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agricultural lands
poly canyon
stenner canyon
western ranches
Swanton Land

geology & climate
soils & water
flora and fauna
natural resources topics
the arts

This Project


  • Purposes and Objectives
    • Cal Poly's land has been central to its evolving identity. Knowing, appreciating, using and taking care of this land are common concerns shared by all departments and by students, faculty, and staff. This particular ten thousand acres sustains our work and defines our institution.
    • The University Provost sponsored the creation of a Faculty Seminar for the year 2000-2001 to study, publicize and celebrate Cal Poly Land. The seminar contributed to the ongoing development of this website, produced a prize-winning book of national significance, Cal Poly Land: A Field Guide, and created an interdisciplinary General Education course, "Cal Poly Land: Nature, Technology and Society."
    • The Cal Poly Land Project parallels and supplements the Master Plan Process initiated by the University's Central Administration. Both are appropriate to a commemoration of Cal Poly's Centennial Year. [More]
    • The Cal Poly Land Project is one of many national and worldwide efforts to promote Education for Sustainability.
  • Cal Poly Land Seminar
    • The Seminar was composed of faculty members from all three colleges and 13 academic departments of the university: Business, Animal Science, Natural Resource Management, Social Science, English, Civil Engineering, Biology, Physics, Soil Science, Landscape Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, Art and Design, Graphic Communications. [Participants]
    • The Seminar met once a month from September through June 2000-2001. Meetings included presentations, discussion and guided talk-walks covering various places and topics listed here. The June meeting took place as an overnight excursion to Swanton Ranch. [Schedule]
  • The Class
  • The Book
    • Cal Poly Land: A Field Guide was published in 2003. A collaborative book with contributions from the participants in the seminar designed by Art and Design Professor Mary La Porte and her students, it has won a prestigious design prize and has been hailed as a path-breaking work by reviewers in national journals.
  • This Website
    • This website serves as a multimedia hypertext presentation about Cal Poly Land and as a repository of relevant documents and links. The website includes many sections contributed by students who have taken the Cal Poly Land Class
    • Explore Cal Poly Land by place or theme or collection using the navigation bar at the left of every page. Each of the links there leads to further subdivisions.