Department of Geography

College of Liberal Arts

California State University, Long Beach


Abstracts of Conference Presentations


Mr. James A. Woods

Together with Dr. Frank Gossette and Ms. Maribel Enriquez, Mr. Woods presented:

"Long Beach, California: America's most diverse city?," to the Association of American Geographers, Denver, April 2005

Following the release of Census 2000 figures on race and ethnicity, USA Today declared Long Beach, California to be the "most diverse city in the country." This assessment was based on comparisons using the papers own Diversity Index, which like the more familiar entropy measures, measures the evenness of representation of Americas major race/ethnicity groups within the enumeration area -- in this case the entire city population. And while the same indexes can be calculated and mapped for smaller areal components (census tracts for example) to show the pattern of differing levels of evenness within urban areas, the results do not adequately measure the spatiality of diversity itself. This paper examines a variety of truly geographic approaches to the measurement and visualization of population diversity.

Mr. Woods also presented:

"Vegetation Regrowth at the Old Topange Fire Storm," to the Association of American Geographers, Philadelphia, March 2004.

In late October and early November 1993, major brush fires swept through Southern California burning tens of thousands of acres of tinder dry brush. One such fire, known as the Old Topanga fire, was ignited by an arsonist on November 2, in the Santa Monica Mountains, west of Downtown Los Angeles. Over the next 72 hours, 2 lives were lost, over 16,000 acres were burned, and over 350 homes were destroyed. While this was a great tragedy, this also provided an opportunity for the author to document the regrowth and revegetation of the fire site. The author revised 11 sites every three months for the next 5 years, then every year or so for the next 5 years. The same camera, film speed, and settings were used on each visit. This poster documents the rapid growth of vegetation at the sites.

Together with Dr. Gossette, Mr. Woods presented:

"Mapping Multi-Ethnic Households in Los Angeles," to the Association of American Geographers, New Orleans, March 2003.

The 2000 Census provided, for the first time, the option of choosing more than one race or ethnicity for individuals in the household. Are those choosing the multi-ethnic response option more likely to live diverse or relatively homogeneous neighborhoods? This study examines the spatial distribution of multi-ethnic responses at the tract level for Los Angeles County. Of particular interest is the distribution of multiple-category responses compared to specific racial and ethnic concentrations in Greater Los Angeles.

Together with Dr. Gossette, Mr. Woods presented:

"Wildfire Hazard in Southern California," to the Association of American Geographers, Los Angeles, March 2002.

Wildfires in the woodland and chaparral areas of Southern California continue to be a major threat to people and property. As encroachment into this wildland urban interface continues, there is a need to identify high fire hazard zones. As part of an ongoing program to map the perimeters of wildfires in Los Angeles County since the early 1900's, this study develops methods to visualize and assess fire hazard by integrating maps, imagery, and demographic data from the 2000 Census. Using geographic information systems technology, different models of assessing hazard will be examined and evaluated.


This document is maintained by Geography Webmaster:
Last revised: 02/05/05