Vol. 48, No. 2, Fall/Winter 2010- "The Pennsylvania Geographer"



THE ENVIRONMENT’S INFLUENCE ON REGIONAL STABILITY AND CONFLICT


Francis A. Galgano

Department of Geography and the Environment

Villanova University


Amy Richmond Krakowka

Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering

United States Military Academy

West Point, New York


Abstract


The evolution of the global strategic situation following the Cold War suggests the need to expand the definition of national security to include environmental threats to stability. Environmental security refers to a range of security issues triggered or intensified by environmental factors such as climate change, resources, demographic factors, natural disasters, environmental change, and non-sustainable practices. Environmental stress has the potential to destabilize states, but especially in the developing world because they are characteristically more dependent on the environment for economic productivity and lack the resiliency to overcome these challenges. This paper examines the linkages between environmental stress, instability, and conflict; and illustrates these connections with two case studies. This analysis suggests that developing states are more vulnerable to environmental stress and suffer from four fundamental causally-related social effects: 1) reduced agricultural production; 2) economic decline; 3) population displacement; and 4) civil disruption. These effects determine the vulnerability and adaptability of the society. Furthermore, environmental conflict evolves from four underlying processes: non-sustainable practices; natural environmental change; governmental practices; and human activity.





HOW TO SAVE A STREAM: DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION

ALONG THE FALLING SPRING BRANCH IN CHAMBERSBURG, PA


Christopher Eby

Shippensburg University


Abstract

The Falling Spring Branch in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania is a limestone spring creek famous among fly fisherman for its wild trout population. However, the area around it has experienced rapid development in the last 50 years, threatening the creek’s habitat. Land use categorization using GIS shows massive increases in development within 1 km of the creek. Two local community groups, a Trout Unlimited chapter and Falling Spring Greenway, Inc., have organized to protect the creek and restore damaged sections. Over the years they have worked with the local government, property owners, and businesses to establish public easements along the stream, create a riparian buffer zone, and narrow the stream channel. Their work has resulted in successfully maintaining a wild trout population and many lessons can be learned on how to protect the wildlife habitat of a spring creek in an urbanizing area.





LOCATING A PLACE FOR GEOGRAPHY IN TODAY’S

EDUCATIONAL LANDSCAPE


Janet Stuhrenberg Smith

Shippensburg University


This article is a transcript of the Pennsylvania Distinguished Geographer lecture given at the combined meeting of the Pennsylvania Geographical Society and the Middle Atlantic Division of the Association of the American Geographers, York, Pennsylvania, November 5, 2010.





NATURAL HIDDEN ASSETS: THE GROUNDWATERS OF THE OLT–

ARGES INTERFLUVIAL PLAIN IN ROMANIA


Octavian Cocoş

Department of Geography

University of Bucharest


Abstract


The groundwaters of the Olt–Arges interfluvial plain fill the pores of several aquifers made up of sands and gravel, the most important of them being the Candesti Strata, the Sands of Mostiştea and the Fratesti Strata. Hydrogeological parameters, the depth of water table, and the chemical composition of waters depend on morphological, climatic, and geological conditions. Generally, waters are good for drinking and they can meet the demands of the population and economic activities, even though in some cases seasonal variations of the water table are sometimes significant.



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