The following extracts are from an article in The Current, written by Julie Cohen, posted April 23, and with the title above:
A Year of Milestones: Eight departments at UC Santa Barbara mark important anniversaries in 2014 with a host of special events and activities. UC Santa Barbara has a lot to celebrate this year. Eight departments are celebrating landmark anniversaries in 2014 with a host of special events and activities.
Among the honorees, Mechanical Engineering, Religious Studies, Sociology, and Theater and Dance hit the 50-year mark. The Department of Geography and the Department of Communication turned 40 and 30, respectively; and the Asian-American studies and East Asian languages and cultural studies departments are now two decades old.
“Fifty years old is fairly young in the academic world and certainly 30 or 40 years much more so,” said Joel Michaelsen, UCSB’s interim executive vice chancellor and professor of Geography. “And yet a number of these departments have grown to be world class, top-ranked departments. I think that’s indicative of the transformation that’s happened at UCSB all across the campus, where we have gone from essentially being a state teachers’ college to being a top research institution and a member of the American Association of Universities in a relatively short period of time.”
The anniversary celebrations begin at UCSB’s All Gaucho Reunion April 24-27. The Geography Department got the party started with a presentation by Professor Keith Clarke. “Remote Sensing: The Missing Decade” took place Thursday, April 24, at 3:30 p.m. in 1930 Buchanan Hall. The department open house followed at 5 p.m. in Ellison Hall.
Friday, April 25, at 10 a.m., the department hosted its first-ever Gaucho GeoHunt, which combines elements of scavenger hunts and geocaching to provide a unique way to explore UCSB. Teams assembled at Ellison Hall where they received maps before embarking on a campus quest. The department’s 40th anniversary barbecue began at 1 p.m. at Stow House.
According to Michaelsen, the changes in the Geography Department since its inception have been dramatic. “The department really helped define what the role of Geography is in the world nowadays with all of the geographical analysis and techniques that have become commonplace, like GPS and GIS. The underlying theories and procedures that make those things work were, in many cases, developed here or at least brought into wider applicability,” he added. “There are many other programs, some celebrating anniversaries here, that followed similar paths and redefined their areas of the academic landscape in similar ways” (for Julie’s complete and original article, click here).
Geography’s Ruby Anniversary was a big hit with all concerned, particularly since it coincided with the All Gaucho Reunion and Earth Day. Professor Clarke’s Colloquium presentation about the early days of remote sensing, arguing that a large proportion of technical developments that now underpin geographic information technologies originated in issues surrounding the Corona spy-satellite program in the 1960s, proved to be a practice run for a presentation he has been invited to give to the Philip Lee Phillips Map Society of the Library of Congress, May 15-16, 2014. The open house following the Colloquium on Thursday evening was well-attended, and graduate students and staff did a bang-up job of showing off our facilities.
Bryan Karaffa and Mladen Popovic organized Friday morning’s GeoHunt, and they were very impressed with the number of entries (10 teams of 5 each) and the popularity of the event. GLOBALLY CHALLENGED! and Gnarlywhals from Geography took first and second, and the Horcrux Hunters, an undergraduate student team from assorted departments, took third.
The main event, the 40th Anniversary barbecue at Stow House, was the icing on the anniversary cake, literally and figuratively. Many thanks to everyone in the department who made our 40th such a success, particularly staff members who put in a lot of long hours to bring it off, grad student Kevin Mwenda for being our DJ, and our webmaster, Guylene Gadal, who took most of the photos and posted a collection from Ryan Kelley, Stephen Ganter, and Patricia Halloran, as well as graduate student Jeong Hyun Kim on our Event Photo page. Pictures are worth a lot more than words, so head on over to our Event Photos web page and check out the photos taken of all the Open House and Anniversary events.