May 04, 2012
Over 400 academic, government and private sector geographers gathered April 27 to 29 at UC Davis for the 66th Annual Meeting of the California Geographical Society. Included were faculty and students from 36 different colleges and universities.
Always a crowd favorite, the refereed student research paper, poster, and cartography competitions drew entries from as far away as Michigan. After coming up empty from the 65th Meeting in Bishop last year, Lumberjack geographers arrived in Davis to avenge the shutout.
And they did.
HSU Geographers swept the map competition. Senior Aaron Tavares’ large format map “Exploring Place: Humboldt State University’s China/Tibet Field Studies Program” captured first prize. The judges acknowledged the difficulty of securing accurate cultural and political data for Tibet. Tavares also found that “representing the experience of the participants was also a challenge.” Second place went to Ryland Karlovich’s unusual hand-drawn portrayal of “The Irish Landscape.” Alicia Iverson’s poster-map “Insecure at Last: A Political Memoir by Eve Ensler” captured third place.
In the undergraduate research paper competition, senior Kirsten Ray placed second. She presented a yearlong investigation of “Native Dutch College Student’s Perceptions of Muslim Immigration in the Netherlands.” The study involved one summer studying Dutch, followed by a spring break trip to complete 163 on-line and in person surveys, along with hours of deliberate qualitative observations in mosques, markets, and immigrant neighborhoods. She found that in an otherwise socially tolerant country where prostitution and smoking pot are legal, the anti-immigration sentiment against Moslems from Northern Africa runs high—except among young college students. However, Ray observes, “a contradiction, because while college students are largely in favor of difference cultures, they also want immigrants to integrate as soon as possible.” A grant from the HSU Office of the President helped support the research.
In the same competition, HSU junior Sara Matthews captured third place. She investigated how space and place affect students’ transportation choices in Arcata. According to Matthews, “those with a stronger sense of place—students who closely identify with Arcata—are more likely to use active transportation such as walking or biking, than auto or bus.
The overall top student research prize in all categories and a $500 check went to Deborah Giles, a UC Davis graduate student who used non-invasive remote sensing equipment and GIS to assess potential effects of vessels on killer whale group behavior in the Salish Sea.
A total of 33 HSU attended the conference, including faculty Stephen Cunha, Rosemary Sherriff, Mary Cunha, Chris Haynes, and Matthew Derrick. Derrick presented a paper titled “Containing the Umma? Islam and the Territorial Question.” In addition to the awards listed above, junior Emmanuel Delgado won a competitive travel grant.
The 67th Meeting convenes next year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. According to Professor Rosemary Sherriff, “we are already working with students to identify and propose mapping and research projects.”