Geography Faculty Research
[ Logo Image: Old map of Planet Earth fading into images of 
California State University, Long Beach ]
      Department of Geography
College of Liberal Arts
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
California State University
Long Beach, CA 90840-1101 USA

Media Appearances


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Mr. James Woods's photograph of a cannon's discharge at the moment the huge gun went off was published in the Long Beach Press Telegram on Monday the 29th of June. Mr. Woods had attended a Civil War re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg in El Dorado Park in late May and knew they were about to shoot the cannon. He set his camera on automatic interval shooting and happened to catch the exact moment it discharged. You can read about it and see the photograph for a short while at


Mr. James Woods's maps of the distribution of CSULB alumni were the subject of a front page (above the fold) headlined article in the Long Beach Press Telegram on Saturday the 10th of February. The article by Mr. Kevin Butler is entitled, "CSULB maps out financial future. Education: President targets alumni across the nation in a major fundraising drive." It will be accessible for a short while at

Mr. James Woods had a "Speak out" letter to the editor published by the Long Beach Press-Telegram on 26 February, addressing the issue, "Should church protect homeless?" The City Prosecutor's Office sent a letter to the First Congregational Church at 3rd and Cedar in Long Beach, ordering it to "abate the existing nuisance" of letting some chronically homeless people sleep on the side and steps of the church building. The church sees this as a legally and morally indefensible breach of the church-state separation and is contesting the Prosecutor's Office. You can read Mr. Wood's letter for a short while at


Mr. James Woods was cited extensively in The Desert Sun article on the Esperanza Fire and the "Green Sheet" analyzing the events that led to the deaths of five U.S. Forest Service firefighters on 26 October 2006. The article, by Keith Matheny, was entitled, "'Green Sheet report' reveals extreme conditions of wildfire: Esperanza details exposed," and appeared on 17 November 2006. The article may for a short while be viewed at

Ms. Fern Nueno and Ms. Aregnaz Mooradian were quoted in an article entitled, "CSULB students fast to feed the hungry," which appeared on the front page of the campus newspaper, Daily 49er on 16 October 2006. The two Geography students participated in the annual Fast-a-Thon hosted by the CSULB Muslim Student Association to raise money for the homeless on Skid Row. The theme of the event is "go hungry for one day so that someone else in the world won't have to," and the two students described how unexpectedly difficult it is to go without any food or beverages, even water, from 5:33 a.m. until 6:23 p.m. The event raised more than $400 for Humanitarian Day, which feeds people on Skid Row.

Dr. Chrys Rodrigue appeared in the California segment of the Journeys into the Ring of Fire television series moderated by Iain Stewart for BBC Two. This segment was broadcast on 13 August 2006 and discussed hazardousness in California, the California culture of daring and risk-taking, and the degree to which Californians perceive their exposure to natural hazards.

Dr. Chrys Rodrigue was interviewed by Colorlines Magazine for a video to be placed on their web site, The segment will be about how vulnerability to natural or technological disaster varies with race, class, age, and gender.

Dr. Dmitrii Sidorov and Dr. Harold Schefski of Russian Studies/RGRLL were the subjects of a March 2006 Inside CSULB article, entitled "Rediscovering Russia." The article, by Richard Manly, described the Study Abroad class that the two collaborating faculty conducted last summer in Russia. You can read the article here at By the way, given the tremendous success of the Russia 2005 trip, Drs. Sidorov and Schefski are going to offer the class again in Summer 2006.

Dr. Paul Laris, the Geography Student Association, and Ms. Pam Parkin's third grade class at Lowell Elementary School in Long Beach spent Friday, 17 February, gathering "nerdles" from the beach at Belmont Shore as part of an international citizen science research project based in a Japanese university to assess persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in ocean water. Nerdles are tiny plastic pellets a few milimeters wide, which are the raw material for plastics manufacture. The pellets are melted and then formed into plastic products. While being shipped, some of them manage to escape into ocean water before the ships make it to port. They eventually wash up on beaches everywhere but, during their time out at sea, they absorb an assortment of chemical pollutants in ocean water. A Japanese reearch team has put out a call for people around the world to collect these pellets from the shore, using tweezers to avoid contaminating them and placing them in special foil envelopes that are then mailed to Japan for chemical analysis to measure the amount of POPs in them. This citizen science project was written up in a story by Kevin Butler in the Long Beach Press Telegram, "Children gather pellets for science," on 18 February, on p. A2. The article may be read online until 4 March at

Dr. Chrys Rodrigue and Drs. Tim Caron (English), Patricia Johnson (Religious Studies and Women's Studies), and Dan O'Connor (Political Science and Liberal Studies) were the subjects of an Inside CSULB story on the UNIV 300i (Unnatural Disasters: Katrina) course they are co-teaching in Spring 2006.


Dr. Chrys Rodrigue was interviewed by a BBC news crew doing a story on the hazardousness of California. The show was televised during summer 2006 as part of the "Into the Pacific Rim of Fire" show and rebroadcast in summer 2007 as part of the "Hot Rocks" show.

Mr. Tom Frazier was a discussion panellist for an American Council on Germany roundtable discussion radio broadcast on 15 September 2005. The show, broadcast from CSULB, addressed "What in the world is happening in Germany? Elections September 2005."

Dr. Chrys Rodrigue had a letter to the editor published in the New York Times questioning the anti-government conclusion that columnist David Brooks had drawn from the Katrina disaster. The letter appeared in a section entitled, "Katrina and the Role of Government," published 13 September 2005.

Dr. Chrys Rodrigue had a short letter published in the Los Angeles Times concerning the implications of a Supreme Court decision about guilt and the intent to commit a crime. The letter was entitled, "Pleading ignorance," and it appeared in the 3 June 2005 issue of the Home Edition in the "California Metro" section, Part B, Editorial Pages Desk, p. B.12.

Dr. Christine L. Jocoy was the subject of an article, " Geography Professor Named Finalist for AAG's Nystrom Award," which appeared in the "Grants and Awards" section of Inside CSULB in the March 2005 issue.

Dr. Christine L. Jocoy was the subject of an article, "Geography professor named finalist for AAG's Nystrom Award," which appeared in This Week @ the Beach for the week of 14 March 2005.

Dr. Christine L. Jocoy was the subject of a CSULB press release, "Cal State Long Beach Geography professor named finalist for Nystrom Award by Association of American Geographers," which appeared in Press Releases @ the Beach on 11 March 2005.


Mr. James Woods was the subject of a front page story by Shayne Schroeder in the campus internal publication, Inside CSULB: "Brushfire Expert Says Most Started By Humans." The story can be accessed here.

Ms. Julienne Gard, graduate student in the Department of Geography, published a short commentary in the Los Angeles Times on the passing of jazz great, Artie Shaw, in which she related an amusing anecdote about a backstage visit she had with him back in 1998. She had been a swing music radio host in L.A. at the time. He complained about how the Wiltern Theatre concert he'd just given had mussed up his nightly habit of reading in bed but then added, "But it's a good business if you have to pick one." The commentary appeared on 2 January 2005 on p. B12.

Ms. Jan Olsen, graduate student in the Department of Geography, was spotted by Dr. Judith Tyner being interviewed on 9/11 and disaster preparedness on Channel 7 news on the third anniversary of that tragedy.

Mr. James Woods was interviewed by CSULB President Robert Maxson about his work on mapping wildfire hazard in Southern California. The interview will be shown on Channel 3's "Beach View" talk show.

Dr. Vincent Del Casino's receipt of the Glenda Laws Memorial Award from the Association of American Geographers and four other prominent geographical research societies was the subject of an article by Ms. Nicole Lavaud in The Daily 49er, CSULB's daily newspaper. The article is entitled, "Professor receives award for research on social issues," and it appeared in the 15 April 2004 issue. An online version is available at

Dr. Vincent Del Casino's receipt of the Glenda Laws Memorial Award from was the subject of another article, this one by Mr. Rick Gloady in This Week @ The Beach. The article is entitled "Geography professor at CSULB receives AAG Glenda Laws Award," and it appeared in the issue for the week of March 29, 2004. It is available at

Dr. Chrys Rodrigue's "Beach View" interview concerning her wildfire research by CSULB President Robert Maxson was rebroadcast on Channel 3 on 9 September.

Ms. Julienne Gard, graduate student in the Department of Geography, had a letter to the editor published in the Los Angeles Times (May 2004), in response to the 2 May 2004 article, "Cuts at UC Force Many to Consider Their 'Option.'" She defended the success of California community colleges in offering high quality education in small classes at low cost. Her article countered worries expressed in the article that the State fiscal crisis has forced the University of California system to delay the admission of qualified freshman applicants through a guaranteed admission after two years in a community college.


Undergraduates Ms. Leslie Edwards, Mr. Andrew Huston, Ms. Doreen Jeffrey, and Ms. Leeta Latham represented the Department of Geography at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Education on Saturday, 22 November. They gave a multimedia poster presentation entitled, "Oakland Berkeley Firestorm 1991," which included a web report on the firestorm and the map prepared for the web report by cartography students at CSU, Chico, and a movie organized around map animations of the fire's progress. Faculty mentors were Drs. Christine M. Rodrigue and Judith Tyner and Mr. Steven Stewart of CSUC. SCCUR is a very prestigious, multidisciplinary, refereed conference, which draws student research delegations from all over the country. The Geography SCCUR delegation was covered in the Los Angeles Times the day after, in David Reyes' story, "Rabbit Diets Were Just for Starters: More than 500 undergrads from 90 schools show research projects at UC Irvine," in the California section of the paper on 23 November 2003, which can be read (for a short while) here.

Dr. Chrys Rodrigue was interviewed by President Maxson about her interests in hazards, especially chaparral fire hazard, for his "Beach View" show. The show broadcast time is 6 p.m. on 11 December on Channel 3 in Long Beach.

Don Jergler, staff reporter on the Long Beach Press-Telegram, looked up Dr. James Curtis for insight into a puzzling and grim discovery in the harbor: a bag full of severed goat parts and other animal remains and some small change. The package was thought to resemble the sacrificial rituals associated with the Santería religion, and Dr. Curtis had done considerable research on the religion as part of the background to his mystery novel, Shangó. The intriguing article that resulted was entitled "Severed goat parts found in harbor," and it can be read by clicking here.

Reporter Anne Sobel of the Malibu Surfside News did a story in its 31 July 2003 issue on the mapping of Charmlee Wilderness Park by a Geoscience Diversity Enhancement Project (GDEP) team led by Drs. Chrys Rodrigue and Chris Lee. The article, entitled, "Project Makes Unknown Areas More 'Accessible': Geosciences Expand Understanding of Charmlee," can be read by clicking here. GDEP was also written up in This Week @ the Beach, which can be read here.

GIS Monitor, a trade e-magazine targeted to GIS practitioners, has published a letter by Mr. James Woods in its 24 April issue. The letter addresses the problems in interpretation created by the copying of line features from a map originally drawn at a small scale (1:500,000) onto a map at a large scale (1:24,000) and then representing the large scale map as "accurate." The letter can be read by clicking here (just below the photograph of a "lawn map" of the United States!).


The activities of the NASA Regional Earth Science Applications Center housed in the Department and directed by Dr. Christopher Lee were the focus of an article in Inside CSULB, entitled, "Bushes into Brushfire." You can read it by clicking here and scrolling to page 3. Thank you to Drs. Lee and Wechsler and graduate student, Mr. Brian Sims for bringing such positive campus-wide attention to the Department!

Prof. James Woods created a map for the Office of Enrollment Services, which shows the area beyond which new students will have to meet higher standards for admission. The campus is trying to deal with an explosion in demand for seats at CSULB, and tougher admissions standards for non-local students is one part of the strategy. This map, attributed to the Geography Department, was featured in the leading front page story in the Daily 49er on Monday, 11 March! The article by Phil Witte is entitled, "CSULB Becoming More Exclusive," and you can read it and see Woody's map here. Thanks, Woody, for putting our department "on the map"!


The Daily 49er, the student daily newspaper, featured a story about the $852,000 GeoDiversity grant that Drs. Chrys Rodrigue and Suzanne Wechsler received as Co-PIs (with Drs. Beth Ambos, Dan Francis, Teresa Ramírez, Jim Sample, and Rick Behl in Geology and Dan Larson in Anthropology. Dr. Chris Lee is also a Faculty Associate on the program (along with Drs. Laura Henriques of Science Education and Dave Whitney of Psychology). The reference is: Sarah Langford, "Foundation Funds Geoscience," Daily 49er 52, 35 (24 October 2001): 1. This lead story can also be read by clicking here.

Ian Hanigan of the Long Beach Press-Telegram wrote a story entitled, "CSULB Holds Terror Forum," which ran in the Thursday, 11 October 2001 edition, on p. A4. The story reported on the three hour teach-in on the events of 11 September 2001, which had been organized by Dr. Vincent Del Casino and an ad hoc group of the College of Liberal Arts Faculty Council. Dr. Del Casino's talk was noted:
Leading off the discussion was Vincent Del Casino, a CSULB geography professor who talked about the roots of nationalism and the fears caused by increasing glbalization. Del Casino said extremists like Osama bin Laden and Timothy McVeigh fear the encroachment of other cultures.
"At the very least, we can no longer see ourselves as an island separated from the rest of the world," he said.

Dr. Ed Karabenick has edited the 50th anniversary volume of Long Beach Geographical Notes (Vol. 15, No. 1, Winter 2001). The Notes are a publication of the Department of Geography, which is sent to all present and past students and faculty. This edition contains Dr. Karabenick's article, "A Brief Unbiased History of Geography at CSULB," which is his own idiosyncratic assembly of highlights and colorful characters in the department's half century. Some of these anecdotes are quite amusing (the rogue art exhibit story alone is well worth the effort to snag one of these newsletters!). Dr. Karabenick got several alumni, representing each of the five decades of the department's existence, to share their memories of their time here and where they've gone with their degree since. There is also an article by alumnus Tom Frazier (now a Ph.D. student in Berlin) on the Berlin Wall and a summary of Dr. Splansky's famous Mammoth field trip by one of its recent participants, Ed Huefe (who is now finishing up his M.A. degree with us this year). Speaking of Dr. Splansky, the Notes also includes his "Department Chair's Message," summarizing the 1999-2000 academic year. To get your copy of the Notes and make sure you're on the mailing list for future editions, please contact the Department by phoning (562) 985-8432 or by e-mail.

The Long Beach Union, the alternative student weekly newspaper, published a commentary by Mr. Keith Miller, entitled "In Response: 9-11," concerning the tragic events of 11 September 2001 in New York and Washington. The commentary was printed in the 24 September 2001 issue, at the top of p. 2, in the "Viewpoints" section.

The Daily News, a newspaper out in the San Fernando Valley, published a brief letter to the editor by Dr. Chrys Rodrigue objecting to the movement to have the Valley secede from the City of Los Angeles and pointing out the advantages of remaining within the L.A. City Department of Water and Power. The letter came out Friday, 9 February 2001.

Dr. Chrys Rodrigue's research on media performance during natural disasters was profiled in the campus publication, Inside CSULB. The reference is: Manly, Richard. 2001. Some Media Coverage a Disaster. Inside CSULB 53, 1: 1. You can get a PDF copy by clicking here.


The Los Angeles New Times published a brief letter to the editor by Dr. Chrys Rodrigue. It was entitled "East L.A.'s Picasso: Out of this world," and it corrected a factual error about the Cassini mission. The letter came out 6 July 2000 and is available at:

Jan Olsen's, Ed Huefe's, and Jim Covin's March 29th public presentation, Emergency Preparedness in Pedro, was the focus of a front page article in the Random Lengths biweekly newspaper. The article, with the byline of staff writer, Andy Harris, gave a very positive review of the three CSULB Geography graduate students' research and summarized the highlights of citizen discussion with local Fire Chief Lou Roupoli and L.A. Firefighter David Stamp. The full reference is Harris, Andy. 2000. "Disaster Preparedness: When the Big One Hits Pedro," Random Lengths Harbor Independent News (April 28-May 11): 1, 16.

Mr. Woods is profiled on the Association of American Geographers website in its "Geographers at Work" page, under its "Careers in Geography" section. The profile is entitled, "An Interview with James A. Woods - Hazard Geographer," and the direct link is The article describes a lot of Mr. Woods' GIS work in fire hazard analysis and mitigation and his work with the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. It is nice to see our department's strong record in applied geography recognized by a profile of one of own on the AAG web site!

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