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Dr. Yolonda Youngs

Explore Your World!: Understanding Globalization through Regional Geography

Globalization is one of the most important forces reshaping the world today. By connecting people and places through converging economic, political, and cultural activities, we can better understand the stories behind news headlines and learn to connect our lives with people and places around the world. In this talk, students will learn about regional geography, the process of globalization, and take part in hands-on activities that strengthen knowledge about the differences and connections between world cultures, languages, religion, politics, and economics. Teachers will gain new activities and lessons for the classroom that connect with western and eastern hemisphere geography standards for K-12 in Idaho.

National Parks: Environmental and Social Sustainability

The United States is home to the first national park in the world (Yellowstone National Park) and hosts a wide array of national park units with stunning geological features, a diverse array of forests and animals, and a rich cultural heritage. But few people realize that the national park idea holds other important social and cultural meanings about democracy, environmental justice, and social sustainability. In this talk, students will learn about the U.S. national park system, its geography, and how parks can be part of a new environmental and social sustainability. Teachers will gain new case studies and lesson topics about parks that can connect with science and geography standards for K-12.

The Earth From Space: Geospatial Technologies and You

Digital maps are part of our everyday lives. Using our phones and computers, we use maps to find directions to restaurants, explore the next vacation spot, or simply find our hometown on a state map. Many of these views feature photographs taken of the Earth from space. But how are these digital maps made? What is Geographic Information Systems (GIS)? How can we use digital maps and spatial data to better understand our world and the quickly growing industry of geospatial technologies? In this talk, the students will be introduced to GIS through a short lecture about geospatial technologies, digital maps, and geography and then guided through a GIS tutorial. This session is full of active learning potential and accessible to all students, no individual computer required. Teachers can gain additional lessons, activities, and digital resources that fit Idaho geography standards.

State Standards

These presentations meet the following state education standards for high school students:

Social Studies

U.S. History II

9-12.USH2.1.5.1 Analyze the causes and effects of the expansion of the United States.

9-12.USH2.2.2.1 Analyze ways in which the physical environment affected political, social, and economic development.


American Government

9-12.G.2.5.1 Analyze the impact of geography on the American political system, such as electoral politics and congressional redistricting.

9-12.G.5.1.1 Discuss the mutual impact of ideas, issues, and policies among nations, including environmental, economic, and humanitarian.



9-12.E.2.4.1 Explain how the factors of production are distributed among geographic regions and how this influences economic growth.