Geography Conference Abstracts
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California State University, Long Beach ]
      Department of Geography
College of Liberal Arts
1250 Bellflower Boulevard
California State University
Long Beach, CA 90840-1101 USA

 

Mr. Norman Carter

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presented:

"Keeping up with the Joneses': New residential towers in Orange County, California compete with the Los Angeles skyline," to the Association of American Geographer meeting in Chicago in March 2006.

This study compares the changing land uses of the emerging skyline in Orange County, California with its next-door neighbor, Los Angeles. Historically, the construction of high-rise structures in North America, including Southern California, has been reserved for business and government uses. New buildings being planned for the core area of Orange County today are primarily for residential use. While common in Latin American cities for decades, new residential high-rises in the United States are a relatively new phenomenon. One of the objectives of this study was to determine if the shift in land use in Orange County was due to an evolution of the local economy towards a greater recreational bias, as is seen in Las Vegas and along the coastline of Florida, or if a new paradigm of high-rise land use is emerging in Southern California. The analysis focuses on employment, housing and population trends in Orange County and compares this data to the City of Los Angeles, which has a growing number of residential high-rise towers in the planning stages as well. The effects of recreational development and tourism will also be examined within the region as a whole. It appears that the trend towards high- rise residences is driven more by a combination of housing and transportation constraints than by a change in the local economy away from its historical economic base.

Mr. Carter presented:

"Higher than the Matterhorn: The struggle to erect a high-rise tower in Santa Ana, California," to the Association of American Geographer meeting in Denver in early April 2005.

This paper studies the political processes for and against the construction of a high-rise tower in Santa Ana, California. Santa Ana is a multicultural city and the county seat of Orange County California. The 37-story building in question, if constructed, would be the tallest in Orange County. Following approval by the city council on August 2, 2004, citizens mobilized to defeat the project at the ballot box. This event is highly unusual in a city that is typically apolitical. Elections in Santa Ana normally result in less than one- third of registered voter turnout for any type of ballot issue. Common grounds uniting disparate factions in opposition are concerns about increased traffic congestion, the inappropriateness of such a tall building in the neighborhood and the preservation of cultural and historical properties that are significant to the residents of the surrounding area.

Mr. Carter also presented:

"Use of the Internet as a pedagogical tool in a junior-level environmental geography course," to the Association of American Geographer meeting in Philadelphia in mid March 2004.

Rapid technological advances in computers continue to present challenges to geography educators. This paper evaluates the use of the Internet as a pedagogical tool at the university level in a junior level environmental geography course. This course was selected because it uses both behaviorist and constructivist instruction techniques. Course lecture and discussion were supplemented by a web page assignment requiring each student to author a home page, use the Internet as a research vehicle and publish original content.

The students participating in this assignment reported an enhanced learning experience for the class, enhanced learning skills suitable for other classes, and high levels of personal and academic satisfaction. The main characteristic of students that influenced their performance was their level of computer literacy skills. The Internet can be successfully used as a pedagogical tool in geography courses if the faculty and students become proficient in the skills necessary to access, manipulate, and use information technologies.

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Last revised: 01/10/06
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