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Geography Club Hosts Research Symposium

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Geography students hosted All Points of the Compass, a one-day symposium that features research and presentations from undergraduate and graduate students, alumni and faculty.

The projects that were shared showcased the impressive diversity of research conducted by CSUF geographers. Presentations were made on a variety of topics, including climate change impacts in Florida; Maasai culture in Tanzania; ethnobotanical abortions in Michoacan, Mexico; and transit-oriented gentrification in Los Angeles’ Koreatown. Student posters presented research on agricultural landscapes in Orange County, climate patterns in Atlanta, Georgia; bibliometric analysis of published geographic scholarship; invasive plants in California national parks; hydrosocial changes in Orange County’s San Joaquin Marsh; and the geographic origins of talented baseball players.

“I get to learn a lot about different aspects of research people have done, and it inspires me to do my own research,” said Emily Arcos, a senior studying geography.

The event’s keynote presentation, titled “Landscape Legacies of California’s Spanish Place Names,” was delivered by Robert Voeks, professor of geography and the environment.

Voeks skillfully blended geography, history and linguistics, providing a range of examples to illustrate how geographical place names, also known as toponyms, can provide insights into a region’s cultural and environmental history.

All Points of the Compass also included a cartography competition, in which first place was awarded to CSUF undergraduate student Chris Tang for his map of Japanese dialects, and second place was presented to CSUF graduate student Heather Roberts for her map of environmental changes in the San Joaquin Marsh. Support for the cartography competition was provided by Robert Young, professor emeritus of geography.

A student panel highlighted geography student experiences, focusing on internships, career opportunities and study abroad, and an alumni panel highlighted careers in urban planning, demographic analysis and sustainable agriculture.

“There’s a whole world out there, literally, for geographers. There’s so many different things you can do. I feel like that’s the most important thing that people take away from today,” said Anna Shiebeck, a junior studying geography.

All Points of the Compass is an annual student-led symposium that is planned and hosted by officers and volunteers from the CSUF Geography Club, one of the most active geography student organizations in California. Financial support was provided by Associated Students Inc. through the Humanities and Social Sciences Inter-Club Council and Young.

The student interview quotes and photo are courtesy of Mia Mejia from the Daily Titan.

Zia Salim