- Contributor Biographies
Ronald A. Davidson is an assistant professor of geography at California State University, Northridge. His office is barycentric to a triangle formed by two vending machines and a campus cafe, and is the singularity of a black hole of caffeine consumption.
Vincent Del Casino is currently professor and chair of geography at California State University, Long Beach, where he longingly opines about the days when budget cuts were in the single digits and course offerings were based on intellectual choices and not fiscal ones. When he isn't writing spoken-word "poetry," you might find him wishing he wasn't at a meeting about the budget. His work has varied over the years but he is currently interested in interrogating the complex relationships between sex practices and drug use. He is also writing a lower-division textbook on human geography, which he hopes will be completed before he retires in twenty to forty years, barring that retirement ages are not raised past eighty by the current or future California governor.
Crystal English was born and raised in southern California. She is a CADoJ Certified Crime and Intelligence Analyst, and has worked as a journalist covering stories for Annenberg News Service, Digital City Los Angeles, Sacramento Bee, and the Los Angeles Times. Having written and produced documentaries and commercials, she has acquired a diverse background in the film and television industry. Crystal holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California, an Associate of Arts degree in Television-Radio Production, and an Associate of Science degree in Administration of Justice. She is currently pursuing her graduate degree in Geography-GIS, focusing on the geospatial analysis of crime, and is a Scholar at the CSU Intelligence Community Center for Academic Excellence.
Dolly Freidel, Sonoma State University, president of the APCG: Geographers always ask each other, "How did you get into geography?" Mine was a tortuous path. I grew up with an academic father who moved, on average, every couple of years, always seeking the better job, always teaching summer school somewhere far away. I went to school in twelve different places before [End Page 12] high school. Summers were trips in the back seat of our '48 gray Plymouth, along two-lane blacktop, through the rolling grasslands of the Great Plains (counting trains, telephone poles), bears and deer with great racks in Yellowstone (hopping past steaming, bubbling mud pots and geysers), the Wild Bill Hickok museum in Cody, volcanoes in Death Valley, cruising down the west side of the Sierra with the Great Valley spread out before us, Yosemite forests fragrant in summer (no crowds then). In '55 we moved to England for three years, where I tried my hand at art, drama, history, French, music, sewing, tree climbing, and geomorphology at a small and irreverent school called Summerhill ("the school where students learn to smoke and swear"). No one was required to attend classes. The self-government system was a tremendous education for me in terms of human nature, self-determination, and the difference between freedom and license (an essential question of ethics). Ultimately, my parents' love of the natural environment and human history blended for me with my strong disaffection with public schooling: I always loved learning but didn't discover until my forties that I could actually be successful at it without rebelling, when I tried going for a B.A. at Sonoma State. On a field trip to the San Andreas fault with Professor Claude Minard, I learned that there was such a thing as geography that one could study, an integration of all the topics I adored, from the internal workings of nature to the way humans interacted with their natural landscapes. Nine years later I was a Ph.D., attempting to learn how to share my passion for these topics with students, many of whom were as bored and disinterested in schooling as I had been. Since learning about "geography" in 1984, it has colored in some way all of my waking and dreaming thoughts, perspectives on the world as well as my own personal life. Just ask my kids—"Oops, there goes Mom lecturing again…she can't...