WILLIAM SELBY’S GEOGRAPHY FIELD
FALL 2014 SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
details of our FALL 2014 field
activities are HERE.
They include local one-day trips on Saturday, October 11 and Sunday,
October 12 and a full weekend trip to the Wildlands Conservancy's
Whitewater Preserve on October 24-26. We will study coastal, mountain, desert and human landscapes
and the forces and processes that are shaping them, including natural
and human history. Here you will find some details about our
field activities. If you are in the
class or are joining us on one of our field trips, carefully read the
instructions and requirements on all of this page. Details for
each trip are being added at the bottom of this page.
Our weekend at Whitewater will
start out hot for this time of year until a Sunday cool off. It should
remain mostly clear during our stay so bring your star charts.
You should first attend our first meeting to prepare and organize and
find out what is expected on these trips: Friday, September 5, 4-7pm, HSS 251. During our
one weekend in the field together (Oct 24-26) and one-day
trips on Saturday, Oct 11 (Cultural Tour of L.A.) and Sunday Oct 12
(Santa Monica Mountains), we will
explore the natural history and human history of a wide variety of
California landscapes. We will meet
at SMC (HSS 251) at
8:30am for each trip (except see our special instructions for Saturday,
Oct 11 to board a bus at Virginia Avenue Park and 22nd St.) to carpool to diverse coastal, mountain, and urban
locations. Specific details will be added to this page as they develop. During our trips, we
will learn about the natural history (geology, weather and climate, plants and animals,
coastal processes) and human history of these regions, their landscapes and the processes that are changing them.
Each trip will require car pools to get into the field (except
for the Saturday October 11 L.A. bus tour where we meet at Virginia Ave
Park and 22nd St to board a bus), so we
must meet promptly at 8:30am in HSS 251. More details (including directions)
will appear at the bottom of this page as they evolve. Remember that all
field class students are also required to attend the final wrap-up
session in HSS 251 on Friday, Nov 7, 4-7pm.
Special note for
the Saturday October 11
Eat Your Way Through L.A. Cultural Tour of Los Angeles: We will
join up with our International Education Center on a big bus for
the day. We start at the back side of Virginia Park and 22nd
This is our only field trip on a
bus. To participate in this field trip, you must first sign up and
deposit $10 at the International Education Center across from
Counseling. Ask for Ashleigh Garmon and tell them you are in our class
and want to reserve a seat on the bus for the cultural tour on October
11. If you don't reserve a seat, you can't go on this trip. Your $10
should be refunded when you board the bus. On Saturday October 11, meet
before 9 am on the back side of Virginia Avenue Park where it meets 22nd
Street, where you will sign in and board the bus. If you are looking for
parking, you may not find it at the crowded park on Farmers Market day,
so give yourself time to park at the college and walk.
To participate in each field trip, you are required to sign waivers. This means you will not sue Selby
or the college or anyone connected with the college no matter what unexpected or bad things might happen to you or us on our field trips. You should also use common sense when preparing for the trips. That means wearing comfortable clothes and shoes and bringing water, food and other personal items and necessities that will improve your comfort level and enjoyment. Finally, during each field trip, you will be expected to follow SMC and
all camp, host and park rules and codes of conduct. Besides the obvious rules banning drugs, alcohol, and smoking (especially in areas of fire danger), we must respect one another and contribute to a positive atmosphere that will add to the educational experience.
After all, these trips are also part of our Global Citizenship efforts. Curiosity, learning, safety, and fun are some of the main themes for this semester’s field trips.
William A. Selby
Earth Science/Geography/Environmental and Urban Studies (310) 434-4743
Here is the course
description edited with the one date change to October 11 and
Field Study: California 1 unit
Transfer: CSU • Prerequisite: None.
combines classroom and laboratory studies with actual field
studies in geography. Field experiences are designed to
apply basic geographic concepts and techniques in the study
of diverse landscapes and the processes shaping them.
Students will attend two 3-hour lecture classes and are
required to attend two planned weekend field trips that
include California coastal, mountain, and desert locations.
2381 4:00p-7:05p F HSS 251 Selby W A
Arrange-40 Hours FIELD Selby W A
section 2381 has required on campus meetings Sept 5 and Nov
7. Two required field trips which may include coastal,
mountain, desert, and other locations will be held Oct 10-12
and Oct 24-26. This section will provide foundations in
ecological literacy and help prepare students to live more
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)
What can students do, think, or know as a result of their studies in
Students will be able to apply concepts -
from recent research, texts, and the classroom - to real world field
observations. Students will learn the nature of fieldwork and of
using the scientific method to interpret and analyze physical and
What can students do, think, or know as a result of their studies
within the more general geography program?
Students will be able to identify spatial
patterns and interrelationships between systems and cycles that
affect life and shape landscapes. Students will demonstrate
cartographic literacy, including map interpretation and, using
spatial analysis skills, will be able to analyze, recognize and
evaluate spatial distributions on all scales from local to global
to become better global citizens.
GEOGRAPHY FIELD CLASS (GEOG 35F) AND FALL 2014 TRIPS
We geographers offer several unique opportunities to learn about California’s natural and human landscapes this
fall 2014. This semester, we focus our attention on our
coastal, mountain, and urban landscapes. Students in the field course will earn one unit credit for their work. Other geography students are invited to join us, but you must sign up and learn about the details of each trip ahead of time. Field trips play a vital role in geography. They provide opportunities to apply geographic concepts in the field as we examine the systems and cycles that shape our world. During our natural history adventures, we will explore geology, geomorphology, weather and climate, and learn about the plants and animals of the area. We will also learn about human history, cultures,
and how humans change landscapes.
ALL STUDENTS MUST SIGN THE WAIVERS BEFORE PARTICIPATING IN ANY FIELD ACTIVITY
All students in the field class (Geog35F) must attend the two class sessions at the beginning and end of the semester (listed here and on the class schedule), all field trips, and keep a journal
that will be graded at the end of class. If you have any questions, you can call Selby and leave a message at (310) 434-4743 or e-mail at email@example.com. Safety and common sense are essential to successful field trips. All Santa Monica College rules and regulations for student behavior will be strictly enforced on every trip, such as NO alcohol or drugs and the assumption that everyone will be treated with respect. Together, we can share some great learning experiences this semester. If you would like to join us, sign up for the course and meet with our class, or contact me ahead of time. You will be required to sign a waiver, follow all SMC rules of conduct, and prepare yourself for the trips. To view photos from some previous field trips, click back to my homepage.
DETAILS FOR fALL 2014 GEOGRAPHY FIELD TRIPS
Students will meet for each field trip in HSS
251, the lab on the south side of the second floor, at 8:30 am to
prepare for departure (except on Sat Oct 11 when we meet at 22nd and
Virginia Ave Park before 9 to board a bus). Students in the one unit field course must also attend both Friday class sessions on
September 5 and November 7, 4-7 pm, also in HSS 251.
We will be travelling together and learning about natural history, from weather and climate, to geomorphology, to plants and animals. We will also learn about Native American history and
other cultures and their histories. You will need the proper personal items, food and a water bottle, and you must dress for the weather. There are plenty of reasons to take precautions on these trips. Go to our
September 5 orientation session (see above) even if you are not enrolled in the one-unit course so you can prepare for this. Since we will be travelling through and staying in
County, State and National Parks and a Private Preserve, you must follow all Park rules and regulations designed to protect the parks and the public. Here are some important details:
Rules, Guidelines, How to Prepare and What to bring
For all trips, make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen and bring
water and dress for the weather: also bring food for the trip. (It
should be hotter than average for this time of year at Whitewater
and then cool off on Sunday. We will carpool from the college
(except on Sat Oct 11 when we will board a bus at 22nd and Virginia
Ave Park before 9).
Wear comfortable hiking shoes. Again, don't forget your hat, sun screen
and water! Since we are staying overnight for the weekend of
October 24-26 at the Whitewater Preserve, you will need the typical camping gear.
The camping cost will be about $10/person for the weekend (which
will be our donation to the Preserve), but you must bring
your own food.
Everyone has their own style and comfort level, but the
minimum required will be a sleeping bag or good blankets, tent, flashlight, and all
personal items you will need to keep you safe, clean and comfortable
for the weekend. Our camp has running potable water and bathrooms. NO firearms or weapons of any kind and you must
follow all fire safety guidelines. Of course, no camping gear is
needed for the one-day trips on October 11 and 12, but you will still need
water, food, and comfortable clothes for the field. Again,
anticipate very warm weather until Sunday.
Review These General Field Rules and Guidelines!
In case you still have questions, below is a summary of some
specific rules and regulations shared by other SMC field
instructors. If you still have questions after reading them, ask me!
All SMC rules and regulations apply at all times, including no
drugs, alcohol or other controlled substances. The field is our SMC
classroom, so stay involved and become an active member of the group
so you can enjoy this special learning experience.
You must be enrolled in my class to attend any field trip unless you
have special permission to participate; that includes signing all
No smoking during any field events or on the trails, especially near
others or where there is ANY danger of fire.
Field trips are adventures, so exercise the greatest caution while
driving. If you drive, you are required to have a dependable vehicle
in good condition, a good driving record, license and insurance, and
enough gas to get to our destinations.
Electronically amplified music or any other distracting noise will
not be tolerated.
Keep cell phones off while in the field and on the trail, just as in
Dangerous Flora and Fauna: Be careful not to taste anything wild or
touch anything (such as poison oak) unless you are sure it is safe.
Watch where you place your feet or hands, especially where you might
encounter hidden rattlesnakes or other surprises. Check for ticks
regularly, especially when brushing against vegetation. Though we
must all avoid stinging insects, you are required to carry your own
special kit if you have allergic reactions.
Whether on the road or the trail, do not wander away from the group.
If nature calls, move to a safe and inconspicuous location at least
50 feet from any water body; carry your Kleenex/tissue out with you
in an extra plastic bag.
Proper clothing is essential for a rich and comfortable learning
experience in the field. You must dress for the wide variations in
weather conditions encountered at different places and times and you
should always have plenty of water.
Don't forget your field notes, maps, books, camera, binoculars or
other equipment that will enhance your learning experience.
If you are participating in an overnight trip, you must bring the
personal items, food and proper camping gear that will get you
through the weekend with ease. Consult this page and ask in class
about these specifics.
Read through this entire web page (above) to learn about safety, rules and regulations on these trips, including SMC rules of conduct and the waiver requirement. Once you are introduced, contact me (310 434-4743) or go to the orientation session
Friday Sep 5, 4-7p.m., HSS 251.
For students in the one-unit field course, remember
you must also attend the wrap-up class session on Friday Nov 7, 4-7pm
with your completed field notes. All other geography students are also invited to join us on that last evening.
Some Details and Directions
Each field trip will begin when we meet our carpools in HSS 251
at 8:30am. More details will follow as they develop.
Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12 one-day trips:
Saturday, October 11:
Eat Your Way Through L.A. Cultural Tour of Los Angeles. We will
join up with our International Education Center on a big bus for
the day. We start at the back side of Virginia Park and 22nd
This is our only field trip on a
bus. To participate in this field trip, you must first sign up
and deposit $10 at the International Education Center across
from Counseling. Ask for Ashleigh Garmon and tell them you are
in our class and want to reserve a seat on the bus for the
cultural tour on October 11. If you don't reserve a seat, you
can't go on this trip. Your $10 should be refunded when you
board the bus. On Saturday October 11, meet before 9 am on the
back side of Virginia Avenue Park where it meets 22nd Street,
where you will sign in and board the bus. If you are looking for
parking, you may not find it at the crowded park on Famers
Market day, so give yourself time to park at the college and
Santa Monica Mountains along the Malibu Coast
Stops will depend on the weather, fire and coastal conditions as
we will study natural and human history, but some details will
follow this paragraph. Bring food, water, hat and sunscreen,
comfortable hiking shoes and clothes for the weather and any
other necessities that will enhance your learning experience.
Learn about the
SMMNRA and get a map:
Our first major stop and meeting point will be past Malibu and
into Zuma Canyon: to the
Canyon Trailhead: Pacific
Coast Hwy to Busch Drive (near Zuma Beach). Go north on Busch
Drive. Turn right on Rainsford Place. Turn left on Bonsall Drive
and to the parking lot at end of road
After our walk into Zuma Canyon, we will get back in our
vehicles and travel on up PCH to Pt. Mugu, where we will stop at
the giant sand dune that creeps up the coastal slope. Then, we
will travel to the rock at Pt. Mugu and hopefully stop at La
Jolla Canyon (depending on the fire damage controls) for a walk
up that canyon. We will then go back into our vehicles and drive
past the Pt. Mugu rock, where we can make a safe turnaround and
start our journey back toward Santa Monica, making stops along
the way, including Leo Carrillo Beach. We should return before
October 24-26 Weekend:
We are fortunate to be invited to spend our weekend at the
Whitewater Preserve within an isolated canyon that spills out of
the south side of the San Bernardino Mountains toward the
Visit this web site and note all rules and regulations:
be escorted by rangers to our camp, so everyone must meet us there
by late afternoon. Don't forget all essentials for survival and comfort including
sleeping bag or blankets, tent, flashlight, water bottle, food (for
the entire weekend), and all clothes
and personal items you will need
to keep you safe and comfortable for the weekend. Camp costs should
be at least $10/person for the entire weekend, a donation to the
Conservancy. Fall in this desert canyon is likely to be sunny
and warmer than average for this time of year by day and
comfortable at night: check the weather forecast for
the area. Bring sunscreen and a hat to
protect from sun burns and dehydration. Weather conditions update:
Itinerary is evolving.
We will meet and then
leave from HSS 251 on Friday, October 24, 8:30AM.
Get your good map and
gear and enough food for the entire
weekend. We go east on our I 10 through L.A. and toward the
desert past Banning and the Morongo Casino and just past the
Palm Springs (Hwy 111) turnoff. Our caravan will pass our
turnoff to the camp Preserve so we can explore the region.
caravan will be making a few stops past the turnoff that may
include the wind farms, ventifacts on nearby hills, the
Morongo Canyon Preserve, and possibly Thousand Palms Oasis,
though that will be a stretch with our time limitations. You
are encouraged to get phone numbers of folks in our van to
keep track of us should we get disconnected. If you miss us
Friday, here are the directions to our base camp:
Take the exit toward
Whitewater, turn north (on Tipton), then left on Whitewater
Canyon Road. Continue up the canyon five miles to the end of
the road and our campground. This direct route to the
turnoff is about two hours (without traffic) and 115 miles,
but that is without the numerous detours and stops along the
way, so get the cell number of someone in the lead vehicle. Better yet, since we
are making such interesting and informative stops along the way,
keep up with our caravan.
sure you bring enough food for the entire weekend. If you arrive
after the group, you will be locked out and not be able to join
us. We will be living in the canyon's campground behind the locked gate for
If you have read this
far, is it assumed you have checked the Whitewater Preserve web
site (see link above) for rules and regulations, but there are a
few obvious ones: All SMC rules and regulations will be
followed, such as no firearms or smoking. If you violate SMC or
their rules, you
will be asked to leave.
In an effort to keep facility use rates low no janitorial
services are provided. Users are expected to leave the camping
site and restrooms cleaner than they found them. In this
way conditions will improve instead of degrade. Cleaning
supplies are provided in the bathrooms. Failure to adequately
clean up will result in cleaning fees. All of our recyclables
and trash will be carried out by us.
And now, back to our
Friday afternoon: Meet together just after 4PM at the campground at
the end of the
road and locked gate to settle
at our camp. Make dinner (no open fires).
Friday night: Star gazing (bring your own star chart or phone
app and binoculars or telescope), then get to sleep early to prepare for a big day Saturday.
Speaking of phones, remember that most of you may be out of
service range in the canyon.
Saturday: This will be a
very busy day for anyone who likes to study natural history of any
kind, including geology, weather and climate, plants and
animals, hydrology and human history. We are up early to fix and eat
breakfast, pack our lunches and ready to hike and learn by
8:00 AM. We will be working with the rangers and the day will be
split between a long hike and participating in their weekend
wildlife workshops. Yeehaw! Be prepared for a long day in the field.
That means lots of water, sunscreen, your hat,
comfortable clothes and hiking shoes and lunch. We will meet back at our
dinner before dark and then have a
look at the stars and perhaps a night walk.
Get to sleep early again so you are ready for another big day on
Please remember that
we are working together as a team to be the model visitors at
this Wildlife Preserve. Pick up and clean after yourself, show
common courtesy and care for your companions, and follow all SMC
and Whitewater Preserve rules and regulations
Sunday, October 26: Wake early again
so we are done with breakfast and have cleaned our camp and bathrooms,
leaving our camp and the Preserve cleaner than we found it
by 8:30. We will donate at least $10/person for use of the facilities
to the Conservancy. Our morning activities are being planned. We will
drive back to Santa Monica,
arriving home by around sundown. This may include a big detour and
adventure you won't want to miss.
Our Last Meeting
For those in our Geography 35 course, don't forget about the required
final meeting on Nov 7, HSS 251, 4-7 PM. You must bring your completed field
journals. All other SMC Geography students are also invited to attend
whether you attended our field trips or not.