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Effective: Summer 2016

Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
4 hours lecture. (48 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Identify California's physical and cultural regions and characteristics.
  • Examine activities and historic processes which modified California's natural and cultural aspects.
Description -
Study of extreme regional variations within California. Factors contributing to landscape change. Examination of exploration, settlement, economic development, and urban-industrial-transportation patterns. Extensive use of maps, GIS, Internet and current events.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Identify California's physical and cultural regions and characteristics.
  2. Describe activities and historic processes which have modified California's natural and cultural landscapes.
  3. Analyze the influence of different waves of migration in shaping the cultural landscape of California.
  4. Discuss the history of agriculture in California in terms of its economic influences on development in the state and the distribution of water resources.
  5. Evaluate the patterns of urban development in the state.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Use of available computer labs and Internet access on campus for GIS presentations and student projects. When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous Internet and Email access.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Physical Geography
    1. Geomorphology
    2. Climate
    3. Natural resources
      1. Water
      2. Minerals, including oil and gas
      3. Timber
      4. Fisheries
  2. Human Geography
    1. Historical eras of growth
      1. Pre-Columbian settlement patterns
      2. Pre-Gold Rush exploration and settlement
      3. Gold Rush exploration, exploitation, and settlement
      4. Agricultural expansion in the early 20th century
      5. Post War urban growth
      6. The California economy in the 21st century
      7. The modern political landscape
    2. Trends and challenges
      1. Population growth
      2. Migration and immigration
      3. Transportation
      4. Resource Development
      5. Wilderness Management
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Midterm and final examination.
  2. Quizzes and outside class projects.
Representative Text(s) -
Selby, William; Rediscovering the Golden State: California Geography, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey 2012.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
Lecture, Discussion, Cooperative learning exercises, Oral presentations.
Lab Content -
Not applicable.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Read assigned chapters in the text and answer end of chapter questions.
  2. Papers and projects involving critical thinking and analytical oral and/or written skills including consideration of events and ideas from multiple perspectives utilizing tools relevant to the discipline such as maps and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).