HSU Hosts Hundreds for California Geographical Society Meeting - Humboldt State Now

HSU Hosts Hundreds for California Geographical Society Meeting

More than 300 people from across California and the broader Pacific West were at Humboldt State for the 69th Annual California Geographical Society Meeting, May 1-3.

The meeting, themed “Raising the Redwood Curtain,” was larger than prior years at other locations. And those who made the journey to Humboldt were not disappointed. Geography faculty and students organized the conference with 13 field trips over three days that showcased the physical beauty and cultural uniqueness of the area.


Students made more than 100 oral, poster, and cartographic map presentations, and Humboldt State Geography majors took away three prestigious awards for their original research. Kristopher Anderson won first place in the Tom McKnight Paper Award competition for his research paper titled “Preserving Identity, Tourism in Tibet.” Cristina Bauss won first place in the Joe Beaton Poster Award competition for her research poster titled “Mapping Marijuana Cultivation and Water Storage in the Redwood Creek Watershed.” And Ashlee Fleming placed second in the Mapping Award competition for her digital map research project titled “Server Locations of the World’s Most Visited Websites.”

HSU graduate students also landed top awards at the conference. Kathleen Koscielak, a graduate student in the Environment and Community program (advised by Politics faculty Mark Baker), won first place in the graduate-level McKnight Professional Paper Award for her research paper titled “If These Walls Could Talk: Graffiti, Place and Culture in Iztapalapa, Distrito Federal, Mexico.” And graduate student Zawisza Grabinski-Parker in the Forest and Wildland Sciences graduate program (advised by Geography faculty Rosemary Sherriff) won second place in the graduate-level McKnight Professional Paper Award for his research paper titled “Prior burn severity predicts reburn severity in the Klamath Mountain Ecoregion.”

In addition, Emeritus Geography Professor Joe Leeper was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award for his longtime service to HSU Geography as well as his contributions more broadly to geography in California. Local historian Jerry Rohde, who in the past has taught in the HSU Geography Department, received the Friend of Geography Award. And Matthew Derrick, Assistant Professor in the Geography Department, was elected as a CGS board member.

The conference included a keynote address by Mourad Gabriel, Director of the Integral Ecology Research Center. There was also a plenary session by local historian Jerry Rohde. Field trips were led by current and former Geography students and faculty (Tony Rossi, Amy Rock, Emeritus Professors Joe Leeper and Paul Blank), in addition local historian Jerry Rohde, Geology professors Lori Dengler and Andre Lehre, and Bruce Seivertson with the Timber Heritage Association.

The conference was supported by the California Geographical Society, and HSU Geography Department and the HSU College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.