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Courses : Syllabi : 575

Geography 575 Geography of Recreational Land Use


Diana Gauss Richardson

Course Description

Geography of Recreational Land Use examines the importance of location and environment in the use, management and quality and of recreation areas. The significance of recreation in our lives is reviewed through a historical context and carried through to current trends, including land use changes over time. Land use policies at the local, state and federal levels are included in the examination of the establishment of areas set aside for recreation. Direct observation of practices and policies will occur with required field trips to local (San Diego) city/county/regional, state and federal recreational areas, as well as a 4-day trip to Yosemite National Park! (extra cost for this; approximately $150.00 total for camping and bus charges).

This course is a lecture-based course; you are expected to attend class, take lecture notes and participate in order to derive the greatest benefit from the course.


Geography 101 or 102 recommended


Your grade in this course will be based on the following elements:

Grade Breakdown:

Case Studies: You will work with a small group (3) on researching and reporting on land use decisions that affect recreation areas. Include relevant policies at all levels of government. Your paper (approximately 2-3 pages) will summarize your portion of the research, and the class presentation (approximately 20 minutes) will coordinate each individual’s research into one power point presentation. Suggested topics will be presented in class, and will highlight the movement toward recreational land uses from previous uses of resource extraction, industrialization, and unsustainable uses.

Yosemite National Park Summary Paper: Respond in essay format to specific questions given before and during Yosemite field trip. Total length of paper will be 6-8 pages, with additional map, tables.

Response to Questions from local field trips: 4-5 questions will be distributed before each local field trip. Each set of responses should be approximately 2 pages.

Exams: Three exams, each worth approximately 60-80 points. Exams will include information from lectures (approximately 60%), and articles/other readings (approximately 40%). Each exam covers the material prior to the exam, and subsequent exams are not comprehensive. Exams include multiple choice/true-false/matching and short answer/short essay. See Course Schedule for dates of exams. No make-up exams are scheduled (exception-individual make up is allowed under extreme emergencies). Scantron 882 (green) required. Once exam begins, students required to stay in classroom until finished. (Accommodations made for DSS exams see me).

Attendance will be taken throughout the semester. Arriving late or leaving early will be counted as an absence. First unexcused absence minus 3 pts., second unexcused absence minus additional 6 pts., third unexcused absence minus additional 9 pts. Example: 2 unexcused absences would result in the deduction of 9 points from the total of 20 points available for attendance points. (Student may be excused from class without point penalty, or leave early or arrive late, if you let me know ahead of time, or under emergencies).

Books and Materials

Louv, Last Child in the Woods
Articles: on Blackboard or distributed in class.

Weekly Topics

Week Topic
Week One Introduction
Background of Recreation in human activities
Socioeconomic influences
Week Two TBA
Week Three Field trip 1 – Balboa Park
Week Four Cultural variations of Recreation – landscape differences
Political Structures
Begin History
Week Five International Recreation Landscape/Ecotourism
Exam 1
Week Six Urban and Regional Recreation
Week Seven Field trip 2 – Downtown San Diego
Week Eight State Parks and Recreation
Week Nine Field Trip 3 – Mission Trails Regional Park
Week Ten Begin Federal Lands
Exam 2
Week Eleven National Parks
National Forests
Week Twelve National Wildlife Refuges
Week Thirteen Presentation of Case Studies
Final organization for Yosemite National Park Field Trip
Week Fourteen TBA
Week Fifteen Case Study Presentations
Finals Week Exam 3

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