Explore the five major themes of geography, including natural resources, minerals, water, and weather, in the context of Georgia’s unique geographic characteristics. The state is distinguished by a number of dramatic physical features and divided into five physiographic regions: the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley, and Plateau.
Georgia Under the Ground explains how Georgia's geography was shaped and molded by the forces of nature. Sweeping scenes show off the geographic variety of the state east to west and north to south and the presence of fossils aids in understanding the formation of the state.
Allen Padgett from the Department of Natural Resources leads a group of students into a cave in Cloudland Canyon in the Appalachian Plateau of northwest Georgia. Along the way he describes how caves and valleys in north Georgia were formed by the forces of nature lifting up massive rocks to create mountains with pockets underneath.
Don Berryhill, science specialist with the Okefenokee Regional Education Service Agency, guides students in a canoe through the Okefenokee Swamp and points out many unique species in this specialized ecosystem. Bill Cribbs, a descendant of a farmer who came to the Okefenokee in the late 1800s, and park ranger Pete Griffin describe life in the swamp when people worked at the Hebard Lumber Company. Like any mysterious place, legends abound, Cribbs and Griffin have a few stories to tell.
In colonial days, rice was Georgia’s number one export. Richard Schultz Jr., talks about helping grow rice, Jackie Edwards, a reenactor at Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation demonstrates how slaves would separate rice from its hulls, Faye Cowart, tour guide at the plantation, lists other potential disasters in growing rice, and Robbie Harrison, whose family has grown rice at Fife Plantation, discusses the dangers of the coastal climate.
Frank Moon, a fifth generation gold prospector, local Dahlonega bookstore owner Bill Kinsland, and Dr. Ray Rensi at Dahlonega’s North Georgia College describe how news of the discovery of gold in north Georgia spread as quickly as a lightening strike and prospectors poured in just as fast. The boomtown of Auraria sprung up to accommodate miners, but later mining activities centered in Dahlonega, Georgia.
Robbie Ethridge, a University of Georgia graduate student, Dr. Ray Rensi of North Georgia College, Bill Kinsland, owner of the Hometown Bookstore in Dahlonega, and University of Georgia professor Dr. Charles Hudson discuss how new people poured into central and north Georgia wanting to own land. The forces eventually driving Indian removal were largely economic.
According to Tom Robinson, executive vice president of the Elberton Granite Association, the abundance of granite in Elberton may also have something to do with Elberton’s nickname, "Granite Capital of the World." Geologists estimate that the granite deposit is 35 miles long, 6 miles wide, and 2 to 3 miles in depth. Bill Kelly, a historian for the granite history, recounts that area farmers thought of the granite rocks in their fields as big nuisances. Chip Rousey of Monumental Designs demonstrates how computers create stencils for carving designs and names into memorial stones.