Geography 439 Landscape Observation Activity 

It is time for you to try your hand at landscape observation, description and interpretation. 

 

Friday, September 1: Observing a Landscape 

We will not meet here on September 1st.  Instead, you may use that class time to work on an exercise in landscape observation and description.  The exercise is due at the start of class on Wednesday, September 6th.

 

I will not accept any late or incomplete work. Students may do the field observation alone or in groups.  However, each student must turn in a completed project that does not duplicate the work of anyone else. Follow the instructions below.

 

1. I recommend that students bring a topographic map of field sites into the field. This is a good site where you can get one: http://mapper.acme.com/

 

2. This map might also be helpful: click

 

3. Go to the corner of Rose Avenue and Santa Clara Avenue. Do not trespass. Also be certain to stay out of the way of farm equipment. I will go there on Friday, 9/1. I will be there at 2:10.

 

4. Travel west to the end of Santa Clara Avenue observing both sides of the road as you go. What do you see?

 

5. Find yourself on your topographic map. What does the map show? What do you see? Do they match?

 

6. Find yourself on your soil map.  What does the map show? What do you see? Do they match?

 

6. At the dead end turn around and travel back to the corner of Rose Avenue and Santa Clara Avenue, observing the landscape on both sides of the road. What do you see that interests you? What do you see that puzzles you?

 

7. At the corner of Rose Avenue and Santa Clara Avenue observe the four quadrants of land intersected by those avenues for a long time. 

 

8. Ask and answer the questions identified by Pierce Lewis near the end of his article.

            What does the landscape of each quadrant look like?

            How does it work?

            Who designed it?

   Why? When? What does it tell us about how society works?

 

9. Consider some of HartÕs suggestions. What are the three components of each quadrant?  What are the mineral, vegetable and animal features that comprise the landscape of each of the four quadrants? Think about specific human forms does that Hart emphasized.

 

10. Write a description of that landscape that is based on your answers to LewisÕ and HartÕs questions and suggestions. 

 

11.Include a discussion of how that landscape or some aspect of it demonstrates two of Lewis' axioms and/or corollaries. Be sure to explicitly identify which of LewisÕ concepts you have chosen to discuss.

 

12. Identify one question that you might research and answer about the landscapes at the intersection or along Santa Clara Avenue.

 

13. Edit your work.

 

14. Hand in a typed, double-spaced description and discussion of that landscape at the start of class on Wednesday, September 6th. I will not accept papers as an email attachment for this assignment.

 

For this assignment, do not take photographs or draw sketches. We will do some of that soon enough.