A photograph and a digital model of dunes as they exist today and as they existed 200 years ago
A destroyed dune known as “Cossack hill,” as it exists now on the left, and below right, a 3D model of how it looked 200 years ago.

New digital mapping research reveals that the Toruń dunes in Poland once rose 45 meters high, began to form 13,900 years ago, and remained virtually unchanged until the second half of the 20th century. In the last 200 years, dunes have shrunk 26.5% in the city limits, and 60.2% in the most urbanized part of the city. The greatest part of this degradation happened after the late 1950s. To make this comparison, researcher Paweł Molewski of Copernicus University in Poland compared maps and drawings of the landscape from 1793-2000, and after 1965 was able to use satellite views also. He used a coordinate system, the Topographic Object Database, and software including ESRI ArcGIS 10.4.1 and Global Mapper 17 to map, and Voxler 3 to model the dunes. Ultimately, Molewski’s work suggests that if Toruń residents want to preserve what dunes remain, their further urbanization and development will have to protect the natural features more deliberately.


University students from different disciplines and backgrounds can help close the knowledge and representation gap by contributing their scholarship to Wikipedia. This limitless potential is enticing for educators with diverse student populations across the world  and many educators incorporate Wikipedia into their classrooms in meaningful ways to meet their students’ specific interests. For so long, many educators have wondered how extensive the link between Wikipedia and the University should be. Wikipedia has widely been used in education to warn students of open-access information systems where knowledge can be right, wrong, or even missing. Instead of teaching students to be weary of the platform for strict knowledge consumption, educators should teach their students how to contribute their own knowledge to Wikipedia. This scholarship will encourage other students and academics to view Wikipedia as an effective learning technology that fosters a kinder, better web and world.

See the full article here: https://blog.wikimedia.org.uk/2020/02/knowledge-activism-vs-passive-consumption-rethinking-wikipedia-in-education/

A recent study of use of the word “Cherokee” on Twitter shows that stereotypes of Natives outnumber positive mentions by three to one: Susana at Indigenous Engineering found that words like “tomahawk” and “Pocahottie” were far more common than mentions of tribal sovereignty and citizenship. The study marks a sad anniversary for natives, the February signing of the Dawes act, which broke up tribal lands and resulted in millions of acres being seized by non-native white settlers. This year, February also included several major Democratic presidential primary debates, which took up discussion of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s contested claims to Cherokee ancestry. Susana’s analysis considers the use of the word “Cherokee” before and after the  February 7th debate, concluding: “It should be noted that on February 8th, 2020, the 133rd anniversary of the signing of the Dawes Act, Cherokee identity was again demonstrably hijacked by a white politician–this time not thought direct legislation, but rather words & actions in the social sphere.” See full data and analysis on the Indigenous Engineering website: https://indigenous.engineering/projects/Cherokee-Online.html

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