Vol. 49, No. 1, Spring/Summer 2011- "The Pennsylvania Geographer"




A CASE STUDY OF ATTEMPTED CONSOLIDATION IN THE LITTLE CONEMAUGH RIVER VALLEY


Larry Kleitches

Department of Geography

Texas State University-San Marcos


Abstract


This is an inquiry into one group of communities within a rural Cambria County, Pennsylvania school district. These communities spent money and time in studying consolidation, including placing it in the public forums, and were unable to reach agreement. This inquiry attempts to answer one question: what prevents specific communities from taking what would seem to be a rational step of consolidation and to choose instead decline and fiscal stress? The research presents a brief history of the study area (the Conemaugh Valley School District [CVSD]), the problems facing the region, the politics and events leading to the failure of the consolidation vote, and a final summation. 





THE AMERICAN COLONIZATION SOCIETY’S WEST AFRICAN ENTERPRISE--COLONIAL LIBERIA TO A FAILED STATE


William R. Stanley

Department of Geography

University of South Carolina


Abstract


Back to Africa enterprises surfaced periodically in American history in response to societal and governmental unwillingness to absorb equitably that portion of the population with African roots. By late 18th Century, the slave population and free blacks were of increasing concern to slave holders, social moderates and abolitionists albeit for distinctly different reasons. The several colonies of free American blacks established on the West African coast in what was to become Liberia were nurtured with material, political and ecclesiastical

support from the American Colonization Society and timely assistance from the American Government. Liberia’s political and economic leadership derived from American settlers was seemingly destroyed in a 1980 military uprising by tribal soldiers trained by the U.S. Army. The next 30 years were a progression of steps into the abyss and the country is only slowly recovering from being perceived as a failed state. The paper traces critical political and economic events in this American enterprise. 





THE CHANGING ANATOMY OF MEXICAN TOWNS: REPEAT STUDY

AND STANISLAWSKI’S MICHOACÁN


J.O. Joby Bass

Department of Geography and Geology

The University of Southern Mississippi

Scott A. Brady

Department of Geography and Planning

California State University, Chico


Abstract


Data and descriptions gathered and created by earlier geographers can be used by contemporary geographers as archival baseline material with which to study landscape change. Assessing change by revisiting the results of past fieldwork in the field is called repeat geography. The body of repeat studies has grown during the past decade. Published sixty years ago, Dan Stanislawski’s monograph, Eleven Towns in Michoacán in Mexico, contains abundant information about a dynamic region. We utilize Stanislawski’s monograph and recent fieldwork in a repeat study that analyzes landscape change in Michoacán. They also assess the value and limitations of repeat study. Repeat mapping demonstrates that changes in transportation infrastructure and communications technologies are the most obvious and important changes impacting life in the towns Stanislawski described sixty years ago. Field interviews and observation reveal the growing importance of emigrant remittances to landscape change. 





VISUALIZING THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL DIVIDES OF BOLIVIA WITH MULTIVARIATE MAPS


Cheryl Hagevik and Christopher A. Badurek

Department of Geography and Planning

Appalachian State University


Abstract


Following Evo Morales’ election as President of Bolivia in 2006, social and economic tensions have worsened between the indigenous populations of the west and the non-indigenous populations of the eastern lowlands. Relationships between social dynamics and changing political structures can be better understood through visualizing key factors involved. Social indicators of poverty can be studied with election outcomes to better understand regional divides and monitor relatively abrupt changes occurring in Bolivia. Multivariate mapping

assists in the visualization of these relationships if presented in careful manner. Relationships between voting and demographics are explored through use of multivariate mapping to display the percent of Castellano speaking population with election outcomes. Web based mapping applications can also assist in the study of optimal multivariate visualization techniques. However, it is found that these platforms are not suitably designed for the level of symbolization manipulation required in multivariate mapping of Latin American political data. 



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