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California Geographical Society Annual Meeting

Dateline: 05/03/99

The 53rd Annual Meeting of the California Geographical Society (CGS) took place the weekend of April 30-May 2 in Camarillo, California at the beautiful site of the future California State University, Channel Islands. The future CSUSI was formerly the home of the Camarillo State Hospital.

The welcome sign, ready for the first students in the fall of 1999

Geographers and student geographers from around the state congregated in southern Ventura County for the fun-filled and relaxed atmosphere of a regional academic conference. The society, and the meeting, focuses on getting students, high school geography teachers, and community college instructors involved in the discipline of geography. For many undergraduate and graduate students, this conference, along with other similar regional meetings, are a first opportunity to attend a professional meeting and present a paper or a poster.

Geographers paying attention
Attentive geographers, filling the room to capacity, are captivated by a presentation.

Many outstanding papers and posters were presented at the meeting. The CGS awarded undergraduate and graduate students prizes for the best papers and posters. University of Southern California graduate student Alex Alonso won first prize for his excellent presentation on graffiti and street gangs in Los Angeles.

Awards were also given to outstanding instructors, including those from the K-12 levels. Several of the elementary teachers who were recognized for their contributions had presented their ideas at a fantastic plenary session on Translating the Standards to the Classroom. In the plenary session teachers recommended ideas such as

  • drawing a street map of the community onto a rug to allow students to identify different types of land uses and buildings around the school
  • having students each bring a jar of soil from their backyards and looking at the soil through a magnifying glass to begin discussing physical geography
  • photocopying school portraits of the students to use in their own books showing where they live in relation to several maps - the world, the continent, the country, the state, and the city

Lunch Time
Lunch time on the lawn at the future CSU, Channel Islands.

The meeting reinforced to me the idea that regional geographic associations and their annual conferences and meetings, such as the regional groups of the Association of American Geographers are excellent jumping-off points for the academic careers of young geographers and are a great place to meet and get together with other professional geographers. I strongly encourage students to enter posters and papers at meetings such as this to help work toward presenting at a large geography conference, such as those of the AAG.

A great view!
An afternoon hike by your Guide and friends provided a great view of the campus' valley.

Additional photos from the CGS meeting are available on the CSU Northridge Geography Department site.

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Photographs copyright 1999 by Matt Rosenberg and Mining Co.Com, Inc.

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