2017 Triennial

Registration has now closed

May 26-May 29, 2017

Monterey Peninsula, California

Women Making a Difference in the World

We would like to welcome you to Asilomar Conference Grounds for three memorable days of camaraderie, inspiration, and extraordinary experiences. The 107-acre Asilomar grounds filled with dunes, wildlife and overlooking sandy beaches and sea make the perfect setting for our theme of “Women Making a Difference in the World.” Commissioned by the formidable Phoebe Hearst as a camp for girls, it was designed by famed architect Julia Morgan whose Arts and Crafts style so perfectly reflects the place. With its fireplaces, rooms with views, its pathways and boardwalks, it invites walks, reflection, sharing, and socializing. 

Field trips to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pt Lobos, and the Ansel Adams home in Carmel will amplify your appreciation of the area’s rugged beauty, while talks on everything from geography, innovation, discovery and preservation, to the ocean floor, tectonic California, and World Heritage sites will excite your imagination about your fellow members and their work—especially in exploring the unfolding revelations of the Anthropocene.  Come early and enjoy a pre-Triennial trip to the Sonoma Valley, San Francisco, or Berkeley; stay on afterward for a scenic drive along the Big Sur coast, and enjoy the company of other Women Making a Difference.

We look forward to seeing you in May.

*Please note that the Sonoma Valley is now full, and the Big Sur Coast is cancelled due to recent rain storms.*

Preliminary SWG Triennial Schedule 
May 26-May 29, 2017

Friday, May 26
3:00-5:00 pm  Registration

Hub open with SWG information, and authors’ tables and books
5:00 pm  Welcome Reception
6:30 pm  Welcome Dinner
7:45 pm  Tanya Atwater, “The California Coast,” SWG Gold Medal Recipient 2005, retired geophysicist and marine geologist, specializing in plate tectonics, UC Santa Barbara

Saturday, May 27
7:30 am  Breakfast
9:00 am  Welcome by President, Director, Triennial Committee Chair
9:15 am   Keynote: Mechtild Rössler, “World Heritage under threat: from Bamiyan to Palmyra,” UNESCO, Director of the Division for Heritage and the World Heritage Centre
10:00 am  Keynote: Kathryn Sullivan, “Looking at Earth,” Lindbergh Fellow in Aerospace History, National Air & Space Museum; former NASA Astronaut and NOAA scientist and administrator (McLean, VA) 
10:45 am  Coffee break
11:00 am  Art Interlude: Susan Leonard, "The Beauties of the Reef: What We May Lose," SWG NY Chair
11:15 am  Panel: "Living and working in the 'Anthropocene,'" Tanya Atwater, Mechtild Rössler, and Kathryn Sullivan; Sandy Nichols, Moderator; in dialogue with each other and the audience
12 pm  Lunch; In Memoriam; Annual Meeting of Members
1:30 pm  Beach, dune, and pine forest walk with ranger
3:00–4:10 pm   Emerging Research in Geography
UCLA Graduate Student Panel on Emerging Research in Geography: why research matters, to the individuals and to the world, women making a difference
1. Ashley Fent, “Regionalizing Resistance: Zircon Mining in the Context of the Casamance Conflict (Senegal)”
2. Sara Hughes, “Domesticity & Diasporic Homeland: Constructing 'home' in West Bank Settlements”
3. Chelsea Robinson, "Landscape and forest structural controls on wood density and aboveground biomass along a tropical elevation gradient in Costa Rica“
4. Diane Ward, "The Los Angeles River and changing conceptions of urban nature"
4:10 pm  Short Break
4:30 pm  Kristin Kelly, Sacred Caves of Tam Ting (Pak Ou), Luang Prabang, Laos: Mystery, Splendor, and Desecration,” Museum Professional (San Diego)
4:50 pm  Carol Horvitz, Outstanding Achievement Award Recipient, Searching for eigenvalues in tropical forests,” Professor of Biology, University of Miami 
5:30 pm  Reception 
6:15 pm  Honors Dinner  
7:45 pm  Gold Medalist Recipient Constanza Ceruti, Making a difference in the world of mountains, mountaineering and mountain studies: my research on sacred peaks in the Americas, Europe, Australia and Polynesia, and the challenges faced as the only female Andean high altitude archaeologist in the world” (Argentina)

Sunday, May 28
7:30 am  Breakfast
8:15 am  Board buses for Monterey Bay Aquarium (2.2 miles)
8:30-10 am  Private viewing of Monterey Bay Aquarium
10:30 am  Dr. Steve Webster, Aquarium co-founder, “Climate Change and the Geography of the Deep,” in the auditorium
11:30 am  Buses return to Asilomar
12 pm  Lunch
1:30-2:45 pm  Women Making a Difference in the Anthropocene, Sandy Nichols, Moderator
1. Arlene Blum, "Tackling Toxics: For Healthier Products, People and Planet," Executive Director, Green Science Policy Institute
2. Linda Gass, "Art + Environment Activism," artist
3. Jennifer Grathwol Thomas, MES, “The Puget Sound Watershed Characterization - Land Use Based on Ecological Process Consideration.” Principal Ecologist, Water & Land Natural Resource Consulting
2:45-3:00 pm  Break 
3:00-3:15 pm  Art Interlude: Slide show of paintings by Ben Booz
3:20-4:20 pm  Women Making a Difference in Cartography and Exploration
1. Judith Tyner, "Invisible Ink: American Women Mapping the World," Professor emerita from California State University Long Beach
2. Nicole Trenholm,  Supporting NASA's Ocean-Ice Mission in NW Greenland Fjords Undersail with Ocean Research Project,” Marine Technician (Annapolis, MD)  

5:30 pm  Reception
6:30 pm  Dinner 
7:45 pm  After dinner short talks: Doing Geography
1. Trudy Suchan, “Without Geography It's Just Numbers: Geographic Innovation for the U.S. 2020 Census,” Geographer (Washington, DC)
2. Marcella Adamski, Ph.D., “Tibet Oral History Project: Interviews with Exiled Tibetan Elders,” Founder and Director of the Tibet Oral History Project (SF Bay Area)
3. Barbara Ganson, “America's first licensed woman pilot, Harriet Quimby” (Florida)
4. Debbie Fugate, “From Global to Local: Doing Geography at the U.S. Department of State,” Deputy Director, Office of the Geographer and Global Issues, U.S. State Department
5. Whitney Grespin, “The Human Geography of Using Civilian Contractors to Deliver Foreign Military Training: Afghan Case Studies,” Senior Peace Operations Analyst, Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) at U.S. Army War College (Carlisle, PA)
6. Barbara Rose Johnston, “Environmental Disaster and Resilience: the Marshall Islands story continues to unfold.” Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Political Ecology (Santa Cruz, CA)

Monday, May 29
7:30 am  Breakfast
9:00 am  Departure for field trips: All go to Pt. Lobos with Tanya Atwater, for a walking tour of this stunningly beautiful landscape, learning about the exceptional flora, fauna, and geology. After 1 ½ hours, the group divides; 25 people stay for an extended tour with Tanya.
10:45 am  The second group departs for the home of Jeanne Adams in Carmel Highlands, to view the Ansel Adams home and photography collection
12:15 pm  Buses at Jeanne’s home depart for lunch at Asilomar
12:30 pm  Box Lunch at Pt. Lobos for the group staying with Tanya

Pre- and Post-Triennial Tours and Dinner
1. Sonoma Valley, Wednesday-Thursday, May 24-25 (Full)
2. San Francisco, Thursday May 25, 10 am-4 pm

3. Berkeley, Thursday, May 25, 10 am-4 pm
4. Potluck dinner for all early arrivals, Berkeley, Thursday, May 25, 6 pm
5. The Big Sur Coast, Monday, May 29 (Cancelled due to recent rain storms)

Travel Information

Asilomar Conference Grounds is located in Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula, 125 miles south of San Francisco.  It is accessible by automobile, airplane, and bus.  Please have a look at their website:

Getting There and Returning to Airports and the Bay Area  --  Airport and Shuttles

A private bus has been arranged to take members from Oakland/Coliseum BART station to Asilomar on Friday, May 26, departing at noon.  There is no bus for the return to the Bay Area, as everyone will be going in different directions at different times. 

For independent travelers, airport shuttle services are available to and from three airports to Asilomar:

The Monterey Regional Airport (MRY) is just 8 miles from Asilomar.  Local taxi companies as well as the Monterey-Salinas Transit bus system. (831.373.7777) serve this airport.

Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC), 80 miles to the north, and San Francisco International Airport (SFO), 110 miles to the north, are both served by Monterey Airbus. This regularly scheduled shuttle departs approximately every hour and a quarter, bringing travelers to Asilomar.  The trip takes approximately 2.5 hours from SFO and costs $45; 1.5 hours from SJC and costs $35.

BART trains run directly from SFO to the Oakland Airport every 20 minutes and take about an hour.

About the Triennial

The Society’s three-day international conferences are held every three years in different locations. These intellectually stimulating events offer diverse experiences that give members an opportunity to explore a region, network, and conduct Society business. Presentations by Members reflect each Triennial’s particular theme. The Triennials are an opportunity for Members who live far apart to get to know each other. It is also at this occasion that the Society bestows Awards upon its distinguished members.The most recent triennial was held May 23-25, 2014, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on the theme "Transformations."Student members, new members, and long-time members presented sessions featuring transformations in agriculture, communications and education in the information age, and cultural transformations over time. SWGers traveled to Pittsburgh from the Arctic and the Antarctic, from the islands of Malaysia and from Trinidad, and from both the desert of the Southwest U.S. and the American Heartland.Previous Triennials included:

  • 2014 — Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2011 — Boulder, Colorado
  • 2008 — Chicago, Illinois
  • 2005 — Savannah, Georgia
  • 2002 — Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, Arizona
  • 1999 — Sanibel Island, Florida
  • 1996 — Coolfont Resort, Berkley Springs, West Virginia
  • 1993 — Asilomar Conference Center, Monterey, California
  • 1990 — Washington, DC
  • 1987 — New York
  • 1984 — Washington, DC
  • 1981 — New York
© 2017 Society of Woman Geographers
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© 2017 Society of Woman Geographers