Fort Point, San Francisco
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. This fort was completed just before the American Civil War by the United States Army, the fort is now protected as Fort Point National Historic Site, a United States National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service as a unit of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. In 1769 Spain occupied the San Francisco area and by 1776 had established the areas first European settlement, with a mission and a presidio. To protect against encroachment by the British and Russians, Spain fortified the high white cliff at the narrowest part of the bays entrance, the Castillo de San Joaquin, built in 1794, was an adobe structure housing nine to thirteen cannons. Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, gaining control of the region and the fort, following the United States victory in 1848, California was annexed by the U. S. and became a state in 1850. The gold rush of 1849 had caused rapid settlement of the area, military officials soon recommended a series of fortifications to secure San Francisco Bay.
Coastal defenses were built at Alcatraz Island, Fort Mason, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on Fort Point in 1853. Plans specified that the lowest tier of artillery be as close as possible to water level so cannonballs could ricochet across the surface to hit enemy ships at the water-line. Workers blasted the 90-foot cliff down to 15 feet above sea level, the structure featured seven-foot-thick walls and multi-tiered casemated construction typical of Third System forts. It was sited to defend the maximum amount of harbor area, while there were more than 30 such forts on the East Coast, Fort Point was the only one on the West Coast. In 1854 Inspector General Joseph K. Mansfield declared this point as the key to the whole Pacific Coast. a crew of 200, many unemployed miners, labored for eight years on the fort. In 1861, with war looming, the army mounted the forts first cannon, colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, commander of the Department of the Pacific, prepared Bay Area defenses and ordered in the first troops to the fort.
Kentucky-born Johnston resigned his commission to join the Confederate Army, throughout the Civil War, artillerymen at Fort Point stood guard for an enemy that never came. Troops soon moved out of Fort Point, and it was never again occupied by the army. The fort was important enough to receive protection from the elements. In 1869 a granite seawall was completed, the following year, some of the forts cannon were moved to Battery East on the bluffs nearby, where they were more protected. In 1882 Fort Point was officially named Fort Winfield Scott after the hero from the war against Mexico. The name never caught on and was applied to an artillery post at the Presidio
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a national park in the United States. Straddling the border of California and Nevada, located east of the Sierra Nevada, the park protects the northwest corner of the Mojave Desert and contains a diverse desert environment of salt-flats, sand dunes, valleys and mountains. It is the largest national park in the lower 48 states and has declared an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 91% of the park is a wilderness area. It is the hottest and lowest of the parks in the United States. The second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere is in Badwater Basin, the park is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Some examples include creosote bush, bighorn sheep and the Death Valley pupfish, several short-lived boom towns sprang up during the late 19th and early 20th centuries to mine gold and silver. The only long-term profitable ore to be mined was borax, which was transported out of the valley with twenty-mule teams, the valley became the subject of books, radio programs, television series, and movies.
Tourism blossomed in the 1920s, when resorts were built around Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley National Monument was declared in 1933 and the park was substantially expanded and became a national park in 1994. The natural environment of the area has been shaped largely by its geology, the valley itself is actually a graben. The oldest rocks are metamorphosed and at least 1.7 billion years old. Ancient, shallow seas deposited marine sediments until rifting opened the Pacific Ocean, additional sedimentation occurred until a subduction zone formed off the coast. This uplifted the region out of the sea and created a line of volcanoes, the crust started to pull apart, creating the current Basin and Range landform. Valleys filled with sediment and, during the wet times of glacial periods, with lakes, in 2013, Death Valley National Park was designated as a dark sky park by the International Dark-Sky Association. There are two valleys in the park, Death Valley and Panamint Valley. Both of these valleys were formed within the last few million years, the result of this shearing action is additional extension in the central part of Death Valley which causes a slight widening and more subsidence there.
Uplift of surrounding mountain ranges and subsidence of the floor are both occurring. The uplift on the Black Mountains is so fast that the fans there are small
Devils Postpile National Monument
Devils Postpile National Monument is located near Mammoth Mountain in eastern California. The national monument protects Devils Postpile, a rock formation of columnar basalt. In addition, the John Muir Trail and Pacific Crest Trail merge into one trail as they pass through the monument, excluding a small developed area containing the monument headquarters, visitor center and a campground, the National Monument lies within the borders of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The monument was once part of Yosemite National Park, but discovery of gold in 1905 near Mammoth Lakes prompted a change that left the Postpile on adjacent public land. Later, a proposal to build a dam called for blasting the Postpile into the river. Influential Californians, including John Muir, persuaded the government to stop the demolition and, in 1911. The flora and fauna at Devils Postpile are typical of the Sierra Nevada, dark-eyed juncos and white-crowned sparrows are common in the summer. The name Devils Postpile refers to a cliff of columnar basalt.
Radiometric dating indicates the formation was created by a flow at some time less than 100,000 years ago. Estimates of the thickness range from 400 feet to 600 feet. The lava that now makes up the Postpile was near the bottom of this mass, because of its great thickness, much of the mass of pooled lava cooled slowly and evenly, which is why the columns are so long and so symmetrical. Columnar jointing occurs when certain types of contract while cooling. A glacier removed much of this mass of rock and left a surface on top of the columns with very noticeable glacial striations. The Postpiles columns average 2 feet in diameter, the largest being 3.5 feet, together they look like tall posts stacked in a pile, hence the features name. If the lava had cooled perfectly evenly, all of the columns would be expected to be hexagonal, but some of the columns have different polygonal cross-sections due to variations in cooling. A survey of 400 of the Postpiles columns found that 44. 5% were 6-sided,37. 5% 5-sided,9. 5% 4-sided,8.
0% 7-sided, compared with other examples of columnar jointing, the Postpile has more hexagonal columns. Another feature that places the Postpile in a category is the lack of horizontal jointing. Several stones from the Devils Postpile can be seen at the entrance to the United States Geological Survey headquarters lot in Reston, although the basaltic columns are impressive, they are not unique
Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in southeastern California. Declared a U. S. National Park in 1994 when the U. S. Congress passed the California Desert Protection Act and it is named for the Joshua trees native to the park. It covers a area of 790,636 acres —an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a wilderness area. The Little San Bernardino Mountains run through the southwest edge of the park, in 1950, the size of the park was reduced by about 265,000 acres to exclude some mining property. The park was elevated to a National Park on 31 October 1994 by the Desert Protection Act, the higher and cooler Mojave Desert is the special habitat of Yucca brevifolia, the Joshua tree for which the park is named. It occurs in patterns from dense forests to distantly spaced specimens, in addition to Joshua tree forests, the western part of the park includes some of the most interesting geologic displays found in Californias deserts. The dominant geologic features of landscape are hills of bare rock.
These hills are popular amongst rock climbing and scrambling enthusiasts, the flatland between these hills is sparsely forested with Joshua trees. Together with the piles and Skull Rock, the trees make the landscape otherworldly. Temperatures are most comfortable in the spring and fall, with an average high/low of 85 and 50 °F respectively, winter brings cooler days, around 60 °F, and freezing nights. It occasionally snows at higher elevations, summers are hot, over 100 °F during the day and not cooling much below 75 °F until the early hours of the morning. Joshua trees dominate the open spaces of the park, but in among the outcroppings are piñon pine, California juniper, Quercus turbinella, Quercus john-tuckeri. These communities are under stress, however, as the climate was wetter until the 1930s, with the same hot. These cycles were nothing new, but the vegetation did not prosper when wetter cycles returned. The difference may have been human development, cattle grazing took out some of the natural cover and made it less resistant to the changes.
But the bigger problem seems to be invasive species, such as cheatgrass, in drier times, they die back, but do not quickly decompose. This makes wildfires hotter and more destructive, which some of the trees that would have otherwise survived
University of California
The University of California is a public university system in the U. S. state of California. The University of California was founded in 1868 and operated temporarily in Oakland until opening its first campus in Berkeley in 1873 and its tenth and newest campus in Merced opened in fall 2005. Nine campuses enroll both undergraduate and graduate students, one campus, UC San Francisco, enrolls only graduate and professional students in the medical and health sciences. In addition, the UC Hastings College of Law, located in San Francisco, is affiliated with UC. The University of Californias campuses have large numbers of distinguished faculty in almost every academic discipline, as of 2016, UC faculty and researchers have won 62 Nobel Prizes. UC campuses are perennially ranked highly by various publications, internationally, UC Berkeley, UCLA, and UC San Diego are respectively ranked 3rd, 12th, and 14th worldwide by Academic Ranking of World Universities. In 1849, the state of California ratified its first constitution, taking advantage of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts, the California Legislature established an Agricultural and Mechanical Arts College in 1866.
However, it existed only on paper, as a placeholder to secure federal land-grant funds, Congregational minister Henry Durant, an alumnus of Yale, had established the private Contra Costa Academy, on June 20,1853, in Oakland, California. The initial site was bounded by Twelfth and Fourteenth Streets and Harrison, the Colleges trustees and supporters believed in the importance of a liberal arts education, but ran into a lack of interest in liberal arts colleges on the American frontier. In November 1857, the Colleges trustees began to acquire parcels of land facing the Golden Gate in what is now Berkeley for a future planned campus outside of Oakland. But first, they needed to secure the Colleges water rights by buying a farm to the east. In 1864, they organized the College Homestead Association, which borrowed $35,000 to purchase the land, the Association subdivided the latter parcel and started selling lots with the hope it could raise enough money to repay its lenders and create a new college town.
But sales of new homesteads fell short, at the College of Californias 1867 commencement exercises, where Low was present, Benjamin Silliman, Jr. criticized Californians for creating a state polytechnic school instead of a real university. That same day, Low reportedly first suggested a merger of the already-functional College of California with the state college. The University of Californias second president, Daniel Coit Gilman, opened its new campus in Berkeley in September 1873, earlier that year, Toland Medical College in San Francisco had agreed to become the Universitys Medical Department, it evolved into UCSF. In 1878, the University established Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco as its first law school, the California Constitution was amended to designate Hastings as the Law Department of the University of California in consideration of a $100,000 gift from Serranus Clinton Hastings. Hastings is the only UC campus not governed by the Regents of the University of California, in August 1882, the California State Normal School opened a second school in Los Angeles to train teachers for the growing population of Southern California.
In 1927, it became the University of California at Los Angeles, during the 20th century, UC acquired additional satellite locations which, like Los Angeles, were all subordinate to administrators at the Berkeley campus
Aizoaceae or Ficoidaceae is a family of dicotyledonous flowering plants containing 135 genera and about 1900 species. They are commonly known as stone plants, carpet weeds or vygies, species that resemble stones or pebbles are sometimes called mesembs. Several species are known as ice plants because of the glistening globular bladder cells covering their stems, the family is widely recognised by taxonomists, although once it went by the botanical name Ficoideae, now disallowed. The APG II system of 2003 recognises the family, the APG II system classes the former families Mesembryanthemaceae Fenzl, Sesuviaceae Horan. and Tetragoniaceae Link under the family Aizoaceae. Most species in this family are endemic to arid or semiarid parts of southern Africa, but a few are from Australia, most of these species are succulents and belong to the subfamilies Mesembryanthemoideae and Ruschioideae and are loosely termed mesems or mesembs. Most fig-marigolds are herbaceous, rarely somewhat woody, with stems growing erect or prostrate.
Leaves are simple, opposite or alternate, and more or less succulent with entire margins, Flowers are perfect in most species and appear singularly or in few-flowered cymes developing from the leaf axils. Sepals are typically five and more or less connate below, some species have numerous linear petals derived from staminodes. The fruit is a capsule one to numerous seeds per cell. A few species have been introduced and become invasive. They are called ice plant because they have bladder-like hairs on the surface that reflect and refract light in a manner to make it appear that they sparkle like ice crystals. Several Aizoaceae are edible, Carpobrotus edulis and Mesembryanthemum crystallinum have edible leaves, a species known as New Zealand spinach is grown as a garden plant in somewhat dry climates and used as an alternative to spinach in upscale salads. Carpobrotus edulis was introduced to California to stabilize soil along railroad tracks, ice plant thrives in southern California. People surround their property with it believing it will act as a firewall to protect against wildfires, ice plant contains so much water, it does not burn if carefully maintained.
Aizoanthemum Dinter ex Friedrich Aizoon L. Galenia L. Gunniopsis Pax Plinthus Fenzl Tetragonia L. Cypselea Turpin Sesuvium L. Trianthema L. Tribulocarpus S. Moore Zaleya Burm. f, corbichonia Gisekia Herreanthus Limeum Ophthalmophyllum Saphesia Bittrich V. H. E. K. Hartmann. Cornelia Klak, Angeline Khunou, Gail Reeves, Terry Hedderson, a phylogenetic hypothesis for the Aizoaceae based on four plastid DNA regions. Aizoaceae in L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz, the families of flowering plants NCBI Taxonomy Browser P. Chesselet. Interactive Mesembs2 Plants of southern Africa, SANBI Aizoaceae of South Africa Family Aizoaceae Flowers in Israel
University of California, Santa Cruz
The University of California, Santa Cruz, is a public research university and one of 10 campuses in the University of California system. Located 75 miles south of San Francisco at the edge of the community of Santa Cruz. Founded in 1965, UC Santa Cruz began as a showcase for progressive, cross-disciplinary undergraduate education, innovative teaching methods and contemporary architecture. The residential college system, which consists of ten colleges, is intended to combine the student support of a small college with the resources of a major university. The Santa Cruz site was selected over a proposal to build the campus closer to the population center of San Jose. The formal design process of the Santa Cruz campus began in the late 1950s, construction had started by 1964, and the university was able to accommodate its first students in 1965. The campus was intended to be a showcase for contemporary architecture, progressive teaching methods, according to founding chancellor Dean McHenry, the purpose of the distributed college system was to combine the benefits of a major research university with the intimacy of a smaller college.
UC President Clark Kerr shared a passion with former Stanford roommate McHenry to build a university modeled as several Swarthmores in close proximity to each other, roads on campus were named after UC Regents who voted in favor of building the campus. Early student and faculty activism at UCSC pioneered an approach to environmentalism that greatly impacted the development of the surrounding area. The lowering of the age to 18 in 1971 led to the emergence of a powerful student-voting bloc. City voters in 2006 passed two measures calling on UCSC to pay for the impacts of campus growth, a Santa Cruz Superior Court judge invalidated the measures, ruling they were improperly put on the ballot. In 2008, the university, city and neighborhood organizations reached an agreement to set aside numerous lawsuits and allow the expansion to occur. UCSC agreed to local government scrutiny of its campus expansion plans, to provide housing for 67 percent of the additional students on campus. George Blumenthal, UCSCs 10th Chancellor, intends to mitigate growth constraints in Santa Cruz by developing off-campus sites in Silicon Valley.
The NASA Ames Research Center campus is planned to ultimately hold 2,000 UCSC students – about 10% of the universitys future student body as envisioned for 2020. In April 2010, UC Santa Cruz opened its new $35 million Digital Arts Research Center, the 2, 000-acre UCSC campus is located 75 miles south of San Francisco, in the Ben Lomond Mountain ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Elevation varies from 285 feet at the entrance to 1,195 feet at the northern boundary. The southern portion of the campus consists of a large, open meadow
California is the most populous state in the United States and the third most extensive by area. Located on the western coast of the U. S, California is bordered by the other U. S. states of Oregon and Arizona and shares an international border with the Mexican state of Baja California. Los Angeles is Californias most populous city, and the second largest after New York City. The Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nations second- and fifth-most populous urban regions, California has the nations most populous county, Los Angeles County, and its largest county by area, San Bernardino County. The Central Valley, an agricultural area, dominates the states center. What is now California was first settled by various Native American tribes before being explored by a number of European expeditions during the 16th and 17th centuries, the Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California in their New Spain colony. The area became a part of Mexico in 1821 following its war for independence.
The western portion of Alta California was organized as the State of California, the California Gold Rush starting in 1848 led to dramatic social and demographic changes, with large-scale emigration from the east and abroad with an accompanying economic boom. If it were a country, California would be the 6th largest economy in the world, fifty-eight percent of the states economy is centered on finance, real estate services and professional, scientific and technical business services. Although it accounts for only 1.5 percent of the states economy, the story of Calafia is recorded in a 1510 work The Adventures of Esplandián, written as a sequel to Amadis de Gaula by Spanish adventure writer Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo. The kingdom of Queen Calafia, according to Montalvo, was said to be a land inhabited by griffins and other strange beasts. This conventional wisdom that California was an island, with maps drawn to reflect this belief, shortened forms of the states name include CA, Cal. Calif. and US-CA.
Settled by successive waves of arrivals during the last 10,000 years, various estimates of the native population range from 100,000 to 300,000. The Indigenous peoples of California included more than 70 distinct groups of Native Americans, ranging from large, settled populations living on the coast to groups in the interior. California groups were diverse in their organization with bands, villages. Trade and military alliances fostered many social and economic relationships among the diverse groups, the first European effort to explore the coast as far north as the Russian River was a Spanish sailing expedition, led by Portuguese captain Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, in 1542. Some 37 years English explorer Francis Drake explored and claimed a portion of the California coast in 1579. Spanish traders made unintended visits with the Manila galleons on their trips from the Philippines beginning in 1565
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a United States National Park in northeastern California. The dominant feature of the park is Lassen Peak, the largest plug dome volcano in the world, Lassen Volcanic National Park started as two separate national monuments designated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907, Cinder Cone National Monument and Lassen Peak National Monument. The source of heat for volcanism in the Lassen area is subduction off the Northern California coast of the Gorda Plate diving below the North American Plate, the area surrounding Lassen Peak is still active with boiling mud pots, stinking fumaroles, and churning hot springs. Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the few areas in the world where all four types of volcano can be found, the park is accessible via State Routes SR89 and SR44. SR89 passes north-south through the park, beginning at SR36 to the south, SR89 passes immediately adjacent the base of Lassen Peak. A large lodge with concession facilities was located near the south-west entrance, a new, full-service visitor center was constructed in the same location, and opened to the public in 2008.
Near the old location was located Lassen Ski Area. Native Americans have inhabited the area long before white settlers first saw Lassen. The natives knew that the peak was full of fire and water, White immigrants in the mid-19th century used Lassen Peak as a landmark on their trek to the fertile Sacramento Valley. One of the guides to these immigrants was a Danish blacksmith named Peter Lassen, Lassen Peak was named after him. Nobles Emigrant Trail was cut through the area and passed Cinder Cone. Inconsistent newspaper accounts reported by witnesses from 1850 to 1851 described seeing fire thrown to a terrible height, as late as 1859, a witness reported seeing fire in the sky from a distance, attributing it to an eruption. Early geologists and volcanologists who studied the Cinder Cone concluded the last eruption occurred between 1675 and 1700, after the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, the United States Geological Survey began reassessing the potential risk of other active volcanic areas in the Cascade Range.
Further study of Cinder Cone estimated the last eruption occurred between 1630 and 1670, recent tree-ring analysis has placed the date at 1666. The Lassen area was first protected by being designated as the Lassen Peak Forest Preserve, Lassen Peak and Cinder Cone were declared as U. S. National Monuments in May 1907 by President Theodore Roosevelt. Starting in May 1914 and lasting until 1921, a series of minor to major eruptions occurred on Lassen and these events created a new crater, and released lava and a great deal of ash. Fortunately, because of warnings, no one was killed, because of the eruptive activity, which continued through 1917, and the areas stark volcanic beauty, Lassen Peak, Cinder Cone and the area surrounding were declared a National Park on August 9,1916. The 29-mile Main Park Road was constructed between 1925 and 1931, just 10 years after Lassen Peak erupted, near Lassen Peak the road reaches 8,512 feet, making it the highest road in the Cascade Mountains
Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 12 miles north of San Francisco and it protects 554 acres, of which 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest, due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. The fog is vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during droughty seasons, the monument is cool and moist year round with average daytime temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is heavy during the winter and summers are almost completely dry with the exception of fog drip caused by the fog passing through the trees.
Annual precipitation in the ranges from 39.4 inches in the lower valley to 47.2 inches higher up in the mountain slopes. The redwoods grow on brown humus-rich loam which may be gravelly and this soil has been assigned to the Centissima series, which is always found on sloping ground. It is well drained, moderately deep, and slightly to moderately acidic and it has developed from a mélange in the Franciscan Formation. More open areas of the park have shallow gravelly loam of the Barnabe series, one hundred and fifty million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey, California. Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres of old growth forest containing redwoods growing in a strip along the coast. By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down, just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut, mainly due to its relative inaccessibility.
He and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, purchased 611 acres of land from the Tamalpais Land and Water Company for $45,000 with the goal of protecting the redwoods and the mountain above them. In 1907, a company in nearby Sausalito planned to dam Redwood Creek. When Kent objected to the plan, the company threatened to use eminent domain. Kent sidestepped the water companys plot by donating 295 acres of the redwood forest to the federal government, on January 9,1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the land a National Monument, the first to be created from land donated by a private individual. President Roosevelt agreed, writing back, MY DEAR MR, responding to some photographs of Muir Woods that Mr. Kent had sent him, Those are awfully good photos. Kent and Muir had become friends over shared views of wilderness preservation, in December 1928, the Kent Memorial was erected at the Kent Tree in Fern Canyon