Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day I decided to create an earth-related logo for my blog.  I work as a graphic designer for my campus paper, so I get to use good (but expensive) software to create ads, flyers, etc.  I’m not a graphic design wizard, but I like being artistically creative and designing stuff, so hopefully I’ll be able to make some geo-related posters with my own unique/silly quotes that I’ll post in the future.Screen shot 2013-04-22 at 5.09.41 PM

I hope everyone had (or is still having) a great Earth Day!  The Geography Department at CSULB displayed photos from around the world today.  Here are the photos I entered.

What did you do for Earth Day?


Music for Geographers

How amazing is geography?  Enough to have a band named after it.

While they don’t actually have anything to do with the study of geography, it’s still fun to listen to them while working on projects, papers and whatever else life throws at you.

Geographer consists of Nathan Blaz, Michael Deni and Brian Ostreicher.  A feature of their music is the use of synthesizers.  Deni found one on the street and started writing music.  After meeting Blaz and Ostreicher they formed Geographer.

Geographer Myth

Album Cover. Image from

The first song I heard from them was “Paris,” so I’ll make it the song of the week.

Have a listen and have a great weekend!

Guest Post: Why I Love L.A.

The idea for this post came about from an unlikely place: my literary journalism class.  We had a guest speaker come and talk about why he loves Los Angeles.

Mike Sonksen or Mike the Poet as he is sometimes called, always had an interest in geography and the history of L.A.  Underneath that though he loved poetry and now combines his two loves by writing about L.A.  The article that explains it all is “Huell Howser and the Gospel of Beauty.”

And so I thought I should pay my own geographical tribute to Los Angeles by writing about the spaces and places that make it so unique.

Image from Google.

Image from Arbor Doctor.

But since I’ve only been living here for 4 years I thought it would be better if I had an actual L.A. native write about why they (the experts that have seen it all) love L.A.

So here is why my friend and fellow journalist Enedina Cisneros loves L.A.:

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Destination: Amazing

I love photography.  I want to see the world.  This post is a gallery of some of the places I want to see someday.  Some are close to home while others are on the other side of the world.  As a geographer, hopefully someday I will have a job that will allow me to travel to as many amazing places as possible.

I got one life.  The world is vast.  Time is short.  Out there is somewhere amazing and beautiful.

Greece…because it’s so BLUE.  (Mouse over photos for source info).

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Geography Loves April

I don’t know if there is an official geography month, but if there was I think it would be April.  There are a lot of things going on this month for geographers.

There are many conferences and the biggest of these is the Association of American Geographers.  It is happening this week and is being held  right here in Los Angeles this year.


Image from AAG website.

Another one is being held by the California Geographical Society at San Luis Obispo  on 26-28.  There is also a smaller one just for students held by the Los Angeles Geographical Society at Los Angeles City College on May 3 (ok, technically that is not April but close enough).  Continue reading

Palos Verdes: Why I Love Journalism (and Geography)

I had lived near the L.A. area for almost four years before I finally saw the ocean.

Unbelievable, I know.

My excuses ranged from “I have school/homework” to “I don’t have a car and the bus takes forever”.

Why was I so reluctant to visit the coast?  Part of the reason was I’m biased toward Florida’s coastline.  I had grown up there and didn’t want to acknowledge that any other ocean could be as good.  The beach my family always visited had not only pure white sand but also a civil war fort (Fort Pickens).

But of course I should have known better.  Every place has its own beauty and attractions. Palos Verdes is no exception.  I was introduced to the area through a geography field trip.

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Out in the Field (Part Two)

In my previous post, I mentioned the field work I had done on campus for my human geography class.  My other experience with field work came from an unlikely class: statistics.  This statistics class though was specially designed for geography majors and so built around certain situations.  Even so this class was supposed to be computer based, which it was except for one lab.

Most labs focused on what formulas to use for certain types of data and how to make simple graphs, charts and maps.  As a person who usually runs screaming from all types of math, I was dreading this class.  It was hard.  But I learned how to use Excel and make some interesting graphs. I turned boring raw data sets into visual and understandable information.

Graph I made using data from NOAA.

Graph I made using data from NOAA.

Then the professor decided to give us a break from crunching numbers and told us we had to go out into the field, observe and collect  data.  We had to compare what we saw in neighborhoods in Long Beach with data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  We were trying to see how accurate the census data was.  But for me this was more than just data.  It was discovering Long Beach. Continue reading