Geography and Environmental Studies Department

Historic Geography News

Chico State class works with city to improve streets

December 17, 2015

A group of 14 students from a Chico State University class is working in collaboration with the city to make streets safer in the south campus neighborhood. Read the full article on Chico ER.(opens in new window)

CheesO State Wildcart's debut: Wildly successful

October 15, 2015

Geography's 506S course has opted to try out the food truck business for their semester project. On the opening day, the limited 24 sandwiches sold out in less than 30 minutes.

interest in CheesO State Project
CheesO State is getting busy!

Local news covers Geography student's work

October 8, 2015

Chico State senior Victoria Birdseye has been collaborating with Chico Scrap Metal in a beautification project.

Geography students and professor mentioned in Chico Enterprise Record

September 25, 2015

Dr. Mark Stemen and Latitude 39 president, senior Victoria Birdseye, were mentioned in a ChicoER article(opens in new window) regarding Chico Scrap Metal.

Club Latitude 39 participates in "Creek Crawl"

September 16, 2015

Formerly known as the Geography Club, Latitude 39 kicked off the fall semester by assisting the Butte Environmental Council in a creek clean-up project. The Geography department created a map of the clean-up details.(opens in new window)

Geography student named "Campus watchdog" in CN&R

April 16, 2015

"Friends warn Kaitlin Haley that she’s becoming a “crusty” environmental activist due to some of her behaviors, like hawkishly watching whether students use the correct trash receptacles on Chico State’s campus." Read the entire article on Chico News & Review.(opens in new window)

Faculty member's class mentioned in News & Review

April 2, 2015

"A handful of students presented on “urban ecology” during Chico State’s annual This Way to Sustainability Conference (March 26-27). The students all took Geography 506, Service Learning and Geography, taught by professor Mark Stemen. In the class, students were tasked with assessing the health of Chico’s urban ecology, measured by the city’s creeks, trees and fish..." Read the full article on Chico News & Review.(opens in new window)

GIC holds Open House for students, community

April 1, 2015

The Geographical Information Center, a section of the CSU Chico Research Foundation, hosted an Open House with information about the GIC(opens in new window) and the Certificate in Geospatial Technology(opens in new window).

gic open house
gic open house

Geography student accepts position to work at Smithsonian

March 5, 2015

Geography and Environmental Studies major Olivia VanDamme will be spending her summer working on a project at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Congratulations, Olivia!

GEOG 506 students plant around Chico

geography 506s garden project

December 18, 2014

Professor Mark Stemen's students Danielle Baxter, Meagan Dallas, Tina Lando, and Sarah Anderson spent their Wednesday afternoon contributing to the local environment. The four planted a pollinator garden sponsored by the Geography Department at the Pine/Cyprus/Mulberry Triangle, featuring species such as the California Poppy, Cleveland Sage, Narrowleaf Milkweed, California Goldenrod, California Lilac, McMinn Manzanita, California Flannelbush, Silver Bush Lupine, and California Buckwheat. They also added 15 new trees to the urban forest of Chico, including California Sycamores, Oregon Ash, California Buckeyes, Valley Oaks and Western Redbuds.

CSU Chico first CSU campus to divest from fossil fuel investments

oil divestment

December 10, 2014

Following Professor Stemen's GEOG 440 (Environmental Thought and Action) students' efforts in Spring 2014, the University Foundation Board of Governors voted to fully divest from fossil fuel companies within the next four years. Chico State will be the first California State University to do so.

Following the student vote of April 2014, the students from GEOG 440 kept pestering the foundation staff for a vote at the Board level. They patiently responded to the foundations repeated requests for more information. They did not give up after the issue failed to make the Board agenda in May, nor were the students deterred when it again failed to make the September agenda. Instead, they got the AS student government to formally request a vote in writing. All the while, they were making new allies and expanding their support across campus.

At the meeting on December 9, the students of GEOG 440 gave a stellar presentation. There was a lot of discussion at the board meeting about whether divestment from the top 200 companies was possible, and what the financial impact would be. The investment officer said divestment was possible, largely because so many other foundations were doing it. He also said that since the endowment would now be picking/excluding individual stocks (rather than buying them in a bundle), the management costs would be about $20,000 higher. President Zingg responded that decisions like this need to be made in a context. For investments, the context is our values, and investing in fossil fuels goes against our values as an institution. The university stepped up to stand by priority #6, embracing sustainability, as a way of living and conducting our business.

President Zingg made the motion. The representative from Advancement seconded and the VP of Advancement offered that donors give the university support because of what we do and what we stand for, not what we invest in. The vote was not unanimous, but eight other board members voted yes and the measure passed. The finance subcommittee will begin drafting the new investment protocol that will guide the investment manager.

For more about the divestment, see articles from CSU, Chico Public Affairs and Fossil Free USA(opens in new window).

See the simulated oil spill at Kendall Hall on YouTube.

Geography student and club president wins national award

Catalina Llanos award

December 2, 2014

The International Map Industry Association has chosen Catalina Llanos for the Gold Award for Student/Best Electronic Map! Download her Pancho Villa Capture Expedition here.

Interim Dean awards BSS Outstanding Lecturer in GEOP Department

Steve Stewart outstanding lecturer

November 12, 2014

This year, our interim Dean Eddie Vela started a new award within the college for Outstanding Lecturer. Our student, Renn Rosin, nominated Steve Stewart, and Mike Commons and Eugenie Rovai wrote letters of support. A committee of lecturers from the college then evaluated the materials and made a choice. We received the news on Wednesday, November 12, that Steve has unanimously been chosen as the first awardee, and the following day Eddie and a group of Geography Faculty descended on his class to congratulate him.

Congratulations to Steve for being the first honoree!

Students begin Blitz Plant with 14 new trees

November 8, 2014

Mark Stemen leads students from Geography & Planning, Construction Management, and Fraternity Sigma Pi in a quest to replenish Chico's urban forest. Read the full article at The Orion.(opens in new window)

blitz plant
blitz plant
blitz plant
blitz plant

Geography student featured in BBC News article!

Trina Cunningham

November 1, 2014

Trina Cunningham, a student of Chico State's own Geography & Planning Department, speaks of the disappearance of the Maidu language in this BBC News article(opens in new window).

Fire hazard and sewage pond found by professor and students

fire hazard and sewage pond found

October 28, 2014

Both the Arundo donax and sewage pond found by Geography students have the attention of city officials. Each have plans to be removed.

City addresses fire hazard creek plants - The Orion(opens in new window)

Invasive weed plagues Little Chico Creek, Geography students explore

October 5, 2014

Read the full article at ChicoER(opens in new window)!

Little Chico Creek Weeds
Arundo DomaxArundo Domax

Geography students will hold "Blitz Plant"

September 17, 2014

On Saturday November 8th, 60 students from the Departments of Construction Management and Geography and Environmental Studies will participate in a "Blitz Plant" where they will install 32 street trees in south Chico. The trees are part of a mitigation agreement for last fall's Blitz Build project for the Salvation Army. Students in GEOG 506: Community Service in Geography have been researching planting sites and species as part of their assessment of Chico's urban ecology. GEOG 506 students will lead teams of student planters. The sites include low-income housing along Humboldt Road and at the Torres Shelter off Silver Dollar Way. GEOG 506 is part of Chico State's Sustainable Cities Initiative, now rebranded as CARE.

CSU Chico Geography Alumnus Named 2014 Professor of the Year

September 2, 2014

Read stories about Tim Beach being elected as Professor of the Year from The University of Texas(opens in new window) and  AAG.(opens in new window)

Tim Beach Professor of the Year
Tim BeachTim Beach

Geography alumni find their way back to Chico State for 50th celebration

September 5-7, 2014

Guided tours through the Chico State University campus are common, but usually those looking around are new or prospective students. Saturday the "fresh eyes" on the structures were people who had attended classes long ago.

GEOP 50th Anniversary
geop 50th anniversarygeop 50th anniversary

Geography in the Workforce: Good News to Share

August 1, 2014

If ever there was any question that geography is foremost among professions, the last shred of doubt has been dispelled by reports on employment trends over the past decade... Read more at The University of Kansas.(opens in new window)

Students stage 'oil spill' to push Chico State away from fossil fuels

oil divestment

April 4, 2014

Recently, Mark Stemen and students in his Environmental Thought in Action class have been staging some elaborate demonstrations to attract attention to their overall cause of getting the university to divest of their stocks in fossil fuel companies.

To the right is a picture of Butte Hall with large orange squares announcing the goal they hope to reach with Chico State.

Geography Students in the News!

In Monday, April 7th's edition of the Chico Enterprise Record Pam Figge's GEOG 428 class can be found in an article about their survey of Caper Acres park.  See photos below:

428 Caper Acres Survey
caper acres articlecaper acres

Bizarre Map Challenge Winner

Congratulations to Sarah Bergquist on being a finalist in the Bizarre Map Challenge, a nationwide map design challenge!

"A California Tragedy"

Amy Lippus' award-winning interactive map about the travels and tragedy of the Donner-Reed Party has been featured on National Geographic's website! This map and its creator were the winners of the 2013 CalGIS Woodward Electronic Map Award last year. The maps are available on the National Geographic(opens in new window) website.

Chico Farmers Markets 2030 Vision

Dr. Mark Stemen’s GEOG 498 class focused on post-peak oil food security. The goal of their community service project in geography was to create a typical chapter for the Chico 2030 General Plan expressly focused on the Chico Farmers Markets. The descriptions are general and they illustrate what the Chico Farmers Markets could look like in the future. In the Chico 2030 General Plan, most chapters have a section on Vision, Trends, and Considerations (replicated in these panels) followed by a series of policies and actions that are intended to ensure the vision becomes a reality.

In November the class held a public charette at the Saturday Farmers Market in downtown Chico to discuss the ideas with the public, farmers and city officials. This project is being supported by the City of Chico Planning Department and the Chico Certified Farmers Market Board of Directors.

498 at Farmers Market
stemen 2030 visionstemen 2030 visionstemen 2030 vision

Geography Student Receives Outstanding Graduate Project Winner

Heidi Ogle

Ms. Heidi Marie Ogle was selected by California State University, Chico as the Outstanding Graduate Project Winner for 2012-2013!

Ms. Ogle graduated from CSU Chico with of Bachelor of Arts in History and American Studies in 2005 and completed a Certificate in Geographic Information Systems Technology in 2006. She worked in various capacities as cultural resource GIS specialist for the City of Chico, Davis-King & Associates, and the National Park Service while completing a master’s degree in Geography. Her master’s project is an historical Geographic Information System (GIS) interactive website(opens in new window) of the south campus area. This project will remain on a CSU Chico server as a resource and a research tool for the public.