Topic Summaries: Process and Sources

Over the past week, I’ve worked on  and finished my topic summaries – the foundation of my concentration. The three topics I ended up summarizing were freshwater, geomorphology, and recreation. Although it was easy to find useful information on all three of these topics, the greatest challenge was condensing it all  onto one page.  Asking real key questions was a difficult for me as well because it was tough for me not to ask specific questions about all the reading I did. It was tempting to just form answerable questions and answer them via research in essay format. However, I restrained myself.

Over the course of my research, I found a few sources of particular interest, here are some of them:

The source above discusses hydrologic ecosystem services and their many implications for human development. The author also provides an overview of the ecosystem functions responsible for producing terrestrial hydrologic services and uses this framework to lay out a blueprint for a more general ecosystem service assessment.  Such assessment considers: the types of ecosystems that provide hydrologic  services, the scale of these services, how hydrologic services should be measured, how  changes in water quantity are produced and many more aspects of the concept. This article related well to my hydrology class and gave me interesting information to use in my topic summaries.

The paper above, written by Andrew Bernstein – one of the professors that led the Mt. Fuji program – helped to address the evolution of tourism from religious pilgrimage. Although the paper’s main focus is the legal battles over who “owns” the summit of Mt. Fuji, there was also interesting information about tourism. Bernstein traces the transition of Mt. Fuji from a purely religious site to tourist destination  through describing how the traveler’s mindset shifted over the years. The main force behind the increase in tourism on  Mt. Fuji was  nationalism as the mountain was (and still is) a symbol of Japanese pride. Now, pilgrims are far outnumbered by tourists on Mt. Fuji – as I personally experienced.

As one can tell  by these sources,  my  concentration is expanding and my ideas are growing more diverse. Although I’m still  interested  in pursuing science topics like freshwater and geomorphology, the addition of tourism will add a hybrid twist. I’m  excited to look more into these topics and weave them together in the coming weeks.

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