‘Not a typical research project’: How maps and an enchanted garden in Oakland are teaching UC Berkeley students about the Bay Area’s past

March 13, 2024

students presenting research in front of tables covered in maps

“For them to find their voice, to feel comfortable, to find a place, even if it’s somewhat ephemeral, to engage — for me, that’s one of the most meaningful elements.”

A new article by Tor Haugan spotlights Geography Lecturer Seth Lunine and the unique research project he leads in partnership with Canticle Farm and the Earth Sciences and Map Library. Over three semesters, dozens of first- and second-year students in Lunine's Geography 50AC class, which traces the spatial history of California, signed up for the Canticle Farm project. Students work on untangling the messy history of the site that Canticle Farm sits upon, with Geography alumnus Robert Symens-Bucher serving as a liaison between the garden and the students. The project was designed not only to deepen the collective understanding of the land, but to provide students with firsthand research experience and an up-close look, beyond the walls of a classroom, at injustice in the world — and ways to help. Learn more about the project and read the entire article here!

Photo: Geography undergraduate, Erendida Corona, foreground, shares what she learned about Canticle Farm at an event at the Earth Sciences & Map Library.