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  • President’s Plenary Session: Major Directions in the Future Population Geography of the Pacific CoastSession held Friday, September 10, at San Luis Obispo, California
  • David A. Plane

The Presidential Plenary Session was convened at the San Luis Obispo Meeting to consider the possible future course of population trends and patterns in the Pacific Coast region, as well as to consider future directions for the subfield of population geography in studying these phenomena. The panel was composed of three distinguished, senior, western U.S. population geographers: James Allen, California State University, Northridge; Waldo Tobler, University of California, Santa Barbara; and Patricia Gober, Arizona State University. The panelists took diverse approaches in responding to the charge to discuss what they foresaw to be "Major Directions in the Future Population Geography of the Pacific Coast."

Professor Allen led off the session by presenting a detailed study of the changing patterns of ethnic population distribution in California (see the accompanying paper in this volume).

Professor Tobler then presented a number of novel images illustrating new ways of mapping and portraying spatial patterns of movement within the region. As his contribution was primarily cartographic and not amenable to a print format, he declined to contribute written remarks to this volume. He would, however, be happy to share his software and examples with interested persons.

Professor Gober rounded out the session with a short series of remarks calling for a more holistic approach to the study of population geography, arguing first and foremost for the primacy of a broad geographer's perspective. She used her current involvement in a large-scale project focusing on the concept of urban sustainability and the [End Page 95] growth dynamics of the Phoenix metropolitan area to illustrate the skills demanded by interdisciplinary team-oriented research. She noted the need for geographic training that equips our students to be able to work alongside physical scientists on population geographic studies.

The session concluded with questions and comments from the floor. Participants then adjourned to the President's Reception and Poster Session held on the lovely Entrance Terrace of Cal Poly's Education Building.

David A. Plane
University of Arizona


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