Geography Student News
[ 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

as of 19 May 2009

Nooz You Can Use:   [ Lab Hours ]   [ Advisors ]   [ Scholarships ]   [ Important Deadlines ]   [ Finals ]


Things You Can Show the Relatives:   [ Achievements ]   [ Student Research ]

Important Deadlines

You don't want to be asleep in the saddle when important deadlines roll by. For a table listing add and drop deadlines and other critical dates, please click

Trying to Get Hold of Faculty?

Lost your syllabus and trying to find your professor's office and office hours? They are posted at


The Geography Student Association runs a full program of activities each semester. For more information and to get involved, please contact incoming President Christine Pham at They have set up a blog, too. Check it out! Dr. Thien, our Undergraduate Advisor this semester, is often in the thick of things. She can be reached at or (562) 985-7072 or in LA4-206B.

For those of you graduating in May, congratulations! Please stay in touch: We want to know how you're doing "Out There," and how your geographic education is holding up!

Advisors for Spring 2009

  • Undergraduate advising
    • Our new undergraduate advisor this semester is Dr. Deborah Thien, who can be reached at or at (562) 985-7072 or -8432. Her office is in LA4-206B.

  • Graduate advising
    • Our new graduate advisor is Dr. Chrys Rodrigue is. Dr. Rodrigue can be reached at (best) or at (562) 985-4895, and her office is in LA4-106.

  • GIScience certificate director
    • Dr. Suzanne Wechsler directs the GIScience certificates and works with our undergraduate advisor, Dr. Deborah Thien. Dr. Wechsler can be reached at or at (562) 985-2356, and her office is in LA4-206D.

  • Urban Studies certificate director
    • Dr. Jim Curtis directs the Urban Studies program and works with our undergraduate advisor, Dr. Deborah Thien. Dr. Curtis can be reached at


Scholarships and Student Support

Departmental Scholarships

The Department offers scholarships from three different funds for the benefit of different groups of students. Recipients are announced at the Spring Banquet (and on the Department news page.

  • The Burton Anderson Scholarship (for continuing undergraduate students)
  • The Eileen Johansen Memorial Scholarship (for continuing undergraduate students)
  • The Rodney Steiner Award (a stipend for continuing undergraduate or graduate students, in exchange for 50 hours of work in the Department)

In addition, the Geography Students' Association offers a needs-based scholarship.

For more information, please contact Dr. Deborah Thien at or (562) 985-7072 or visit her during her office hours in LA4-206B.


Great Things Students Are Doing

Lightning Strikes Four Times in a Row!!! Ms. Susan E. Timm Receives Outstanding CLA Thesis Award!

Ms. Susan E. Timm wrote a thesis entitled Using Remote Sensing, GIS, and Landscape Ecology Techniques in Wildland Management. This is a beautifully written exploration of remote sensing and spatial statistical indices as applied to the health and status of vegetation in Orange County, where much critical species habitat is facing development and expansion of the urban-wildlands interface. Her committee comprised Drs. Christopher Lee (chair), Suzanne Wechsler, and, from the Geological Sciences Department Dr. Rick Behl. Congratulations: The Department is really proud of you and your work!

Ms. Annette Quintero Earns a University Achievement Award

Ms. Annette Quintero is a recent graduate of the CSULB Sociology Department. She has returned as a post-baccalaureate student working on a GIScience Certificate in the Department of Geography and is about to commence master's degree studies in geography. She has been awarded a 2009 University Achievement Award in recognition of her many contributions in community service and activism. Congratulations on earning this kind of distinction for your hard work on behalf of others!

Doctoral Program Admissions

Several students have been admitted to Ph.D. programs! The most recent is Mr. Christopher Slay, who began doctoral studies in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program at UC Irvine in 2007. Here is an article about his work on how global warming may be affecting microörganisms: Mr. Simon Wright, who has received both admission and financial support from Rutgers University in New Jersey. In 2007, Ms. Nazanin Naraghi was admitted to Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, and Mr. Ryan Good was admitted to the joint Ph.D. program of SDSU and UCSB. In 2006, Ms. Julienne Gard secured admission to USC, while Mr. Travis Brooks began his doctoral studies in biology at UCLA. We have also learned that one of our 2004 undergraduate alumni has already completed his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University in the Geography and Anthropology Department, Dr. Jason Knowles. Congratulations to all of you!

Lightning Strikes Thrice!!! Ms. Deborah Hann Receives Outstanding CLA Thesis Award!

Ms. Deborah Hann wrote a thesis entitled Maps in Children's Literature: Their Uses, Forms, and Functions. This thesis analyzed how maps are used in children's literature. Sometimes maps are shown to situate the story; other times maps are themselves the subject of the adventure being told, perhaps being discovered or stolen and recovered; in yet other cases, children in the story are shown making maps as part of the plot. Some maps may exist simply by reference; others are shown but are very simple, little more than a narrative of a child's route through a neighborhood; other times they are quite elaborate and part of the evocation of a mood. Ms. Hann was all set to do another thesis entirely, on geographic education, when she took the opportunity to take GEOG 381, Maps and Civilization, which Dr. Tyner returned to teach in Spring 2007. Her explorations in that class and Dr. Tyner's encouragement led her to change her topic entirely and her enthusiasm for the topic led to speedy completion of her thesis! Graduate students should be alert to serendipity! Her committee included Drs. Chrys Rodrigue (chair), Suzanne Wechsler, and Dr. Judith Tyner.

Lightning Strikes Twice: Mr. Scott Eckardt Receives Outstanding CLA Thesis Award and Then Becomes the CSULB Nominee for Outstanding Thesis at the Western Association of Graduate Schools!

Mr. Scott Eckardt wrote, Assessment of wildfire frequency and coastal sage scrub vegetation dynamics in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California. This thesis reported changes in coastal sage and grassland over roughly 75 years as shown in air photos. It found that different theoretical interpretations of type conversion, which are the basis of controversy in biogeography, actually apply at different spatial scales of analysis. His methodology, combining air photo analysis, field work, and interviews was innovative, and his contributions to theoretical understanding of scale and temporal change are quite significant. As such, it received the CLA Outstanding Thesis Award, only the second time a graduate student from our Department has received this distinction and just one year after our first graduate student did! Mr. Eckardt's thesis went on to be the CSULB campus nominee for the Western Association of Graduate Schools Outstanding Thesis Award! His committee was made up of: Drs. Paul Laris (chair), Chris Lee, and Chrys Rodrigue.

Ms. Julienne Gard Earns the AAG's Jacques May Thesis Award

Ms. Julienne Gard wrote, Creating health in a Native American sweat lodge: The production of an alternative healing space. Her thesis was awarded the Jacques May Thesis Award, which recognizes the best thesis in medical geography in the country! The award is conferred by the Medical Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. Ms. Gard has gone on for a Ph.D. in the Department of Geography at USC! Her committee is really proud: Drs. Vin Del Casino (chair), Christy Jocoy, and Ray Sumner.

California Geographical Society Cartography Digital Map Competition Winners in 2007

Two of our graduate students, Messrs. Simon Wright and César Espinosa, were named the first place and the second place winners in the CGS Cartography Digital Map Competition at the 2007 annual meeting in Anza-Borrego.

Mr. Michael McDaniel Receives Outstanding CLA Thesis Award

Dr. Michael McDaniel came to our graduate program with a J.D. and an M.B.A. under his belt from UCLA. After years of work in the location analytic business, he wanted to pursue what for him was a labor of love and combine it with his expertise in GIS. He wrote a thesis entitled, The Persistence of the Mexican Land Tenure System in Los Angeles and Orange County, which used GIS to identify features of the modern urban landscape that followed the borders of the old rancho system of land tenure here. The result was recognition of his thesis by its selection as the Outstanding CLA Thesis, which certainly was a wonderful marker of the 50 years of graduate geography study at CSULB. His committee was made up of Drs. Frank Gossette (chair), Judith Tyner, and Suzanne Wechsler.

Ms. Jane Westenberger Attends the 2006 Spring Banquet

Ms. Jane Westenberger completed the very first master's thesis in geography here, back in 1956. It was entitled, Occupance in the San Jacinto Mountains, California. Dr. James Wilson chaired her thesis committee, and Dr. Tony Kannelly served as reader. Dr. Rodrigue found out about her quite by accident and invited her to the Spring Banquet in 2006, and it just so happened that she was visiting her brother, Les Westenberger, in Long Beach that weekend and was able to attend.

College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Students

Four of our students were designated Distinguished Students in 2006. Ms. Kathleen Moriarty and Mr. Michael McDaniel were the Distinguished Master Student Graduates, while Ms. Violet Arminio and Ms. Deirdre Miller were the Distinguished Undergraduates. Congratulations!

Ms. Doreen Crespin Receives Fellowship

Ms. Doreen Crespin has been awarded one of the first CSULB Graduate Research Fellowships! Graduate Research Fellowships will be awarded competitively each year to master's students engaged in scholarly research or creative activity in their field of specialization. The awards are based on the strength of the proposed research or creative activity and the faculty mentor's nomination. Only ten of these substantial fellowships were awarded in the inaugural year, 2005. Congratulations! We are really proud that one of our graduate students put together a winning proposal. Her project entailed helping Dr. Laris out with field work in Tierra del Fuego during January 2006, which had to have been really exciting and challenging.

Ms. Denise Behrens Is Fêted

Ms. Denise Behrens has just been inducted into Who's Who among Students in American Colleges and Universities. Congratulations!!!

Dean's List Honorees

The Department is very proud to announce that eight of its undergraduate students have received the College of Liberal Arts Dean's List honor, which is reserved for those students earning a 3.75 GPA. They were fêted at the CLA Distinguished Student Reception on 21 April. Congratulations to the Spring 2005 list of Distinguished Geography Students:

  • Ms. Denise Behrens
  • Ms. Adrienne Bosler
  • Mr. Nicholas Carlson
  • Mr. Charles Hungerford
  • Mr. Steven Jareb
  • Ms. Deirdre Miller
  • Ms. Saori Nemoto
  • Ms. Joy Turlo

Ms. Julienne Gard and Ms. Lisa Pitts Are on the Graduate Dean's List

Ms. Julienne Gard and Ms. Lisa Pitts, graduate students finishing up their theses, were nominated by the Department for the College of Liberal Arts Graduate Dean's List. The dean has selected both of them for the list, which is quite an honor. Usually, her office only picks about ten graduate students from among the 25 departments in CLA, and it is almost unheard of that a department as small as ours has been distinguished by having two Graduate Dean's List students. Outstanding!

Ms. Julienne Gard Appears in the Los Angeles Times

Ms. Julienne Gard, graduate student in 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 (a side of Ms. Gard she has kept hidden from us!). 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

Doreen Jeffrey and Jeff Marotta Win LAGS Scholarships!

Ms. Doreen Jeffrey and Mr. Jeff Marotta have earned the Richard Logan Scholarship from the Los Angeles Geographical Society for May 2004. The merit-based Logan Award confers a $500 scholarship. Congratulations!!!

Sigma Xi Inductees

Mesdames Leslie Edwards, Doreen Jeffrey, and Zoe Schumacher have been inducted into the Sigma Xi scientific honor society in May 2004. Sigma Xi honors active scientists and students in the sciences. Students become eligible on the basis of their academic records and presentation of their research to a professional conference. Leslie and Doreen were nominated following their presentation of their work on the Oakland Firestorm of 1991 to the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Education and Zoe upon presentation of her work on marine mammal strandings along the Southern California Bight to the California Geographical Society. Congratulations!

California Geographical Society Presentation and Award

Ms. Zoe Schumacher won a second-place Joe Beaton Award for outstanding Posters, which conferred a $75 prize, during the Spring 2004 meeting. Felicitations!!!

CSULB Women and Philanthropy Scholarships

Zoe Schumacher and Doreen Jeffrey, two of our undergraduate students, were selected for a CSULB Women and Philanthropy scholarship in the amount of $1,000! They were fêted in a Women and Philanthropy meeting on the 12th of January of 2003. The awards were written up in a Long Beach Press Telegram story, too. Congratulations!!!

Mr. Dan Hofer

Mr. Hofer is a graduate student, who now works for the Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA). His thesis is on the application of GIS to the creation of the Silverado Fire Plan, and it entails the creation of beaucoup maps in an ESRI software environment. ESRI, meanwhile, was interested in applying for a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Homeland Security Grant. It sought a partner among local planning agencies to go in with it on this proposal, and Dan's thesis maps became the deciding point leading to ESRI's choice to go with OCFA! And the grant proposal was successful, to the tune of $21 million!!! As Battalion Chief Mike Rohde described it, "ESRI could have pick a different agency but OCFA has the best contemporary looking Fire plan out there ... Aka Dan's maps." Whew!

Ms. Julienne Gard

Ms. Gard, graduate student, is serving as Vice-President of the Los Angeles Geographical Society, a public outreach organization that has been promoting geography to the interested lay public for over five decades. The LAGS offers scholarships to geography students in the Southland.

Graduate Students in GDEP

Mr. Brian Sims and Mr. Aziz Bakkoury served as Graduate Assistants in the Geoscience Diversity Enhancement Project in summer 2003. Mr. Bakkoury and Ms. Zoe Schumacher served in summer 2004. They taught GDEP student and faculty teams from local community colleges and high schools how to georectify remotely sensed imagery, showed them how to use GPS for data collection and field mapping, and organized field work in Charmlee Park, the Topanga Creek Watershed, and the South Coast Wilderness.

Graduate Students at the City of Pasadena

Messrs. Brian Sims and Aziz Bakkoury, formerly of the NASA RESAC in our department, have been working for the City of Pasadena. Mr. Sims started there first, working as a GIS Analyst, and they must have been impressed, because the next thing we knew, Mr. Bakkoury was there, too!

Graduate Student at Caltech

Mr. Shaun Healy, formerly of the NASA RESAC in our department, began working at Caltech in spring 2003. He is now staff in the Department of Geophysics and Planetary Science, where he draws on his skills in GIS and remote sensing. In July 2003, he gave a presentation on remote sensing to the GDEP summer research team. This presentation included internship possibilities at Caltech, which Ms. Zoe Schumacher and Mr. Jinho Kang followed up on.

Graduate Student in Disaster Preparedness Position

Ms. Jan O. Olsen is Mitigation Lead, Disaster Emergency Services for the Orange County Red Cross. She is now listed as a member of the Orange County Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Academy.

Graduate Students and the Science Olympiad

Two graduate students have captained events in the Statewide Science Olympiad trials held at CSULB over the last three years:
Aziz Bakkoury
Shaun Healy

Ms. Cangelosi Wins AAG-CSG Award!

Ms. Angela Ng Cangelosi was one of two students to receive Association of American Geographers Cartography Specialty Group Master's Thesis Research Grants of $300 each. These grants for master's students working on cartographic research in a geography degree program. You can learn more about this honor at Congratulations!

Our Own Steve Newberg Wins the CSULB "Battle of the Minds"

The Department is proud to announce that Mr. Steven Newberg, graduate student, won the CSULB "Battle of the Minds" chess championship on in November 2002! There were 25-30 competitors battling for some pretty significant prizes. Steve won a computer multimedia system (and he's already a web terror without this!), a dinner for two at Marrakesh in Newport Beach, and a car wash gift certificate. There is a quid pro quo, however: He has to represent CSULB in the upcoming intercollegiate chess championships (January 2002). Our students are doing all sorts of surprising stuff around campus! Congratulations! And good luck, too!

Jorge Quintero

Geography grad student, Jorge Quintero, stopped by for graduate advising and happened to mention that, after the HTML boot camp of Geography 600 a couple of years ago, he wound up the webmaster for the Long Beach Group of the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club! Check out his elegant artistry at:! Way to GO, Monsieur Quintero!!!

CSULB Geography Students Win ESRI Mapping Honors!!!

Graduate students, Mike Jenkins and Shaun Healy, and recent graduate, Caroline Kolb, were fêted at the ESRI International User Conference 2001 by earning second prize in the Map Gallery Best Cartographic Publication entry was the City Street Map they had done for the City of Lakewood. Thanks to Dr. Frank Gossette for this news item, who remarked, "Map On!!!" We are way proud of your achievement, folks! For more details, check out

Steve Newberg

The Department learned that one of our graduate students, Mr. Steve Newberg, has been working as a GIS technician for the Port of Long Beach. He says that it's a lot of fun applying GIS and the working environment is very nice and stimulating. Way to go, mountain lion webmeister! <G>

Christiane Candelaria

Earth Science Associates, a small petroleum research/software development firm in Long Beach sought a part-time undergraduate or graduate student in geography or geology for administrative and research work. ESA specializes in quantitative analysis in oil and gas exploration and development, GIS, and creation of spatial analysis tools. Projects range from model development through building add-on tools for spatial analysis to empirical, site-specific projects for clients. ESA's clients are mainly major oil and gas companies, but they also include other consulting firms and government agencies.

The Department is delighted to learn that our own Ms. Christiane Candelaria was the student chosen for this challenging position! Congratulations!


Student and Alumni Research Activities

Geography Poster Colloquium

The Department of Geography hosted its first Geography Poster Colloquium on Tuesday the 12th of May 2009. It made the front page of the College of Liberal Arts home page:! Here are some of the students who presented (and others will be listed as their names come in).

From Dr. Deborah Thien's GEOG 650 seminar in human geography:

  • Mr. Ian Boles: "Israel-West Bank Barrier Wall: Produced by and producing emotion"
  • Mr. Richard Gibson: "Home is where the heart is: Emotional attachment to place"
  • Mr. Ralph Gomez: "Unintended pregnancies, an urban hazard: Assessing urban high risk areas to implement successful sex education programs"
  • Ms. Andreea Greavu: "'If you want to run, run a mile. If you want an Experience, run a marathon': Geographies of emotions, health, and well-being"
  • Ms. Mary Ngo: "Loss of identity: The emotional battle to (re)gain federal recognition and reparation by the Winnemem Wintu of McCloud River"
  • Ms. Joy Turlo: "Drinking from the well of well-being: Emotional dimensions of inequitable access to water"
  • Ms. Lisa Voghel: "The geography of eating disorders: Culture, place, and the gendered body"
  • Ms. Elizabeth Weaver: "Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: challenges to living in a rural environment"
  • Mr. Patrick Weber: "Where is the green? Community gardening in South-Central Los Angeles"

Mesdames Naraghi, Nueno, and Schantz Present at the APCG in October 2006

Drs. Christine Jocoy and Vincent Del Casino, together with Ms. Fern Nueno and Ms. Cyd Schantz are presenting a paper entitled, "Neoliberal Subjectivities, the 'New' Homelessness, and Struggles over Spaces of/in the City," to the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers meeting in Eugene, Oregon, in October 2006. Also on the program is Ms. Nazanin Naraghi, presenting "Performing the City: The Intersection of Music, Space, and Racialized Identity in Leimert Park Village." The three graduate students were further honored by receiving APCG Women's Network Travel Grants to defray some of the costs of their participation.

Students and Alumni at ESRI '06

Several students and alumni were spotted at the ESRI User Conference in San Diego in August 2006.

  • Messrs. César Espinosa and Michael Inman (graduate students) and Drs. Christopher Lee and Suzanne Wechsler gave a presentation at the special session, "College/University Collaborations with Local Organizations" session in the ESRI Educational User Conference:
    • "Lidar and Imagery Acquisition and Analysis for the Port Complex"
  • Graduate alumna Ms. Beckie Boulton Mintzer now works for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in Palm Springs and co-presented (with Sheila Gehani and William Howell) four maps to the ESRI Map Gallery:
    • "Tribal Trust Lands in California"
    • "Tribal Cultural Landscape of Southern California"
    • "Impacts of Tribal Gaming in California"
    • "Land Status of the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation"
  • Mr. Michael Mercurio (graduate student), Ms. Kayla Folkins (new undergraduate alumna), and Mr. Michael Jenkins (former graduate student) work for the City of Lakewood and presented two maps to the ESRI Map Gallery:
    • "Lakewood Infrastructure Map"
    • "Lakewood Traffic Accidents"
  • Prof. James Woods (undergraduate and graduate alumnus and now instructor) got to meet Mr. Roger Tomlinson, of Canada GIS, where he first developed true GIS from computerized mapping in the early 1960s.

[ Woody's photo of Beckie Boulton Mintzer presenting a map at ESRI 
'06 ]            [ Woody's photo of Mercurio, Folkins, Jenkins map at ESRI '06 ]            [ Woody with Roger Tomlinson at ESRI '06 ]

Mr. César Espinosa and Michael Inman Present at the LAGS in May 2006

Messrs. Michael Inman and César Espinosa gave a talk at the Los Angeles Geographical Society's annual invitational student research symposium. Their presentation was entitled, "An Assessment of Feature Extraction Techniques from High Resolution Satellite Imagery for the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach." This paper described a project comparing commercial feature extraction software against manual extraction of port neighborhood features and found that the two, unfortunately, take about the same amount of labor to do.

Los Angeles Geographical Society Invited Student Research Papers are a special venue each May, in which students who have presented their research at professional conferences or thesis defenses are invited to re-present them to the LAGS. The following students presented at the 6 May 2005 symposium:

Ms. Alma Vargas will be presenting her thesis, "Implementing Modern Geographic Technology in the Trucking Industry: A Case Study"

Ms. Wanjiru Njuguna will be presenting her thesis, "Water Perception and Consumption Patterns Among Latinos and Whites in Whittier, CA"

Mr. Terry Lumati will dislay the poster, "The use of digital elevation models (DEMs) in managing natural habitats in the South Coast Wilderness" (originally presented at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research)

Ms. Denise Behrens will display the poster, "The Lost Constellations of European Celestial Cartography" (originally presented at the Association of American Geographers)

Thesis Proposal Defenses: Four students presented their thesis proposal defenses on 29 April 2005.

Ms. Bridget Cooney, "The impact of policy upon refugee spatialities: Resettlement policies and the Hmong of Southeast Asia"

Ms. Wanjiru Ngujuna, "Water perception and consumption patterns among Latinos and whites in Whittier, CA"

Ms. Lisa Wilkinson, "The nature of Atascadero, 1915-2005"

Ms. Jennifer Cochran, "Using GIS to assess non-point source pollution in the Lake Barbara watershed"

Three graduate students are making presentations or workshops at the California Geographical Society annual conference in Yosemite in April 2005:

Mr. Mike McDaniel, JD, "Persistence of culture: Remnants of the Mexican land tenure system in Los Angeles and Orange County."

Ms. Lisa A. Pitts, "Geography back in high school? Assessing GIS and technology for teaching geography. Case study: West Covina High School."

Ms. Zoe Schumacher, "Garmin GPS and geoCaching workshop."

Thesis Proposal Defenses: Four students presented their thesis proposal defenses on 11 March 2005.

Ms. Josi Jenneskens, "Bobcat habitat characterization in the North Irvine Ranch Land Reserve"

Mr. Greg Bishop, "Development of a groundwater monitoring reporting and analysis system"

Ms. Colette Simonds, "Exotic plant species pattern in selected areas of Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks"

Ms. Alma Vargas, "Implementing modern geographic technology in the trucking industry: A case study."

Four students are making presentations at the Association of American Geographers annual national conference in Denver in April 2005. The AAG conference is the flagship conference in geography, so this is a very prestigious accomplishment. Here are the presentations:

Ms. Denise Behrens (undergraduate student), "The lost constellations of European celestial cartography."

Dr. Frank Gossette, Ms. Maribel Enriquez (graduate student), and Mr. James A. Woods, "Long Beach, California: America's most diverse city?"

Ms. Julienne Gard (graduate student), "Creating health in a Native American sweat lodge: The production of an alternative healing space."

Ms. Lisa A. Pitts (graduate student), "Geography back in high school? Assessing GIS and technology for teaching geography. Case study: West Covina High School."

Mr. Terry Lumati, now an undergraduate student in Geography at CSULB, was the first and presenting author of a paper at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research in Whittier in November 2004. His co-authors were Messrs. Carlos Takashima (El Camino College) and Simeon Haynes (Cabrillo High School). The paper reported on a GDEP project mentored by Dr. Suzanne P. Wechsler. Its title was:

"The Use of Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) in Managing Natural Habitats in the South Coast Wilderness."

Ms. Lisa Pitts, graduate student, is co-presenter with Prof. Gregory Lee of Pasadena City College of a presentation at the Los Angeles Geographical Society. The talk will be on Friday, April 1st, at Los Angeles City College:

Gregory Lee and Lisa A. Pitts, "Geographers of the future: Teaching geography and GIS to K-12 students."

Ms. Lisa Pitts, graduate student, has a co-authored refereeed paper out with Dr. Suzanne Wechsler. Congratulations! The reference is:

Wechsler, Suzanne P. and Pitts, Lisa A. 2004. "GIS in high school integrates geography with technology: A case study." The California Geographer 44: 37-54.

Ms. Julienne Gard, graduate student, presented a paper at the Los Angeles Geographical Society. The talk was held on February 4th at Los Angeles City College and discussed the phenomenon of sweat lodges run by or inspired by Native American practices:

"A report on graduate research in medical geography."

Ms. Leslie Edwards and Ms. Leeta Latham presented a workshop at the Association for Environmental & Outdoor Education in California conference. The workshop took place on April 30th through May 2nd in Malibu:

"Drawing Lines on a Map" (abstract: "Maps are an integral tool for understanding all types of research. Learn how to incorporate mapping skills in the field and in the classroom. Participants will learn how to teach students the basic elements of map making and how to turn research done in the field or the schoolyard into different cartographic styles").

California Geographical Society Presentation and Award

Ms. Zoe Schumacher presented her research on "Using Remote Sensing and GIS to Monitor the Marine Mammal Strandings along the Southern California Bight." This poster resulted in a Joe Beaton student poster award.

This paper was re-presented by invitation at the Los Angeles Geographical Society on 7 May 2004.

Association of American Geographers

Ms. Julienne Gard presented "Dengue Fever Among Australia's Aboriginals: Traditional versus Western Prevention and Response Methods."

This paper was re-presented by invitation at the Los Angeles Geographical Society on 7 May 2004.

Thesis Proposal Defenses: Four students presented their thesis proposal defenses on 30 April 2004.

Mr. Travis Brooks, "Processes that shape the distributional pattern of native perennial grasses (bunchgrass) in central Orange County, California"

Ms. Seri McClendon, "Analysis of industrial ecology, cradle-to-cradle principles, and an alternative packaging delivery system (APDS)"

Ms. Sarah Powers, "Vulnerability to toxic dust pollution in the Owens Valley, California."

Ms. Leslie Edwards, Ms. Doreen Jeffrey, Mr. Andrew Huston, and Ms. Leeta Latham presented a paper at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research in Irvine in November 2003:

"Oakland Berkeley Firestorm of 1991."

This paper was re-presented by invitation at the Los Angeles Geographical Society on 7 May 2004.

Mr. Brian Sims, graduate student and research associate in the Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center, made a presentation to the 22nd Annual ESRI International User's Conference in San Diego in July 2002:

"Centralizing Corporate Assets with GPS Technology at Southern California Edison."

Mr. Brian Sims, graduate student and research associate in the Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center, made a presentation to the Association of American Geographers in New Orleans in March 2003:

"Assessment of Interpolation Methods and Spatial Resolutions on Urban Digital Surface Models Derived from LiDAR."

Mr. Brian Sims, graduate student and research associate in the Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center, and Mr. David McCune, undergraduate student and intern in the SCWHR, made a presentation to the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers in San Bernardino in October 2002:

"Diurnal live fuel moisture change in Adenostoma fasciculatum (Chamise) in the Santa Monica Mountains of Southern California."

Messrs. Brian Sims and Aziz Bakkoury, graduate students and research associates in the Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center were co-authors on a Geosciences Diversity Enhancement Project team, whose research was presented by Dr. Suzanne Wechsler at the Association of American Geographers in New Orleans in March 2003:

"Centroid Hunting: The Truth Is out There -- or Is It?."

Mr. Michael McDaniels, graduate student, and Ms. Micaela Lukasser, University of Salzburg exchange student, presented a paper at the Association of American Geographers in New Orleans in March 2003:

"International Cooperation with GIS."

Ms. Wanjiru Njuguna presents paper at ESRI User Conference, 2003

Ms. Wanjiru Njuguna and Mr. Jason Weeks presented, "WRD ArcIMS application for groundwater basin data management." The paper was published in the Proceedings of the conference and is available from

Ms. Valerie Müller, recent graduate alumna, presented a paper at the Association of American Geographers in New Orleans in March 2003:

"Satellites, Census, and the Quality of Life." She was invited to re-present this paper at the Los Angeles Geographical Society's year-end showcase of Southern California student research that had earlier been presented at scientific conferences, and she accepted (May 2003).

Ms. Valerie Müller also presented a paper at the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers in San Bernardino in October 2003:

"Gateway Cities 2000: Visualizing Land Uses in 27 Cities in Los Angeles County."

Ms. Romey Hagen gets published!

Bryant, Nevin; Logan, Thomas L.; Lyte, William F.; Hagen, Romey; Ellis, Jim; and Blundell, Stuart. 2002. Application of IKONOS imagery to analysis of intermodal transportation corridors in Los Angeles. 2002 High Spatial Resolution Commercial Imagery Workshop, Reston, VA (March 27). Published in the Goddard Space Fligh Center Landsat Data Continuity Mission Project Libary, High Spatial Resolution Commercial Imagery Workshop 2002. The paper can be downloaded directly at: Congratulations!

Ms. Wanjiru Njuguna presents paper at ESRI User Conference, 2002

Mr. Theodore Johnson and Ms. Wanjiru Njuguna presented, "Aquifer storage calculations using GIS and mudflow, Los Angeles County, CA." The abstract is available from

Ms. Romey Hagen and Mr. Aziz Bakkoury, graduate students and research associates in the Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center, and Dr. Christopher Lee, made a presentation to the Association of American Geographers in Los Angeles in March 2002:

"Southern California Wildfire Hazards Center: A Regional Earth Science Applications Center."

Mr. Shaun Healy, graduate student and research associate in the Southern California Wildfire Hazard Center, also presented at the AAG:

"Cultural geography: An experiment in hypermedia."

Ms. Valerie Müller went to the Urban Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), Montego Bay, Jamaica in September of 2001 to present:

"Using GIS in Urban Planning -- Updating 27 General Plan Maps in Southern California."

Mr. Thomas Ellrott, a geography graduate student, traveled to the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers in Santa Barbara in September 2001, in order to present:

"Southern California Surf Culture Through the Construction and Deconstruction of Surf-Place Images in Huntington Beach, California."

Ms. Erin Stockenberg, gave a talk with Dr. Suzanne Wechsler to the GIS Expo at Cal Poly in Pomona, May 2001:
"Environmental and Natural Resource Applications of GIS: Course Development."

Mr. Ed Huefe, a graduate student, went to the AAG meeting in New York in March 2001, where he made the following presentation:
"Across the Borderline: U.S.-Mexico Borderlands as Locus of Transformation in North American Popular Music."

A large contingent of graduate students made their way to Portland in early February 2001 for the 5th Annual Western Geography Student Conference. This group, in fact, won the prize for the most highly represented department at the meeting (and thanks to Dr. Chris Lee for supporting the students' travel to this meeting). On top of the general great attendance, students presented two papers, entitled:

"In the Line of Fire: An Investigation into the Relationship between Aspect and Fire History in the Santa Monica Mountains, 1925-1997" by Lewis Francis, Romey Hagen, Shaun Healy, and Steve Newberg.


"Using GIS to Update 27 General Plan Maps" by Valerie Müller

Nice job!! The Department is really proud of you! For photographs of the delegation, check out the Portland Files.


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