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Volume 57 / Social Sciences

GEOGRAPHY: GENERAL


WILLIAM V. DAVIDSON, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Geography and Anthropology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge


GEOGRAPHICAL PUBLICATIONS RESULTING FROM THE CELEBRATION of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage to America have flooded the scene during the last biennium. Colorful reproductions of maps and other illustrations that date from the period surrounding the Age of Discovery fill these works. Volumes on Spanish engineering in the New World and nautical cartography are especially valuable (items bi 96002283 and bi 97003870 respectively).

The second major concentration is on the interrelation of natural regions, ecological changes, and conservation. Many of these investigations may have been prompted by the 1st Latin American Congress on Ecology (Montevideo 1989) (item bi 96002274) or the 25th UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro 1992). Notable are Dinerstein's sweeping report on Latin American "ecoregions" and the status of conservation efforts therein (item bi 95022481) and Gallopín's two-volume compilation of the classification of major ecosystems and specific studies on the consequences of environmental change (item bi 97003881).

The impressive growth of urban centers in Latin America continues to attract research (items bi 95015204 and bi 97003882), as does the movement of population to, from, and within Latin America. The final recurring theme concerns natural catastrophes such as volcanos, earthquakes, and, of course, El Niño (item bi 96022449).

One promising new journal has appeared: Meridiano: Revista de Geografía, is produced by the Centro de Estudios Alexander von Humboldt in Buenos Aires, under the direction of Omar Horacio Gejo. The most important recent gatherings of geographers interested in Latin America are those of the Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers (CLAG) -- in Juárez, Mexico (Sept. 1994), Tegucigalpa, Honduras (Jan. 1996), and Arequipa, Peru (July 1997). CLAG activities are publicized through CLAGNET, a listserve efficiently organized by David J. Robinson, Syracuse University (http://sites.maxwell.syr.edu/clag/clag.htm and drobinson@maxwell.syr.edu).


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