- Report of the Seventy-Sixth Annual MeetingLake Tahoe, California September 25–28, 2013
The Association of Pacific Coast Geographers held its seventy-sixth annual meeting at the Village at Squaw Valley in Olympic Valley, Lake Tahoe, California, from September 25 to September 28, 2013. The conference drew 280 attendees from across the United States, Canada, China, and Finland. In addition to Sacramento State University, many other institutions were particularly well represented, including California State University, Stanislaus (with twenty-six students!); Arizona State University; California State University, Fullerton; California State University, Northridge; Humboldt State University; Portland State University; San Francisco State University; Sonoma State University; the University of Arizona; the University of Nevada, Reno; and the University of Oregon.
Amidst a dusting of snow, the conference opened on Wednesday evening with an Opening Night Plenary presentation by Joanne Marchetta, Executive Director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), titled “Land Use Planning at Lake Tahoe: the Intersection of Policy and Politics.” The presentation included a background of TRPA and its role in managing land use and regulating development in the Tahoe Basin. She discussed Tahoe’s land-use history, political realities, and how her agency reaches consensus. She had something for everyone; she talked about fire management, skiing, tourism, gaming, migrant workers living outside the basin, and the possibility of national park status. A reception followed the plenary session with food, drink, and the opportunity to renew acquaintances and make new friends.
On Thursday, conference attendees had the choice of seven field trips: exploring the clarity of Lake Tahoe aboard the John Le Conte, followed by a tour of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center; a bus tour around the lake, exploring the human and physical geography of the basin; an exploration of Basque arborglyphs; an Emerald Bay [End Page 141] lunch cruise aboard the Tahoe Gal; a look at fire and forest ecology; a hike on the Granite Chief trail; and a look at water issues along the Truckee River from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. About eighty attendees signed up for field trips, while others explored the lake and its watershed on their own. That evening, we had a barbecue dinner at the Squaw Valley Conference Center, which was the main dining hall used by the athletes of the 1960 Winter Olympics. Immediately after the barbecue, Michael Schmandt (Sacramento State University) delivered his Presidential Address titled “The Geographer’s Eyes and Feet,” which explored the two greatest tools geographers have.
Paper sessions began at 8 a.m. Friday and explored a wide range of session topics, including education, space, physical geography, ethnicity, historical geography, urban geography, and a panel discussion of Master’s of Science degrees in GIS. David and Janet Carle, two former California State Park rangers, were the speakers for the President’s Plenary session on Friday evening. Their presentation, “Tales and Images from Traveling the Thirty-Eighth Parallel,” followed their travels and looked at questions regarding water and development. Their presentation was followed by a reception that featured the thirteen posters submitted this year. A special Women’s Network session featured current AAG Vice President Mona Domosh. Her paper, “Singer’s Sisterhood of Sewing, and Other Episodes in the Gendered Historical Geography of American Empire,” was followed by the Women’s Network luncheon. In total, the two-day program offered twenty-two paper and panel sessions.
After the Geography Bowl and the APCG Business Meeting, attendees ascended two thousand feet from the valley floor to High Camp by private tram to attend the Annual Awards Banquet, while enjoying a 360-degree view that included Lake Tahoe, Sierra mountains and valleys, a beautiful sunset, and a surprise appearance by Mark Twain. The banquet (and the barbeque on Thursday night) were expertly emceed by APCG Vice President Sriram Khe (Western Oregon University). Thanks to a generous donation from William and Marilyn Bowen, thirty-one students who presented papers and [End Page 142] posters were able to participate. AAG President Julie Winkler addressed the room and provided an update of AAG activities. Greg Bohr (Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) presented awards for outstanding student papers and posters. Dan Arreola (Arizona...