chihuahuan Desert "encompasses one of the most biologically diverse arid regions on Earth"). The map shows us at least 4 different ecoregions spanning across the U.S.-México border line. We must also consider that this specific map is limited only to showing us Level I ecoregions as established by the CEC. The ecoregions of the U.S.-México borderlands is quite diverse and complex. We can include the Western Gulf coastal grasslands, the Tamaulipan mezquital, the Chihuahuan Desert, the Sierra Madre Oriental pine-oak forests, the Arizona Mountains forests, the Sonoran Desert, and the California Coastal Sage and Chaparral.Source Map: CitedWorld Wildlife Fund. (2013, July 25). Ecoregions of the United States (P. Saundry, Ed.). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 9Human Populations: Characteristics, distribution, and MigrationPopulation density can influence topography, vegetation and soils, climate, and the availability of resources. This population geography map of the U.S.-México Borderlands was made from NatGeo Mapmaker Interactive. The geographic patterns show that the highest population densities are clustered in and around major cities, much more evident on the U.S. side of the border. On the México side there is wider distribution of population density in all areas of the country. However, in the borderlands it would seem that México has a greater population density than that of the U.S.Map Source: National Geography Standard 9 (S. Heffron & R. Downs, Eds.). (2015). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 10Human Culture →This image depicts the celebration of Día de Muertos. The article addresses the difference between the average American perceptions of this holiday compared to the traditional Mexican cultural “belief in the animation of the spirit world.”Source and Citation:Hernandez, D. (2012, November 8). Muertos: The new American holiday. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 12Human SettlementDouglas, Arizona is named after mining pioneer James Douglas. “Douglas was first established as a smelter site for the prosperous copper mines in Bisbee, Arizona.” Its “cattle ranching and agriculture [dates] back to the 1800's that continues to thrive to this day.” No doubt this is how and why first settlement began. What I find most interesting is its role in the old west and how it was home to such “famous historical figures such as Cochise, Geronimo, John Slaughter, Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday.”Work CitedRosas Freelance Design. (2009). Welcome to Douglas Arizona. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Image Sources:

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 7The physical processes on Earth create constant change. Beneath this boulder is an image of Mescal Mountain in Sedona, Arizona. I captured the image from Google Earth. The vertical cliff face is caused by erosion and weathering. The occurrence of this cliff face is due to the fact that the underlying sandstone is not as hard as the top layers of strata composed of basalt and limestone. This weaker sandstone beneath the caprock causes the cliff to collapse thereby leading to a new vertical cliff face. The slickrock occurs by the erosion and weathering of any existing weaker top layers. What’s left is solid bedrock which is slowly eroded by winds and rain leaving a smoother surface great for mountain biking!Source:

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 8Ecosystems and Biomes

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 11Economic → InterdependenceThis news report from the University of Arizona in 2012 clearly indicates one of the growing interdependent networks between the U.S. and México, specifically in the food industry. The majority of the produce consumed in the U.S. continues to come from México and México’s food economy continues to be dominated by American corporations.Image Source: Citation:McGill, R. (2012, September 4). New Report Reveals Food, Water Disparities Along U.S.-Mexico Border: A UA study has found poverty, water scarcity, food insecurity and interdependence between the United States and Mexico along the border. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

Image Source:

One of the environmental hazards in the U.S.-México borderlands are tornadoes. Recently, a tornado passed "through Ciudad Acuña killing at least 10" people.Work CitedOsborne, H. (2015, May 25). Tornado tears through Mexican city of Ciudad Acuña killing at least 10. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from Image Source

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 17This map of 18th century French, English, and Spanish settlements in North America allows us to interpret the history of expansion by what is now the modern day United States of America. The video link below shows us the U.S. expansion across North America from 1763 to present day via a series of different maps.Map Source: Source: Cited[Izzo, D.]. (2008, July 22). Expansion of the United States Map 1763 - Present. [Video File]. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from


This “hydro-region [as] defined by the shared watersheds along the border” as well as “the watershed or basin framework that has seen considerable utility in both domestic and international contexts,” is one example of the shared resources between the U.S. and México.Map Source: Cited:VertigO - la revue électronique en sciences de l'environnement. (n.d.). (2010). Retrieved October 9, 2015, from

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 14Human actions have been modifying the physical environment for thousands of years. The following link,, depicts rock carvings from around the world, some of which are right here in the U.S. I chose the image of a rock carving in Jordan because of how awe inspiring it looks as well as how perfectly the associated article relates to Geography Standard 14. As early as 312 BC, Petra (or the Rose City), was “carved into the sandstone base of Mount Jebel al-Madhbah (identified by some as Mount Sinai from the Bible), [and] was established as the capital of the [Arab] Nabataeans, an ancient people who lived in the region during that time. The Nabataeans were also ingenious engineers, building a system of dams and channels to redirect waterways and create an artificial oasis for the city. These innovations made it a center of trade and a formidable fortress.” Although the city of Petra is not specific to the U.S.-México borderlands, it reminds me of the ancient Mayan, Aztec, and Inca architecture, much of which is located throughout México.Work CitedThe Coolest Places On Earth: Carved-Mountain City of Petra, Jordan (Slideshow). (2013, December 19). Retrieved October 26, 2015, from

GEOGRAPHY STANDARD 18This is a captured image from Google Earth of Cherokee Elementary School which is a part of the Scottsdale Unified School District #48. By applying geography we can use this image to interpret the present surroundings and resources in order to better plan for the future. As a student at ASU Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, I will keep this area in mind for my future choices of which school to teach at after graduation. As we can see by aerial photography, there is plenty of major road access around Cherokee Elementary School. The school is around 5 miles from AZ-101 Loop S and Phoenix SkyHarbor International Airport is less than 20 miles away. The nearest bus stop is just over a mile walk and ASU Tempe Campus is less than 14 miles away. There are a number of famous individuals living all around the immediate area along with many museums as well. The Iconic Pop Culture Museum at Paradise Valley Mall is less than 4 miles away and the Paradise Valley Community Center and swimming pool are less than 8 miles away. Then there are the surrounding country clubs too and I am certain that each of the individual neighborhoods around the school offer their own resort style amenities. There are a number of parks and recreational areas surrounding the school. Among them are Paradise Valley Park, Roadrunner Park, and Altadena Park to name a few. And of course, being located in a valley, the area has many mountain related opportunities. There is also the Phoenix Mountains Preserve, Phoenix Mountains Park and Recreation Area, Piestewa Peak/Squaw Peak, Camelback Mountain, Mummy Mountain, etc. And then we have the Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt, the loveliest view from aerial photography of the area (besides oblique angles of the mountains).School Website: Cited:Google, Inc. (2015, May 20). Hello, Earth: LET'S GO EXPLORE. Google Earth (Version [Software]. Retrieved October 26, 2015, from



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