CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19 CONCERNS (see explanation below)


The initial constitution of 1946 established annual meetings of CGS, which was known at that time as the California Council of Geography Teachers. The first meeting was held on Saturday, June 21, 1947, in the San Diego Hotel in conjunction with the APCG meeting. Since the inaugural conference, meetings have been held in almost every corner of the state, in urban settings and in rural settings.

The annual spring conference is generally held the last weekend in April or the first weekend in May, and average attendance hovers around 350 geographers and friends.

The conferences feature high quality scholarship from student geographers, professors and professional geographers from the public and private sectors in a supportive environment. 

Fabulous field trips, lead by local geographers and historians are always a highlight, but many conference attendees claim the camaraderie and fellowship makes each year's conference memorable.

2019 - Big Bear Lake
2018 - Cosumnes River College
2017 - Grossmont College
2016 - San Jose State University
2015 - Humboldt State University
2014 - Los Angeles City College
2013 - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
2012 - University of California, Davis
2011 - Tri County Fairgrounds, Bishop
2010 - California State University, Fullerton
2009 - Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang
2008 - California State University, Chico
2007 - Anza-Borrego State Park
2006 - Shasta College, Redding
2005 - Yosemite National Park
2004 - Long Beach City College
2003 - American River College
2002 - Lone Pine High School
2001 - Delta College, Stockton
2000 - San Diego State University
1999 - CSU Channel Islands
1998 - CSU San Bernardino
1997 - Mendocino College
1996 - Columbia College
1995 - CSU Fresno
1994 - Cal Poly Pomona
1993 - Shasta College
1992 - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
1991 - Porterville College
1990 - USC
1989 - Cosumnes River College
1988 - Pierce College
1987 - Clarion Hotel, Ontario
1986 - West Hills College, Coalinga
1985 - CSU Chico
1984 - Conestega Hotel, Anaheim
1983 - Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
1982 - Bahia Hotel, San Diego
1981 - Harrah’s, Lake Tahoe
1980 - Shasta College
1979 - CSU Fresno
1978 - Pierce College
1977 - Independence High School, San Jose
1976 - CSU Long Beach
1975 - CSU Chico
1974 - CSU Bakersfield
1973 - Hyatt House, San Jose
1972 - Pasadena Hilton
1971 - Sonoma State College
1970 - Del Webb’s Townhouse, Fresno
1969 - San Diego State
1968 - CSU Hayward
1967 - Los Angeles Community College
1966 - Watsonville High School
1965 - Long Beach State
1964 - University of the Pacific
1963 - San Diego State
1962 - Fresno State College
1961 - San Fernando State College
1960 - San Jose State
1959 - Long Beach Community College
1958 - Santa Rosa Junior College
1957 - Compton College
1956 - Sacramento Junior College
1955 - Santa Monica High School
1954 - Chico State College
1953 - San Diego State
1952 - Fresno State College
1951 - UCLA
1950 - Stanford University
1949 - Ventura Jr. College
1948 - UC Berkeley
1947 - San Diego Hotel


Dear California geographers and friends,

Guided by an abundance of caution about the current outbreak of COVID-19 in the Bay Area, the California Geographical Society board has made the decision to cancel this year’s conference, scheduled April 17-19 in Oakland. This decision was made both for the health and safety of attendees and the financial health of the CGS as an organization.
We are sorry to report this decision, as the annual conference is a highlight of our year, and an event we and so many other California geographers eagerly look forward to each spring. We hope you will understand and support our decision.
Our intention is to hold the 2021 conference in Oakland, and we are working with the venue to maintain current arrangements for next year.

For those who have already registered, we will refund your registration fees. Please contact Tiffany Seeley at cgsconferencereg@gmail.com to process your refund. Alternatively, you may donate your registration fees to the CGS to help us absorb some of the costs incurred by cancelling this event.
We are tentatively looking into hosting 2-3 informal regional mixers across the state to provide an opportunity for our members to meet together this year despite the cancellation of the conference. If you have any suggestions on where or when we could host these events, please don’t hesitate to contact us
Kind regards,

Matthew Derrick (President)
Jenn Kusler (Vice President)
Zia Salim (Co-treasurer)
Jodi Titus (Co-treasurer, Past President)
Scott Crosier (Past-President)
Stephen Koletty (Board Member)
Alison McNally (Board Member)
Tiffany Seeley (Board Member)
Ryan Koyanagi (SoCal Student Rep)
Ryan Miller (NorCal Student Rep)

Download the 2020 Conference Flyer (PDF)


Registration includes membership, access to the conference, the Friday night buffet, and the Awards Banquet on Saturday.



Included in registration fee


Included in registration fee


Student Presenter


Non-Presenting Student



Current Lifetime Member




Friday Night Buffet

Free with registration

Saturday Lunch

Eat in town or bring a sack lunch


All Attendees

Free with registration




The Waterfront Hotel

Field Trips

Hike at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Teresa Williams, Merrit College

Alameda Point—from wetlands, to Naval Air Station, to mixed use development, Steve Slakey, University of La Verne, Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos, Co-owners/Publishers of Alameda Sun newspaper

UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Elena Givental, Berkeley City College & CSU East Bay

Oakland Museum of California, Private docent

Friday Night Buffet

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
The Waterfront Hotel


Professional Presentations

8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Please see  the Meeting Program

Awards Banquet

6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Scott's Seafood at Jack London Square


Field Trips

Hike at Mt. Diablo, Jim Wanket (CSUS)

Mural tour, Community Rejuvenation Project 

Display a map


If you’re interested in presenting a paper, poster, or map at the conference, you must register by March 23rd, 2020. This is also the deadline to submit an application for Student Travel Awards and the student paper, poster, and cartography competitions.

When you register, you should already have a title and completed abstract for your paper, poster, or map. During the online registration process, you will be asked to copy and paste your title and abstract into a web-form. That title and abstract will appear in the conference program, which will be published a week or two before the conference.

If you plan to enter a student competition, please follow closely the guidelines established by the various calls for papers. You may compete for prize money and recognition for papers (oral presentations of research) posters, and cartography.


Registration available now!
(Participants must register by March 23rd, 2020)

If you are a student who would like to apply for a scholarship
or participate in the student competition,
please review the call for papers.



LOCATION: Hike at Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve

LED BY: Teresa Williams (Merritt College)

“We will be visiting Round Top Volcano, a ten million-year-old shield volcano complex that erupted south of Hollister, California.  This volcano had been displaced fifty miles north-west of its original location by faults.  We will see massive and vesicular basalts, pyroclastic rocks, columnar joints,  and landslides.  This is an easy hike along a looping 3.5-mile dirt trail with an elevation gain of 554 ft.”

  • Friday the 17th, Meet at 10:00 at the Main Staging Area off Skyline Blvd. (Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve), ending around 2:30
  • Participants should bring water, sunscreen, lunch, hiking shoes, and a camera
  • 15 participants maximum
  • $15 per person


LOCATION: UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens

LED BY: Elena Givental (Berkeley City College & CSU East Bay)

Located in the picturesque Berkeley Hills, the UC Botanical Garden is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world, covering over 34 acres with over 10,000 types of plants, including many rare and endangered species. The Garden is organized geographically, and features 9 regions of naturalistic plantings from Italy to South Africa, along with a major collection of California native plants. The Garden was established in 1890 and today its living collections serve as invaluable resources for plant research and conservation. For more information go to https://botanicalgardens.berkeley.edu/

  • Friday the 17th, 1:00-3:00
  • Attendees will meet at the Waterfront Hotel and take a bus to the site
  •  35 participants maximum
  • $25 per person


LOCATION: Alameda Point—from wetlands, to Naval Air Station, to mixed use development

LED BY: Steve Slakey, University of La Verne, Dennis Evanosky and Eric Kos, Co-owners/Publishers of Alameda Sun newspaper

Alameda Point, occupying over 2,000 acres at the west end of Alameda Island, is considered one of the best remaining opportunities for large-scale development in the East Bay, with an inspirational setting overlooking the Bay Bridge and the San Francisco skyline. The City of Alameda is in the process of converting the former and historic Alameda Naval Air Station, which operated here from 1940 to 1997, into residential, light industrial, retail, and open space. 

Most of the project is on land created by filled wetlands, a process dating back to the latter 19th century when a “mole” (filled finger of land) was extended into San Francisco Bay for the terminus and ferry pier for the Transcontinental Railroad.

This tour will feature the history, economic, and environmental aspects of the site and the Base Reuse project.  Information packets will be provided and the tour will conclude with a visit to the USS Hornet  aircraft carrier museum.

  • Friday the 17th, Meet at 1:00 at Jack London Square, return between 4:00-4:30
  • Attendees will meet at Jack London Square and travel together in a bus that has a P.A. system to facilitate the guided tour
  • 40 participants maximum
  • $25 per person


LOCATION: Oakland Museum of California

LED BY: Private docent

This docent-guided tour of one of the region’s most renowned art, history, and science museums will last approximately 45 minutes. Come explore the “OMCA Highlights” with geography friends!

  • Friday the 17th, 11:00-12:00
  • Attendees will meet onsite, at the museum lobby
  • 20 participants maximum
  • $20 per person


LOCATION: Hike at Mt. Diablo

LED BY: Jim Wanket (CSUS)

  • Sunday the 19th, 9:00-1:00
  • Meet at 9:00 at Mt. Diablo State Park (~35 miles from the conference site). Field trip should take ~4 hours
  • It should be noted that this is a strenuous 6 mile hike with steep elevation and exposed slopes
  • Participants should bring drinks and a sack lunch.
  • 20 participants maximum
  • $10 per person


LOCATION: Art on the streets: Murals by the Community Rejuvenation Project

LED BY: CPR Representative

Get up close and personal with some of Oakland’s finest murals! We will view & learn about community development through art and “pavement to policy” efforts by the Community Rejuvenation Project. Come participate in the discussion! For more information about this organization, go to http://crpbayarea.org/about/. 

  • Sunday 19th, 10:00-12:00
  • Folks will meet downtown at a location TBD
  • 25 participants maximum
  • $20 per person






  • The Waterfront Hotel at Jack London Square, 10 Washington Street, Oakland, CA 94607.
  • Visit https://www.jdvhotels.com/hotels/california/oakland/waterfront-hotel for more information.
  • CGS room rate is $199. *rate does not include taxes and a $1.50 per room per night Oakland Tourism Assessment fee. $15 Amenity Fee will be waived. Premium wi-fi, 24-hour fitness center, outdoor pool, 5 pm wine and cheese reception, & coffee / bottled water is all included.
  • Parking onsite is valet, $32 per day.


  • Hostels: There are several hostels within commuting distance. https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=hostels&find_loc=Oakland%2C%20CA
  • Home stays: Rent a room, apartment, or house in the East Bay. https://www.airbnb.com/, https://www.vrbo.com/, https://www.homestay.com/.
  • Hotels: There are several other hotels nearby, if you prefer not to stay at the conference hotel. https://www.yelp.com/search?find_desc=hotels&find_loc=Oakland%2C+CA&ns=1


  • Regional airport:  Oakland International Airport (OAK) is 9 miles from the conference center, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is 22 miles away, and Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is 41 miles from our conference site.
  • Public Transportation: The site is easily accessible by Amtrak, BART, the San Francisco Bay Ferry, the Free Broadway Shuttle, and the San Francisco Bay Trail. For more information, see: https://jacklondonsquare.com/transportation/
  • Driving: If you are driving, there are a few local parking centers that you can utilize, including the valet services at the Waterfront Hotel ($32 per day) or one of a few nearby parking garages. See https://jacklondonsquare.com/parking-valet/ for more details.


  • Oakland (37°48’15” N, 122°16’15” W) is located on the San Francisco Bay, just east of San Francisco.
  • It’s topography ranges from sea level to 1,760’ at Grizzly Peak (a great place to catch the sunset!).
  • Temperatures in mid-April are typically between 50 - 60°F.
  • Clouds can be expected. Check the forecast for rain before you pack.
  • Please note that some events will be held in partially outdoors environments.

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The California Geographical Society.
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