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Physical Geography Field Trip Project (Term Paper Sample)

Physical Geography Field Trip Project You must go to one of the wilderness or nature areas in Southern California. Attached is a brief list of field observations sites. You should select one of these for your study site. I will be happy to consider any other site that you might propose, but obtain my approval prior to going to that site. I encourage you to carpool with other students from class. If you go on the field trip with other students just let me know in the paper so that I won't think that you simply plagiarized each other. The specific objectives of this assignment are: 1.) to introduce you to field study and field observation techniques; 2.) to acquaint you with a natural environment of Southern California; 3) to show you firsthand how the interactions of natural processes produce different natural landscapes; and 4.) to help you appreciate how human activity has modified, endangered, and now preserves these natural environments. Carefully observe the distinct natural characteristics of the site. Note its topography and geology, its weather and its biogeography. How do these features relate to what we have discussed in class? When observing features of the local landscape, distinguish between what is artificial and what is natural, between what is exotic and what is indigenous. You may need to make more than one visit. Take note of your personal impressions of this environment. Consider the local history. There is virtually no place left in southern California that does not bear the mark of some human interaction. What did Native Americans and early pioneers see? How did they relate to this site? Legends and myths tied to a specific place can tell you much about the special qualities of a place that the earliest observers perceived. Field Trip Guidelines Your task is to prepare a geographic sketch of your study area. This report will be different from other papers you may have done. The focus of your paper is not a person, an event, or an issue. The principle character is a place. You are telling the story of a particular place emphasizing its natural features. This paper should be drawn from your personal observations and informed by appropriate references. Your field trip paper must be at least three typewritten pages (12 point font and double spaced with normal margins). This project is due on the day of the final exam. Here are some recommendations on how you might proceed. Do not simply depend on your recollections. Be sure to bring along a notebook in which to record your observations while in the field. Your field notes should include detailed observations of the site, as well as your reactions to it. These notes will help you write your paper. Taking pictures of the site is also a useful way to remember what you experienced. At each site, there will be abundant information as well as knowledgeable experts to answer your questions. These are the specific topics that you want to include in your paper: Setting: Before entering the area, take a look around. Describe the landscape in which this site is situated. Weather: Describe the weather on the day of your visit. Then consult a weather website such as to place this weather in the context of the conditions prevailing that day. How does it tie in with the general weather patterns for the region and for the season? (Chapters 4, 5, and 6) Climate: What is the climate of the region where the study site is situated? What is the microclimate of the study site? How do local conditions differ from the general characteristics for this climate type? (Chapter 8) Plant Communities: Identify the principle plant communities to be found at your site. Describe the distinguishing characteristics of each community and the dominate plant species of each. What exotic (non-native) plant species are present and what effect do these plants have on the native communities? (Chapter 10 and 11) Wildlife: What wildlife still resides in your study area? Are there any endangered species present? What has been their impact on the natural ecology of the site? How has this ecosystem changed from what it was 100 years ago? (Chapter 10 and 11 ) Terrain: Describe the specific terrain of your site. What landforms are present? What tectonic (Chapter 13 and 14) and gradational processes (Chapter 15, 16, 18, and 20) appear to be responsible for shaping the landscape? What material evidence can you find for these processes? Local History: There is really no natural environment left in southern California that has not been touched somehow by human activity. What significant cultural and/or historic artifacts are present? A brief inquiry into the history of the locality will help you understand how this site came to be as you see it today. Myths and legends attached to a particular place can also reveal what earlier visitors saw in this place and the value the attached to it. Audubon Center at Debs Park – 4700 N. Griffin Avenue, Los Angeles (323) 221-2255 Just 10 minutes north of the downtown skyscrapers lay the grassy hillsides of Ernest E. Debs Regional Park. Tucked in one corner of the park is the Audubon Center. Several natural communities are found here. The center offers guided hikes and a self-guided nature trail as well as a variety of nature education activities for all ages. From the Pasadena Freeway (I-110) north exit at Avenue 43 and turn right. Make a left onto Griffin Avenue. Bolsa Chica Wetlands – Pacific Coast Highway, Huntington Beach (714) 897-7003 The Bolsa Chica Wetlands are the largest remaining coastal marsh lands in southern California. They encompass over 1100 acres. These wetlands are inundated by both saltwater from the ocean and freshwater from rainfall and runoff. Bolsa Chica is an important stop on the Pacific Flyway and is home to four endangered species and two threatened bird species. Docent led tours are scheduled for 9am on the first Saturday of each month. A self-guided trail is available at other times, and there is an Interpretive Center at Warner Ave. and Pacific Coast Highway. From the San Diego Freeway (I-405) at the intersection with the Garden Grove Freeway (state hwy 22) exit onto Bolsa Chica Road and proceed south. Turn right on Warner Ave. and continue until you reach Pacific Coast Highway. Eaton Canyon Nature Center – 1750 N. Altadena Drive, Pasadena (818) 398-5420 A 184 acre natural park situated at the base of Mt. Wilson. Eaton Creek flows through the canyon during all but the summer months. Several natural habitat communities are represented here. The park offers a self-guided nature trail and on Saturdays at 9am a guide led nature walk. There are 5 miles of nature trails including a wheelchair accessible trail. The nature center is open daily 9am to 5pm. From the Foothill Highway (I-210) in Pasadena, exit on Altadena Drive. Turn north on Altadena and continue to the Nature Center. El Dorado Nature Center – 7550 E. Spring Street, Long Beach (562) 570-1745 Tucked between the San Gabriel River and Coyote Creek several natural communities have been reconstructed in this 85 acre wildlife area. The nature center offers a self-guided nature trail. There are 2 ¼ miles of trails including a handicapped accessible trail. There is also a small interpretive museum on site. The nature center is open until 4pm Tuesday through Sunday. From the San Diego Freeway (I-405) south take Studebaker Rd. north. Turn right on E. Spring Street. The El Dorado Nature Center will be on your right. The parking fee is $3 on weekdays and $5 on the weekends. George F. Canyon Nature Center – 27305 Palos Verdes Drive East, Rolling Hills Estates (310) 547-0862 George F. Canyon inscribes the northeast slope of the Palos Verde Peninsula opposite the reservoir. The self-guided nature trail (2 miles round trip) delivers you into one of the most pristine and beautiful of the peninsula's many canyons. There is a docent led nature walk ($2 donation) on the first Saturday of every month at 10am. There is also a small interpretive center on site. From the Harbor Freeway (I-110) south take Pacific Coast Highway west. Turn left on Narbonne Avenue which shortly becomes Palos Verdes Drive East. The Nature Center is located on the corner of Palos Verdes Drive East and Palos Verdes Drive North. Madrona Marsh Preserve – 3201 Plaza Del Amo, Torrance (310) 782-3989 or (310) 32-MARSH Madrona Marsh is one of the last remnants of the extensive fresh water marsh system that covered much of the South Bay coastal plain. Now it is in the retail heart of Torrance, next to the Del Amo Fashion Center, one of the largest shopping malls on the continent. The preserve is open daily. On the fourth weekend of every month there is a guided nature walk at 9am on Saturday and 10am on Sunday. From Hawthorne Blvd. in Torrance turn east on Sepulveda Blvd. Turn north on Maple Ave and then left on Plaza Del Amo. From Hawthorne Blvd, the marsh is two blocks east behind the Target store. Monrovia Canyon Park – 1200 N. Canyon Blvd, Monrovia (626) 256-8282 This award winning wilderness park is situated in the San Gabriel Mountains ten minutes from the 210 Freeway at an elevation of 1300 feet. Year round springs feed a 30 foot waterfall and help provide a home for deer, bear, mountain lion and a myriad of other mammals, reptiles, birds and insects. Canyon trails lead through several plant communities: coastal sage scrub, chaparral, riparian vegetation, and oak woodland. The Nature Center is open daily from 8am to 5pm except Tuesdays. Every Saturday at 1pm and on the first Sunday of each month at 1pm a guided hike is provided free of charge to the public. From the 210 freeway, exit Myrtle, drive through Old Town Monrovia to Foothill Blvd, turn right, go two lights to Canyon Blvd, turn left, drive through residential area for about 1 mile staying to the right, turn right into Canyon Park at the 3 foot high sign. There is a $5 parking fee. Placerita Canyon Nature Center – 19152 Placerita Canyon Road, Newhall (661) 259-7721 This 350 acre park is located in an east-west running canyon featuring oak groves, chaparral-covered slopes and a sycamore-lined stream. Placerita is where gold was first discovered in 1842. The park offers a self-guided nature walk and on Saturday at 11am, a guide led nature walk. There are 8 miles of hiking trails, one of which is accessible to wheelchairs. The natural history museum and live animal exhibits are open daily 9am to 5pm. Take the Golden State Freeway (I-5) north to State Highway 14 to the Placerita Canyon exit. Turn east and drive one and a half miles to the park entrance. San Dimas Canyon Nature Center – 1628 N. Sycamore Canyon Road, San Dimas (909) 599-7512 The park is located between San Dimas and Sycamore Canyons on the border of the Angeles National Forest. Nature trails meander through more than 100 acres of chaparral covered foothills, oak woodland and riparian vegetation. This park also features a wildlife sanctuary for injured or non-releasable native animals and a raptor rehabilitation flight cage. There is self-guided nature trail and a natural history museum that is open 9am to 5pm daily. Take the Foothill Freeway (I-210) east, exit on San Dimas Ave. Turn right onto Foothill Blvd. Continue on Foothill until San Dimas Canyon Road then turn left. Continue until you reach the park it will be your second left. Whittier Narrows Nature Center – 1000N. Durfee Ave. South El Monte (626) 575-5523 Bordering the San Gabriel River, this 400 acre preserve of riparian woodlands features four lakes and many plants and animals found in a wetland community. The lakes provide a winter sanctuary for migrating waterfowl. There is a self-guided nature walk available. On Saturdays there is either a guide led natural tour ($2 donation) or a birdwalk ($2 donation). There is also a wheelchair accessible trail. The Nature Center is open from 8am to 5pm Tuesday-Sunday. Take the Pomona Freeway (State Highway 60) east to the Peck Road exit. Turn right on Durfee Ave. The park entrance will be on your left. source..
Name: Tutor: Course: Date: A Field Trip to Santa Cruz Island Santa Cruz Island and its formation  HYPERLINK "" \o "Santa Cruz Island" Santa Cruz Island is one of the eight magical and remote Channel Islands in Southern California, which stretches 96 square miles across the California coast. Its port city is Puerto Ayora, along Academy Bay and a few kilometers from Baltra Airport (Galapagos). Santa Cruz Island is situated 25 miles from the Southern California coast. The notable features in the island include the Channel Island national park and the marine sanctuary, which is a home to an array of dazzling wildlife. Santa Cruz Island is a product of ecological collapse established as a result of the volcanic activity where hot lava cooled and solidified to form a water-resistant Island (Galapagos). The ecological formation is evident through the presence of lava tubes at the island’s volcanic belly around Santa Rosa where the empty caves were formed when hot lava ceased flowing. The island was restored after the volcanic eruption and has been exemplified as an innovative and restorative conservancy feature. Almost all the features have a natural background except for the lava tubes landscape that was cleaned and restored by the Nature Conservancy for easy access by tourists. Wildlife The indigenous characteristics of the island are the spectacular presence of close to 1,000 animals and plant species located in the island’s pastoral valleys, deep canyons, high peaks and coastline that stretches 77 miles. The island which was once a brink has now been one of the South California’s eerie scenery areas and the leading tourism destination in the Galapagos region. Santa Cruz is a home of wildlife array and plant communities as it is the main reason the Channel Island National park and sanctuary were established in proximity to the region. Santa Cruz Island is a humble abode for the long-threatened marine creatures, sea lions, and sea birds. The mission of the conversion of the Island as a refuge for plant and animal communities continued when the Channel Island marine sanctuary and the national park, established in 1980 as one of the products of the Charles Darwin ecological research programs in ...
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