Past Projects


FOOD: There is nothing so simple nor anything so complicated. Food is the neighborhood blackberry bramble foraged in midsummer. Food is the rice grain that finds its way to the table from halfway around the world. The agricultural food base has become the first link in a chain of industries that deliver the fuel needed to energize the human body and mind. From it a vast complex of interrelated businesses—the global food industry—is focused on the production, distribution, preparation, and consumption of comestibles. There is almost no segment of the economy untouched by this network. And there is certainly no human unaffected by it. Despite the industrialization of food, it remains a personal and intimate human endeavor. We find community and identity in the food we eat. James Beard, American chef and early food writer, stated the profoundly obvious, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”An Atlas is a collection of maps with a common purpose—either to present a holistic picture of place through repeating geography that maps various phenomena of the atlas’s subject area, or to examine a theme across a broad geography, striving to edify the reader on a particular subject. Food: An Atlas is of the latter. It illuminates a theme by its examination of food phenomena over a wide range of geographical scales, locations, and research disciplines.

Free download of the atlas here…


Mission Possible: A Neighborhood Atlas is the product of a collaboration with Mission Loc@l and a project in experiential learning by students in the Cartography and GIS Education (CAGE) Lab at UC Berkeley’s Geography Department. Students examined and mapped phenomena of the Mission in an effort to look at the neighborhood from different viewpoints and to offer users useful information. The maps in this atlas are products of students’ work and imagination. Mission Possible employs a cartographic style that is a hybrid of traditional cartography, poster art, infographic, and map as narrative. The map is conceived as a narrative of place, using data visualization techniques, cartographic symbology, and graphic art and design concepts to tell different stories.


Cultivating the Commons: Assessing the Potential for Urban Agriculture on Oakland’s Public Land

Here in Alameda County, California, almost one-third of the population is food insecure. An even larger number live in areas with limited access to affordable and nutritious food. Many residents of Oakland’s flatlands neighborhoods have few healthy, culturally-appropriate, or affordable food choices. Their food choices are further constrained by other factors such as purchasing power and access to transportation.


The California Studies Center is a research and programmatic center at UC Berkeley devoted to the study of the State of California. The CSC was established by a group of eminent faculty and staff who felt that scholarship and teaching on California needed a home on campus, in order that they might be promoted with greater vigor, cooperation, and direction.