by Fiona Ferbrache
The scientific method has close connections to ideas about progress and innovation. In 2010, a question was posed in the Guardian: “Can a human break the sound barrier?” This question may well be answered later this year when skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, will free fall to earth from the edge of space. Taking a balloon to roughly 37km above the earth’ surface, the skydiver is expected to be the first human to break the sound barrier during his ten minute return flight. Baumgartner’s adventure will be facilitated by a range of technical apparatus including oxygen tanks and a special suit designed to withstand temperatures of -94ºF.
The theme of adventure and exploration in this sky diving story connects with Area’s special quarterly section Exploring the Outdoors. Celebrating the multiple ways in which geographers engage with outdoor spaces, the papers in this collection address activities such as climbing, mountaineering, mountain rescue and fieldtrips. Each paper contributes to our knowledge of the outdoors, but the strength of this collection emerges in the co-construction of the multiple relations that link science and adventure, from both human and physical sides of geography. As Couper and Yarwood (2012) emphasise in the introduction to this collection, ‘outdoors’ provides a conceptual field from which to transgress this geographical boundary.
Providing an overview of this collection, Couper and Yarwood also acknowledge its limitations. They note, among other things, that “it remains predominantly land-based in its consideration of outdoor-spaces” (p.5). With this in mind, Baumgartner’s upcoming adventure may offer some alternative approaches for geographic engagement with the outdoors.
Pauline Couper & Richard Yarwood, 2012, Confluences of human and physical geography research on the outdoors: an introduction to the special section on ‘Exploring the outdoors’, Area 44 2-6
These Early View articles are now available on Wiley Online Library.
Anthropogenic controls on large wood input, removal and mobility: examples from rivers in the Czech Republic
Lukáš Krejčí and Zdeněk Máčka
Article first published online: 23 DEC 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2011.01071.x
Special Section: Exploring the Great Outdoors
‘My magic cam’: a more-than-representational account of the climbing assemblage
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2011.01069.
Special Section: Emerging Subjects, Registers and Spatialities of Migration Methodologies in Asia
Methodological dilemmas in migration research in Asia: research design, omissions and strategic erasures
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4762.2011.01070.x
The aviation sagas: geographies of volcanic risk
Amy R Donovan and Clive Oppenheimer
Article first published online: 3 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2011.00458.x
Diverging pathways: young female employment and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa
Thilde Langevang and Katherine V Gough
Article first published online: 13 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4959.2011.00457.x
Rethinking urban public space: accounts from a junction in West London
Regan Koch and Alan Latham
Article first published online: 19 DEC 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00489.x
The social and economic consequences of housing in multiple occupation (HMO) in UK coastal towns: geographies of segregation
Darren P Smith
Article first published online: 23 DEC 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00487.x
The reputational ghetto: territorial stigmatisation in St Paul’s, Bristol
Tom Slater and Ntsiki Anderson
Article first published online: 30 DEC 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00490.x
Fear of a foreign railroad: transnationalism, trainspace, and (im)mobility in the Chicago suburbs
Article first published online: 30 DEC 2011 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00491.x
Participation in evolution and sustainability
Thomas L Clark and Eric Clark
Article first published online: 3 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00492.x
Progressive localism and the construction of political alternatives
David Featherstone, Anthony Ince, Danny Mackinnon, Kendra Strauss and Andrew Cumbers
Article first published online: 3 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00493.x
Article first published online: 9 JAN 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2011.00494.x