Episode 1: Geography

What do Abu Dhabi, the Namibian Desert and the Leelanau Peninsula have in common?  Rob Karner discusses his connection to the land around him, and how it has influenced his identity and values.

As one of the world’s most easily identified geographical boundaries, Michigan’s lower peninsula is commonly called  “the mitten.”  Michiganders often reference where they live by displaying their open right hand.  Between the pinky and the ring finger is Traverse City, Michigan.  The geography of this midwest American region is the common denominator that influences the values and collective identity of the people here. 

Oxford Essential World Atlas, Oxford University Press, Cover Design: Brady McNamara
Cover Image: Leelanau Peninsula, Michigan, U.S. @ European Space Agency

Last summer, I was walking down Front Street in Downtown Traverse City, and there in the center of the window display of my favorite book store was a world atlas. The cover for this atlas was a satellite image of the Leelanau Peninsula, or as Michiganders  call it, the pinky finger.   I immediately wanted to know the back story.  How was this corner of the world selected for the cover of the Eighth Edition Oxford Essential World Atlas? I contacted the Oxford University Press Art Department,  and their staff was able to share the story behind the selection process. I shared  this backstory with friends who had a keen spatial perspective. One of those people was Rob Karner.

Rob Karner sailing Sleeping Bear Bay, photo courtesy of Jeffrey T. Karner

Featured Music : Jones Grove, Composed by Gretchen Carr