- Editors’ Introduction1
Issue 60.3 marks our third publication as editors of the Southeastern Geographer. As this issue goes to press (late April 2020), we work remotely because of stay-in-place orders resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic. As with all pandemics, a spatiotemporal pattern has emerged in the timing and diffusion of the virus at a global, national, and regional scale. Several areas have been particularly heavily impacted in American South ranging from large metropolitan areas to small cities, indicating no area is immune to the impacts of Covid-19. While data related to the coronavirus deaths and infections are incomplete and fluid, the outbreak in the American South shows patterns reflecting the influence of poverty, underlying poor health conditions (hypertension and heart disease), lack of health insurance, and long-term racial inequities that contribute to disproportionally high infection and mortality rates among some communities, particularly African American (Eligon et al. 2020) and Latinx (1Point3Acres 2020). Similarly, scientists around the world have determined that Covid-19 infection and death rates are much worse in areas with high levels of air pollution (The Guardian 2020). The Covid-19 outbreak also has massively disrupted our economy, and altered transportation, work, and school schedules, but again, the extent of these have a geographic signature. There is no doubt that in the coming days geographers will continue to engage in understanding the social, economic, and environmental implications over geographic space resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic.
This issue includes four articles and two book reviews. As always, there is much variability in the topics presented, but the research is unified by the focus on the American South. We thank all our contributors of this issue for their continued efforts to support and sustain scholarship amid transitioning their lives to work virtually, often while taking care of others. We provide an overview of the articles below, each that were improved by the constructive insights of the external reviewers. Additionally, we thank our editorial assistants, Ridwaana Allen and Tyler Mitchell, for their help in producing this issue.
Artesian springs are a common feature throughout Florida’s karst landscape and because of their anaerobic environments they may provide paleoenvironmental data in locations that were not significantly impacted by sea-level reductions during the Pleistocene. In a fascinating study based on work conducted at fifteen karst spring runs in Florida, Tanner et al. document that one-third of these runs accumulated organic sediment prior to the Middle Holocene when sea-level conditions stabilized following the Terminal Pleistocene glacial period reduction in sea level. The presence of organic-rich sediments in these spring runs that pre-date the Middle Holocene thus provide a significant body of paleoenvironmental data that would otherwise not be readily available. [End Page 197] Further, their results document that the Florida spring runs were characterized by greater spatiotemporal variability than was previously documented.
Price et al. examine a vulnerable and underrepresented population within the hazards literature: supervised offenders. Using social disorganization theory, they investigate whether supervised offenders live in areas that are most at risk from coastal hazards. Their results indicate that social disorganization is not associated with hazards exposure, likely due to local flood zone regulations and high real estate values in water-front neighborhoods. Addressing offender vulnerabilities may help lead to more positive outcomes upon release. Furthermore, they find that existing measures of social disorganization may be insufficient to fully capture certain dynamics. For example, residential mobility and ethnic heterogeneity may be influenced by the presence of military facilities or institutions of higher education; and extremely high levels of income in heterogeneous areas may affect income equality, thereby impacting estimates of disadvantage.
Shinn et al. used an ethnographic approach to investigate the response to devastating floods on June 23, 2016 from two communities in Greenbrier County, West Virginia and members of different organizations that participated in the response and recovery efforts. Their findings indicate that although these communities were already vulnerable from years of socioeconomic decline and depopulation, their social capital allowed the communities to also be resilient. Based on the complex interactions between federal, state, and nonprofit organizations (most notably the faith-based organizations...