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Articles in Australia and Pacific

Answers to Last Week’s Geo-Quiz

By Martin W. Lewis | December 13, 2015 | 11 Comments
Answers to Last Week’s Geo-Quiz

The correct answers are in bold.
1. The area marked A:
a. is a major agricultural region, marked by large sugar and cotton plantations in the north and intensive sheep and cattle ranching in the south.
b. is an Australian territory rather than state (owing largely to its small population) that has a relatively high proportion of Indigenous Australians (Aborigines) in its population.
c. …

How Does Your Knowledge of the Pacific Compare to That of a Stanford Geography Student?

By Martin W. Lewis | December 11, 2015 |

Dear Readers: Blogging has been light recently due to the demands of reading student essay, writing exams, and grading exams as the autumn academic term comes to an end. In my two-term class on Global Human Geography at Stanford University, I give both multiple-choice and essay exams, the first being easy to grade but difficult to write, and the second …

Additional Oddities of Kiribati’s Line Islands

By Martin W. Lewis | November 27, 2015 | One Comment

Before moving on from the current series of posts on Kiribati, it is worth exploring a few additional aspects of this intriguing country.
The first of these points may be somewhat trivial but is still worth mentioning: The recent Gilbertese colonization of the Line Islands undermines the stock idea that Polynesia can be delimited within a vast triangle, with apexes situated in …

The Recent Gilbertese Settlement of the Line Islands

By Martin W. Lewis | November 26, 2015 | 4 Comments

It is difficult to convey the immensity and emptiness of the Republic of Kiribati. The country extends across more than 3.5 million square kilometers (1,351,000 sq mi) of oceanic space, an area considerably larger than India. The distance between its western and eastern islands is comparable to the distance across the United States. Yet Kiribati contains only 800 square kilometers (310 sq mi) of land, …

The Anomaly of Banaba Island: Part of Kiribati, But Administered from Fiji

By Martin W. Lewis | November 24, 2015 | One Comment

 
For some time I have been making a list of “geopolitical anomalies,” loosely defined as existing arrangements that defy the standard model of sovereign states exercising completely control over unambiguous, clearly delimited territorial realms. Until recently, however, one of the world’s more interesting geopolitical anomalies had escaped my attention: that of Banaba Island (also called Ocean Island) in the Pacific …

Populating the Pilbara—And the Controversial Phenomenon of Gina Rinehart

By Martin W. Lewis | December 16, 2012 | 3 Comments

As the previous post noted, the major urban areas of Australia have recently posted significant population gains whereas most rural areas have registered demographic declines. The situation is a bit different, however, in Western Australia, the world’s second largest (by territory) “stateoid” (or first-order political division of a sovereign state). To be sure, the outskirts of greater Perth have seen …

Australia’s Empty Countryside—and the Melbourne/Sydney Rivalry

By Martin W. Lewis | December 10, 2012 | 14 Comments

Australia is well known for its low population density. With roughly 23 million people living in 2.9 million sq mi (7.7 million sq km) of land, it ranks sixth from bottom in this regard, following Mongolia, Namibia, Iceland, Suriname, and Mauritania. Australia is also known for its high degree of urbanization, although its 89.2 percent official urbanization figure places only …

Australia’s Climatic Anomalies

By Martin W. Lewis | December 7, 2012 |

(Having just returned from a family trip to Australia, I feel compelled to muse over a few Australian topics over the next few days….).
In the various indices of the world’s “most livable cities,” those of Australia generally rank quite high. In the Economist Intelligence Unit‘s (EIU) most recent global liveability report, Melbourne places first, Adelaide fifth, Sydney seventh, and Perth …

Separatism in French Polynesia

By Nicholas Baldo | October 17, 2012 | One Comment

As previously noted on GeoCurrents, the political entities that comprise the French Republic exhibit a multitude of different administrative designations with varying legal responsibilities. One such possession is French Polynesia, which was officially designated an “overseas country” in 2004, though legally its status is indistinguishable from that of France’s other overseas collectivities.

The Australian Asylum Controversy Extends to Indonesia

By Martin W. Lewis | August 22, 2012 | 2 Comments

The on-going Australian asylum-seeking controversy has recently spread to the Indonesian island of Java. On August 20, the Jakarta Post announced the arrest of “28 illegal immigrants hiding in a forested coastal area of South Cianjur, West Java. The immigrants were part of a large group of asylum seekers from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran who were heading to Christmas Island.”

Australia’s “Devil Ark” Captive Breeding Program

By Martin W. Lewis | May 21, 2012 | One Comment

The Tasmanian devil, a wolverine-like marsupial carnivore, has been reintroduced to mainland Australia, where it has been extinct for hundreds of years. The formidable animals are not roaming free in the outback, however, but are rather confined to the “Devil Ark” in a free-range captive breeding project: “Devils are kept in densely vegetated pens of between two and three football fields in size enclosed by a climb and burrow-proof fence, and their pen mates are chosen by experts from a genetic ‘stud book’ to optimise breeding.”

U.S. Drone Base on Australia’s Cocos Islands?

By Martin W. Lewis | March 30, 2012 |

Australia recently announced that it might allow the United States to establish an airbase on its remote Indian-Ocean Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Such a base would be used primarily for a fleet of surveillance drones, but it has been suggested that it could potentially serve as a partial replacement for the massive U.S. military complex on the island of Diego Garcia in the Chagos Archipelago, which is leased from the United Kingdom.

Violence against Women in Solomon Islands

By Martin W. Lewis | March 27, 2012 | 4 Comments

According to Australia Network News, a recent World Bank report lists Solomon Islands as suffering from more violence against women than any other country. The Bank’s recent Gender Equality and Development Report states that 64 per cent of women in the Melanesian country claim that they have been victims of domestic violence.

Oceania GeoQuiz Answers

By Martin W. Lewis | March 24, 2012 |

Yesterday’s GeoNote introduced this Oceania GeoQuiz. This page shows the answers in bold, so if you would like to first take the quiz without seeing the answers, see yesterday’s post before scrolling down.
 
 
 
1. The area marked A:
a. is a major agricultural region, marked by large sugar and cotton plantations in the north and intensive sheep and cattle ranching in the …

GeoQuiz on Oceania

By Martin W. Lewis | March 23, 2012 | 7 Comments

 
 
 
 
 
 
1. The area marked A:
a. is a major agricultural region, marked by large sugar and cotton plantations in the north and intensive sheep and cattle ranching in the south.
b. is an Australian territory rather than state (owing largely to its small population) that has a relatively high proportion of Aborigines in its population.
c. is an Australian state characterized, like the …

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