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AAG Field Trips at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles

December 10, 2012

Field trips are always an important part of any AAG Annual Meeting. The upcoming conference in Los Angeles will offer many interesting field trip possibilities across a broad range geographical specialities and topics. Those interested in organizing a field trip should visit www.aag.org/annualmeeting for the appropriate submission forms, or contact Oscar Larson, Conference Director, at meeting@aag.org for more information. Proposals are still being accepted.

Below we provide descriptions of those AAG field trips currently available to registrants. Additional trips are under development. Check the Field Trips page for updates. 

Tuesday, April 9

1. Metro Blue Line Light Rail and Los Angeles/Long Beach Harbor Field Trip

Tuesday, April 9, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Dr. John Kirchner, California State University, Los Angeles
Trip Capacity: 35
Cost/person: $38 (includes boat transportation, bus transportation, handouts)

Participants will travel by light rail on the Metro Blue Line from Metro Center to the MTA Operations Center at Rosa Parks Station.  The Blue Line is the nation's single heaviest light rail line, with over 70,000 daily riders.  We will have a brief tour of the MTA facility, and then continue on to Long Beach for a no host lunch.  From there we will continue by bus to Terminal island to begin a 2.5 hour tour of the Los Angeles-Long Beach harbors, the nation's largest general cargo complex. We will have a close up look at a variety of marine, rail and truck activities, including container shipping, traditional break-bulk shipping, and dry and liquid bulk shipping.  We will use the MV Yellowfin, a research vessel operated by the CSU affiliated SCMI (Southern California Marine Institute).  Return to hotel by bus.

20. Sustainable Santa Monica

Tuesday, April 10, 10:00am - 6:00pm 
Organizer: Georgia Silvera Seamans, Sustainable Pacific Rim Cities and Yale Blue Green
Leaders: Brenden McEneaney, City of Santa Monica; NRDC; Steve Glenn, LivingHomes
Trip Capacity: 20
Cost/person: $5(bring money for Big Blue Bus fare, lunch) 

Famous for its beach and Pier, Santa Monica is increasingly known for its commitment to environmental, economic, and social sustainability.  The Sustainable Santa Monica Field Trip will explore several examples of green living, working, and eating across municipal, nonprofit, and private sectors.  The morning segment of the field trip will be led by Brenden McEneaney of the City of Santa Monica.  Mr. McEneaney will guide us in the morning to the Santa Monica Urban Runoff Recycling Facility, Bicknell Street Greening project, Civic Center Parking Structure/ Public Safety Facility / Expo Line, 502 Colorado Court (LEED Gold), and Main Library (LEED Gold).  We will eat lunch at the “largest grower-only Certified Farmers Market in Southern California,” the Wednesday Downtown Farmer’s Market.  After lunch, NRDC staff will give us a tour of the organization’s LEED Platinum building.  Participants can then choose to return to the hotel or extend the tour to visit the first home certified LEED for Homes Platinum, the 2480 square foot, four-bedroom LivingHome Santa Monica.  We will return to conference HQ by Big Blue Bus (participants should bring $5).  The tour will begin at the Santa Monica Pier.  Participants are encouraged to take the Big Blue Bus Rapid 10 which stops near conference HQ (Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites) downtown Los Angeles.  

21. Exploring GIS Technology Trends and Career Opportunities at Esri

Tuesday, April 9, 11:30am - 6:00pm
Organizers: Angela Lee, Maryann Stanson, Esri
Leader: David DiBiase, Esri
Trip Capacity: 50
Cost/person: $5

Visit Esri Headquarters in Redlands, CA for a half-day event including presentations on technology trends and conversations with Esri staff. Presentations will include an introduction to ArcGIS Online, Esri's cloud GIS platform, and CityEngine, a 3D urban modeling tool. In addition, Esri University Programs staff will discuss career opportunities at Esri and across the geospatial industry.  Meet with Esri staff from departments such as Software Development, Industry Solutions, Educational Services, Support Services, and Technical Marketing to hear first-hand what it's like working at Esri and to expand your professional network.

9. A 360-Degree View of the LA Region from Atop Mt. Hollywood

Tuesday, April 9, 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Stefano Bloch, California State University Northridge / Los Angeles City College
Trip Capacity: 28
Cost/person: $19 (includes van transportation)

At 1,625 feet, Mt. Hollywood is one of the highest points in the City of Los Angeles. From its peak, a moderate-intensity 40-minute hike from the Griffith Observatory above Hollywood, participants will be able to take in a 360-degree view of the LA region. Once at the top I will provide a bird's eye tour of major natural and human-made landmarks—from 10,000-foot peaks in the east to Catalina Island 22 miles off the Pacific Coast to the south-west, and all forms of urban planning, land-use features, and iconic infrastructure in between.  Attendees should bring comfortable walking shoes, water, and light trail snacks.   

Wednesday, April 10

2. Geography of the Santa Monica Mountains

Wednesday, April 10, 9:00am - 6:00pm
Organizer/Leader: William Selby, Santa Monica College, Sarah Goggin, Cypress College
Trip Capacity: 25
Cost/person: $60 (includes bus transportation, handouts)
Organized by the AAG Community College Affinity Group

Like an arrowhead cutting though the heart of Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Mountains represent the only mountain range bisecting a major U.S. city. They offer countless opportunities to explore open spaces and wildlands. This one-day trip will focus on physical forces shaping the range’s natural landscapes, including geology, weather/climate, biogeography, some hydrology and coastal processes. We may include Native American and land-use history in our explorations.  We will cover a large area on our bus tour, including short walks and a lunch stop. Bring water and lunch money. Appropriate dress should include hat, sunscreen, long pants, and walking shoes.

10. An Exploration of Chinatowns and the Hsi Lai Temple

Wednesday, April 10, 9:00am - 3:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Lei Xu, California State University, Fullerton
Trip Capacity: 27
Cost/person: $36 (includes bus transportation, lunch)

The field trip will start by briefly exploring the old Chinatown in downtown L.A. and the thriving suburban Chinatown in Rowland Heights and Hacienda Heights. Participants will investigate how the different waves of Chinese immigrants shaped the cultural landscape in different ways. Participants will then attend a guided tour at the Hsi Lai Temple, the largest Chinese Buddhist temple in the Western Hemisphere, and enjoy a very delicious, genuine Chinese vegetarian lunch buffet there. After lunch participants will stop by Hong Kong Plaza, exploring Chinese culture and traditions as well as various aspects of the lives of Chinese Americans.

11. New Downtown LA Tour

Wednesday, April 10, 10:00am - 11:40am
Organizer/Leader: Geoff DeVerteuil, University of Southampton UK
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $5

This is a walking tour of the newer parts of Downtown Los Angeles, which include Bunker Hill, the new skyline, the Figueroa Corridor, South Park and LA Live. But it will also briefly include a few older neighborhoods for contrast: Broadway, Pershing Square and the Jewelry District. Essentially, the new Downtown emerged from the 1960s onwards alongside, rather than crushing and replacing, the older 1920s Downtown. Despite LA's sprawl, walking the new Downtown allows a quick, compact microcosm of LA's social and economic diversity, polarization and potential future.

12. A Walk Through the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles

Wednesday, April 10, 12:40pm - 2:10pm
Organizer/Leader: Curtis C. Roseman, USC Emeritus
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $5

The heart of downtown Los Angeles for a good part of the twentieth century lay along Hill, Broadway, Spring, and Main Streets. The early-century built environment housed shopping, banking, lodging, service, and entertainment functions. This walk will focus on the historic buildings that dominate the area today and how this quintessential twentieth-century American downtown has changed over the last 40 years. 

Thursday, April 11

13. Tejon Ranch and Conservancy: Western Mojave Biogeography and Conservation Planning

Thursday, April 11, 7:30am - 5:00pm 
Organizers/Leaders:  James Hayes, California State University, Northridge, Shanon Donnelly, University of Akron 
Trip Capacity: 15
Cost/person: $49 (includes transportation, lunch)

The Tejon Ranch Company recently reached an agreement to place 90% of its lands under the stewardship of the Tejon Conservancy, an independent nonprofit organization.  Trip includes a morning driving tour of vegetation and wildlife of western Mojave grasslands, Joshua Tree woodlands, and lower montane canyons of Tejon Ranch, a box lunch at historic Beale Adobe, and presentations from Conservancy staff on the history of the ranch and the recent conservation agreement, including the developing conservation plan and Ranch Company plans for sustainable development.  Be prepared for outdoor conditions, weather, and range of temperatures.  Approx. 1.5-hour drive to Tejon.

3. Across the Top of L.A.

Thursday, April 11, 9:00am - 6:00pm
Organizer: Susan Spano, Self-Employed
Leader: Catharine Hamm, Editor, Los Angeles Times travel section
Trip Capacity: 25
Cost/person: $58 (includes bus transportation, handouts, drinks)

An exceptionally scenic drive on Mulholland Highway, 55 miles from Hollywood to the Pacific Coast along the backbone of the Santa Monica Mountains. Stops include overlooks toward the L.A. Basin and San Fernando Valley, the Hollywood Bowl, Paramount Ranch and a surfer hangout in Malibu. Named for the L.A. Water Department superintendent who helped develop the arid San Fernando Valley by stealing water from the High Sierra, the road opens like a storybook, telling how geography, greed and ego shaped greater L.A.  Participants should bring bag lunches and extra money for dinner, drinks or snacks at Neptune’s Net.

4. Whirlwind Tour of Downtown Los Angeles with Hal Bastian

Thursday, April 11, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Organizer: Chandana Mitra, Auburn University
George Pomeroy, Shippensburg University
Leaders: Hal Bastian, Downtown Center Business Improvement District - BEST DOWNTOWN CHEERLEADER
Justin Regis, Downtown Center Business Improvement District 
Trip Capacity: 40
Cost/person: $5
Organized by the Regional Development and Planning Specialty Group
BEST DOWNTOWN CHEERLEADER - Hal Bastian

As senior vice president and director of economic development for the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, Hal Bastian’s job is to get people excited about coming to Downtown LA. Hal provides a very comprehensive tour with exclusive details and historical facts, based off of his own discoveries and observations over the years. Bastian spends much of his time leading tours of the area. During the walking tour he will talk about how the downtown was revitalized, and how he introduced new things which attracted people and business to LA downtown.

14. New Downtown LA Tour (Repeat)

Thursday, April 11, 10:00am - 11:40am
Organizer/Leader: Geoff DeVerteuil, University of Southampton UK
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $5

This is a walking tour of the newer parts of Downtown Los Angeles, which include Bunker Hill, the new skyline, the Figueroa Corridor, South Park and LA Live. But it will also briefly include a few older neighborhoods for contrast: Broadway, Pershing Square and the Jewelry District. Essentially, the new Downtown emerged from the 1960s onwards alongside, rather than crushing and replacing, the older 1920s Downtown. Despite LA's sprawl, walking the new Downtown allows a quick, compact microcosm of LA's social and economic diversity, polarization and potential future.

15. Tasting the Wines of Croatia and Slovenia

Thursday, April 11, 3:30pm - 6:30pm
Organizer: Conrad “Mac” Goodwin, PhD, Independent Scholar
Leaders:  Maja Djorcev, University of Tennessee, Kathryn Barnard, Portland State University 
Trip Capacity: 30
Cost/person: $60 (includes snacks, tasting fees)
Organized by the AAG Wine Specialty Group and European Specialty Group

Continuing the tasting of Central European wines begun last year, in 2013 in LA you will be able to expand your palettes with 6 wines from Croatia and 6 different ones from Slovenia. The Croatian wines come from the country’s two wine regions, one coastal, the other, continental. The Slovene wines will come from two of the nation’s three wine regions, Primorska and Podravje. The 2-hour tasting (4-6PM) is held at the Buzz Wine Beer Shop within walking distance of the AAG meeting. Our host is Mr. Frank Dietrich, owner of Blue Danube Wine Co. in Los Angeles.

Friday, April 12 

28. Ag in the City: Farmland and Ranches in the West San Fernando Valley

Friday, April 12, 8:30am - 6:30pm
Organizer/Leader:  Gina K. Thornburg, Kansas State University
Trip Capacity: 23
Cost/person: $71 (includes transportation, lunch, snacks, handouts)
Sponsored by the Geographies of Food and Agriculture Specialty Group and the Rural Geography Specialty Group

This field trip encompasses three sites important in the agricultural history of Los Angeles, two with links to present-day food-provisioning networks: Los Angeles Pierce College, dating to 1947 and providing 250 acres of open space that include a working farm, equine facilities, a historic landmark, a farm stand, and an agritourism attraction; the Leonis Adobe, a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark dating to 1844; and the Orcutt Ranch Horticulture Center, also a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Landmark, comprising the 24-acre remnant of a 210-acre cattle ranch dating to 1926. Lunch will be at the iconic Follow Your Heart vegetarian restaurant in downtown Canoga Park, a former agricultural community that celebrated its centennial in 2012. Talks by knowledgeable people connected to each site will be given. If time allows and participants are willing, the trip may end with a visit to one last historic ranch site, the 2,500-acre Ahmanson Ranch (now called the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve), where we could enjoy an easy hike before sunset in the beautiful Simi Hills. Wear sturdy shoes and bring a canteen of water.

27. Taste of Orange County's Little Saigon and 'Landscapes of Change' in Downtown Santa Ana

Friday, April 12, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Vienne Vu, San Diego Mesa College, Tiffany Seeley, California State University, Fullerton
Trip Capacity: 22
Cost/person: $31 (includes transportation)

Discover Orange County’s two major ethnic enclaves. Learn the history of Little Saigon, the largest Vietnamese community outside of Vietnam, while exploring its multifaceted cultural landscape. We will then consider the changing landscapes in downtown Santa Ana, home of one of the region's most significant Latino enclaves and the gentrifying "Artist's Village". We will discuss the area’s importance for immigrants and established Latinos while learning how redevelopment efforts are re-branding downtown as a "place for the arts" and challenging Latino residents' well-established sense of place. Please bring cash for various food opportunities and for lunch at a Vietnamese eatery.

5. Tour of Dodger Stadium

Friday, April 12, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Dr. Richard Marston, Kansas State University
Trip Capacity: 25
Cost/person: $24 (includes admission, bus transportation)

Since 1962, Dodger Stadium has welcomed fans from all corners of the globe and enchanted them with its breathtaking views and its storied past. This 56,000-seat icon of American sports history has been home to some of the greatest players in the game and is home to the best fans in all of baseball. With parking for more than 16,000 automobiles and 21 terraced parking lots adjacent to the same elevations as the six different seating levels.

The Dodger Stadium Tour provides fans the opportunity to see the ballpark in a very unique fashion. This behind-the-scenes tour lets fans visit some of the most restricted and non-public areas and view the Stadium from a whole new perspective. As baseball's third-oldest stadium, Dodger Stadium remains one of the game's most beautiful and most historic venues.  Highlights of the tour may include a trip down to the field at Dodger Stadium, a visit into the Dodger Dugout, an exclusive look at the Dugout Club, the VIP restaurant and lounge located behind home plate and home to two World Series trophies, a walk through the Vin Scully Press Box, where the story of Dodger Baseball is covered from every angle, and more surprises! We will also discuss the removal of hispanics who had settled in Chavez Ravine, an action that remains controversial.

6. The Arroyo Seco: Rocket Propulsion, Freeways, and Nature in Northeast L.A.

Friday, April 12, 10:00am - 3:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Lorne Platt, Central Connecticut State University
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $6

The Arroyo Seco is a (usually) dry river course that runs through many of the unique communities that make up Los Angeles.  This trip will examine the Arroyo Seco from its rugged origins in the San Gabriels to its confluence with the Los Angeles River.  Along the way, we'll use public transportation (MTA's Gold line) to stop and examine the Arroyo's role in America's space exploration and parkway development.  This trip will also allow us to experience the neighborhoods that make up the Arroyo and Northeast Los Angeles. Attendees should bring $6 for a transit pass and $10-$15 for lunch.

16. New Downtown LA Tour (Repeat)

Friday, April 12, 10:00am - 11:40am
Organizer/Leader: Geoff DeVerteuil, University of Southampton UK
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $5

This is a walking tour of the newer parts of Downtown Los Angeles, which include Bunker Hill, the new skyline, the Figueroa Corridor, South Park and LA Live. But it will also briefly include a few older neighborhoods for contrast: Broadway, Pershing Square and the Jewelry District. Essentially, the new Downtown emerged from the 1960s onwards alongside, rather than crushing and replacing, the older 1920s Downtown. Despite LA's sprawl, walking the new Downtown allows a quick, compact microcosm of LA's social and economic diversity, polarization and potential future.

17. Highland Park: A Walking Food Tour

Friday, April 12, 10:00am - 5:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Noah Allison, Good Food Preservation
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $41(includes lunch, snacks, metro fare)

Highland Park, a neighborhood in Northeast Los Angeles, is a community in constant transition.  As one of the first suburbs of Los Angeles, it was home to mostly upper-middle class white families. Today, it has a population that is approximately 72% Latino; though has recently been seeing a shift in demographics and businesses. This walking food tour will traverse though the neighborhoods historic district, cross over America's first freeway and witness the changing social and economic climate that is currently happening in this “bohemian neighborhood”; all the while eating at some of the best Mexican hole-in-the-walls Highland Park has to offer.

18. A Walk Through the Historic Core of Downtown Los Angeles (Repeat)

Friday, April 12, 12:40pm - 2:10pm
Organizer/Leader: Curtis C. Roseman, USC Emeritus
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $5

The heart of downtown Los Angeles for a good part of the twentieth century lay along Hill, Broadway, Spring, and Main Streets. The early-century built environment housed shopping, banking, lodging, service, and entertainment functions. This walk will focus on the historic buildings that dominate the area today and how this quintessential twentieth-century American downtown has changed over the last 40 years. 

Saturday, April 13

7. Inland Empire Hazards and Mojave River History

Saturday, April 13, 8:00am - Sunday, April 14, 6:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Norman Meek, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, CSU San Bernardino
Trip Capacity: 14
Cost/person: $175

On this 2-day trip we will look at some flood and fault hazards in the San Gabriel valley followed by a visit to the San Andreas fault. Then we will travel down the Mojave River to examine its dynamic Quaternary history.  Lodging will be in bunk beds at the Zzyzx oasis. Bring a hat, coat, sunscreen, hiking boots, a camera, money for one lunch, basic toiletries, and a sleeping bag. Costs include transportation, lodging, 1 dinner, 1 breakfast, 1 sack lunch, a field guidebook, and snacks.

29. Notorious L.A.

Saturday, April 13, 8:00am - 6:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Dr. Geoffrey DeVerteuil, University of Southampton (UK)
Trip Capacity: 27
Cost/person: $43 (includes bus transportation)

Faulkner once said that LA is best seen at night, and from a distance. On this fieldtrip, you will see the underbelly up-close and in broad daylight. This wide-ranging, all-day trip features four key areas - Downtown LA/Boyle Heights, South LA, Mid-Wilshire and Hollywood - and is part Davisian critical geography, part celebrity death and humiliation, and part recognition of LA's uneven remaking since the 1980s and early 1990s. Participants should bring $15 for lunch.

31. Activist Geographies of the Los Angeles Port and Goods Movement Complex

Saturday, April 13, 9:00am - 4:00pm
Organizers/Leaders:  Juan De Lara, University of Southern California, Martha Matsuoka, Occidental College, Chris Benner, University of California Davis
Trip Capacity: 25
Cost/person: $50 (includes bus transportation, lunch, snacks)

This bus tour will introduce participants to leading community, labor, public health, and environmental organizers from the Wal-Mart Worker campaign, the Coalition for Clean and Safe Ports, the Port Working Group of the Green LA Coalition, and the Food Workers Alliance - as we explore key sites in the L.A. Goods Movement Complex. The tour will highlight labor and environmental justice struggles that have rescaled and reframed local and global debates about economic development. We will make several stops near the port and adjacent communities as we explore how LA’s Goods Movement Complex has produced new challenges and opportunities for social justice organizing.

8. Los Angeles’ Cultural Neighborhoods

Saturday, April 13, 9:00am - 6:00pm
Organizer/Leader: William Selby, Santa Monica College, Sarah Goggin, Cypress College
Trip Capacity: 28
Cost/person: $60 (includes bus transportation, handouts)
Organized by the AAG Community College Affinity Group

Also known as the famous, "Eat Your Way through L.A." tour, we will explore as many cultural neighborhoods as possible in one day. We will learn about the people and history hidden within each landscape and participants will sample a variety of ethnic foods along the way. We will review urban geography issues, present and future, as we tour the world within the most diverse city on the planet. 
Participants should bring a good map, hat and sunscreen, water, walking shoes, and cash for sampling food (including your lunch). You can get a preview of our tour at: http://homepage.smc.edu/selby_william/SelbyProject_print.pdf.

19. A Walk Along the Great Wall of Los Angeles Mural

Saturday, April 13, 9:15am - 12:00pm
Organizer/Leader: Stefano Bloch, California State University Northridge / Los Angeles City College
Trip Capacity: 28
Cost/person: $18 (includes van transportation) 

At 1/2 mile in length, the Great Wall of Los Angeles by Judith Baca is the longest mural on earth. It is also a prime example of the critical Chicano mural aesthetic. We will walk the length of the mural, which depicts a radical view of local, national, and international history up to 1984. Painted in a tributary to the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley, and situated along a curving footpath lined with grass and trees, the tour is perfect for people of all ages and abilities. Handout books can be purchased for $35 (optional).  Participants should bring water and light snacks.

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