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Sample Abstracts from the 2007 APCG (Association of Pacific Coast Geographers) Meeting



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Sample Abstracts from the 2007 APCG (Association of Pacific Coast Geographers) Meeting


James P. Allen, California State University, Northridge, james.allen@csun.edu; and Eugene Turner, California State University, Northridge, eugene.turner@csun.edu. Mexican Status Variations across U.S. Counties. Although on average, Mexicans in the United States have low socioeconomic status compared to most other ethnic groups, it’s possible that Mexicans in some localities are doing much better. We ask to what extent does the socioeconomic position of Mexicans, including both immigrants and the U.S.-born, vary by county across the United States, and how do such variations relate to other characteristics of the counties? Using the SF4 file of

Census 2000 data for the 911 U.S. counties with at least 1,000 Mexicans, we measured and mapped Mexican percentage homeowner and three income variables as well as the ratio of Mexican to Non-Hispanic White incomes. Results indicated much county variation in Mexican status, with median income of Mexicans occasionally higher than that of Whites. Mexican men’s and women’s incomes were strongly and positively correlated with the percentage of Mexicans proficient in English, high school graduates, U.S.-born, and in professional or managerial occupations. In comparison to Whites, Mexican incomes were relatively higher in counties where

Mexican and total populations were smaller and where lower percentages of Whites were college graduates and professionals or managers.
Samantha Antcliff e, California State University, Long Beach, santcliff e@aol.com.

Native Plant Restoration Following the Eradication of Invasive Tamarisk in the Tijuana Estuary. Th e objective of this project was to study the vegetation of the upland transition habitat within Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, (TRNERR) to determine whether native vegetation that was reintroduced survived aft er the eradication of invasive Tamarix ramosissima (Tamarisk). Within the upland transition habitat there are isolated patches of invasive tamarisk in a matrix of natives. Invasive plants alter the habitat and topography and reduce the overall diversity of the estuary. Seven sites were selected for restoration. Species

selection was established aft er surveying nearby areas with existing habitat to determine which species were present and obtainable and would be viable candidates for restoration. Th e fi ve native plants selected for restoration were: Distichlis spicata (Saltgrass), Frankenia salina (Alkali heath), Lycium californicum (Boxthorn), Salicornia subterminalis (Glasswort) and Salicornia virginica (Pickleweed). Plants were hand watered on a biweekly schedule, and survival rate data was documented weekly. Th e overall survival rate percentages for the restoration sites ranged from 0 to 41 percent. While defi nitive answers to the underlying mechanisms that determined survival rate diff erences between sites was not possible, the study does suggest future directions for restoration projects and research. Keywords: invasive plants, tamarisk, restoration.


Jon Bauer, San Francisco State University, jondebauer@hotmail.com. Potemkin Creek: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Nature. Restoration of culverted urban creeks, often known as daylighting,” is one way of reestablishing ecological integrity in cities and of connecting with nature for urban residents. However, in some places many obstacles prevent daylighting, such as fl ood-control concerns, private property, and financial resources. One such situation is on Temescal Creek, which drains a portion of the Oakland Hills to the San Francisco Bay. Anglo-Americans arrived by the 1850s, and by the end of the 1970s the creek was almost entirely contained culvert. An emerging response by “green” loft developers, creek activists, local governments, and residents is to create ersatz creeks, like Potemkin Villages, that mimic the aesthetic of the historic creek channel, while the actual creek water still fl ows in the fl ood control culvert directly below. This faux-or ersatz-restoration brings to the fore questions about how ecologically minded urban residents participate in the ongoing hybridization of nature and

culture, and exposes the values and assumptions embedded in the social construction of nature. This new Temescal Creek, designed to appear natural, is revealed to be an artifact of culture produced by economic activities, rather than a natural one produced by physical processes.


Noriyuki Sato, California State University, Chico, nsato2@csuchico.edu. Perspectives on Climate Change from Changing Mean and Variance. While mean air temperature usually is employed to represent the magnitude of climatic change, it is not the only important statistic, especially when societal impacts are concerned. Mean temperature is just one statistic that represents the overall air-temperature distribution. This paper looks into a changing climate from two perspectives: (1) trends in the number of days that fall within a particular range of air temperature; and (2) impacts that changing mean and variance would effect on the above-mentioned trends. The intricate relationship between mean and variance of air temperature

alters the number of days that fall within a certain range of air temperature, which may have a direct influence on areas of applied climatology, such as winter road maintenance, agriculture, and water resources. For this paper, a threshold value for winter road maintenance is used. By analyzing the recent 57 winter seasons of air-temperature data for the U.S. and Canada, this paper illustrates the spatial distribution and trends in variables relevant to winter road maintenance. The paper concludes by discussing a number of possible impacts of climate change on winter road maintenance in the future.



Grading Rubrics

There are rubrics for written assignments, and one for your final presentation. There is one rubric per page so that you can remove the blank rubrics to include with written assignments, drafts and final paper. You will turn rubrics in with your work to your instructor. Please read them so you know what criteria your instructor will be using to grade your assignments, but don’t limit yourself to the content of the rubric. If you wish to go beyond the basic requirements, please feel free to do so! Your instructor may take extra points off for incomplete or late work.



Themes of Geography Book Review (30 points)--Faculty Review

Your Name_______________________________________




Expectations__Yes--Excellent_(5)__Mostly_(4)__Not_so_much_(0-3)'>Expectations

Yes--Excellent (5)

Mostly (4)

Not so much (0-3)

Total

Clear intro paragraph













Paper shows understanding of geographic theme and stays focused on that theme













Good use of examples













Paper stays on topic and flows (uses transitions)













Well-written conclusion













Grammar and spelling













Total












Comments:



Research Exercise I: Learning about local issues and data from interviews and newspapers (50 points) -- Faculty Review

Your Name_______________________________________________



Expectations

Yes—Excellent 9-10

Mostly Good 7-8

Not So Much 0-6

Total

Interview material is appropriate and clear













Local news material is appropriate and represents the issue













Introduction clearly says what the paper is about













Grammar, spelling, and formatting













Conclusion sums up the main points of the paper and its relevance













Poster presentation













Total












Comments:



Research Exercise II: Exploring census data and doing field observations/presenting census data in tables and figures (50 points) — Faculty Review

Your Name____________________________________________________




Expectation

Yes--Excellent 9-10

Mostly Good 7-8

Not So Much 0-6

Total

Tables and figures are clearly formatted and labeled













Tables and figures are not “orphaned”—they are all cited in text and there is a good reason for including them













Your introduction is clear—I know what your paper is about













Your grammar, spelling and formatting trouble-free













Your conclusion nicely wraps up your study













Total












Comments:



Research paper Proposal Rubric. Include this blank rubric with your final version—Faculty Review
Your Name___________________________________________
20 points possible


Paragraph 1

Yes! (2)

Sort of (1)

No (0)

Points

Does the student clearly tell you why this is an important problem?













Does the student provide enough specific geographic information? Is this a geographic problem?
















Paragraph 2

Yes! (2)

Sort of (1)

No (0)

Points

Does the student clearly state the research as a question?













Does the student provide a clear statement of the purpose of the research?
















Grammar, etc

Yes! (2)

Sort of (1)

No (0)

Points

Does the student write clearly, with minimal errors?












Overall Total Points_________


Comments:
Outline and 5 Sources Rubric. Include this blank rubric with your final version—Faculty Review
Your Name__________________________

20 points possible





Outline

Yes! (2)

Sort of (1)

No (0)

Points

There are at least 6 total headings

6 or more

4-5

Fewer than 5




There are at least 2 sub-headings for each heading

All have 2 or more

1 has only one sub-heading

More than 1 has only one sub-heading




The headings and sub-headings are specific (no vague “fillers”)
















Sources

Yes! (2)

Sort of (1)

No (0)

Points

There are at least 5 peer-reviewed geographical sources

5 or more

3-4

Fewer than 3




The sources appear to “hang” together












Overall Total Points _________


Comments:

Your Name_____________________________


COMPLETE Draft Research Paper and 30 Note Cards Rubric. Include blank rubric with your paper—Faculty Review

20 points possible




Draft

Yes! (2)

Mostly (almost) (1)

No (0)

Synthesis of literature is clear










It’s clear why this topic is geographical










You have a clear research questions










Figures are clear, documented and well-integrated








10 peer-reviewed references









Grammar and spelling are almost error free










Formatting of paper and references is correct










Draft is at least 7 pages long












Note Cards

Yes! (2)

Mostly (almost) (1)

No (0)

Are at least 30 cards








Cards are well-documented









Overall Total Points___________________________


Comments:

Your Name___________________________
Final Research Paper Grading Rubric (Faculty Only--include blank rubric with your paper) 200 points possible



Final Paper

Possible Points

Excellent : 90-100 %

Very Good: 80-89%

Average: 70-79%

Fail: 0-70%

Total Points

It’s clear why this topic is geographical

50
















Figures are clear, documented and well-integrated

15














Introduction is well written; includes a question

20
















Conclusion is clear and sums up main points and implications of research

15
















Stays on topic and uses transitions

30
















Appropriate number of peer-reviewed articles

20















Grammar and spelling are almost error free

25
















Formatting of paper and references is correct

15
















Paper is appropriate length

10
















Comments:



Research Presentation Guide
People will ask you to prepare talks many times during your career, both as a student and as a professional.
Dress appropriately on days you will present. Soon enough you will be thinking of what to wear for an interview, so this is good preparation for that.
Use PowerPoint or some other visual aid for your presentation. Some new presentation software exists that might be replacing it. PP has become a crutch for many presenters, but people do not want to watch you read from your slides. Make eye contact and talk as naturally as you can. Your presentation should not last more than three slides, maximum seven minutes.
How you do on your presentation (i.e. how many points you get) will depend on how you structure it and on the quality and pertinence of your visual material. Some of this structure follows from the structure of your paper.


  1. Introduction: this is the “hook” to get your audience engaged. Your talk can start with a story, a news item, or anything that illustrates why you studied this topic. Visual aids are appropriate here. For research in geography you should be able to find an appropriate map to illustrate your research topic. Which of the five (or more) themes of geography does your research paper fall into? What sub-field of geography (i.e. political geography, geomorphology, urban geography, climate change) does your topic most relate to?

  2. Summary of your Findings: this is the centerpiece of your presentation. You should be able to show that there is a range of research on the topic, and that different authors have approached the topic in different ways. You should also be able to sum up your findings.

  3. Provide a quick evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the literature. Show how excited you are about this topic!

  4. Visual aids can be helpful to illustrate different contributions of the literature—such as a table or concept map.

  5. So what? You should be able to restate the importance of your work, and add to that what you have found that is significant to you and potentially to others, in 30 seconds. How is this important to geographic knowledge?

Grading Rubric for Presentations

Name:___________________________


Name:

Excellent

Good

Poor

Failing

Total Points

Introduction

2

1.5

1

0




Summary of Literature

2

1.5

1

0




Significance of Findings

2

1.5

1

0




Visuals: no spelling errors, not too much text, no glitches, sources provided

2

1.5

1

0




Your Appearance

1

.8

.5

0




Eye contact and Cadence; Didn’t Read off Slide

1

.8

.5

0




Total

10

8

5

0





Worksheet: Keeping Track of Your Grade


Assignment

Due Date

Points Possible

Your Points

Your Cumulative Score

Geography Themes Book Report




30







Exercise I: Exploring the Census




50







Exercise II: A Local Issue




50







Research paper Proposal




20







Outline and 5 Sources




20







Draft Literature and 30 Note Cards




20







Oral Presentation




10







Final Research paper




200







In-Class Activities and Participation




100







Total Possible




500






Grading Scale Based on Percentage of Total. You must receive at least a C- to pass this WP course.


100-95 A 79-78 C+ < 59 F

94-90 A- 77-74 C

89-88 B+ 73-70 C-

87-84 B 69-68 D

83-80 B- 63-60 D-


Your Information

Name: _______________________________________________


Email (please write clearly): __________________________________

Your photo here:

What is most interesting to you about geography?

What do you hope to learn in this class?


What is “good writing” to you?






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