STEP 1: Geographic Framework
a county map of
California and download a copy to your computer. Locate San Joaquin
and study the counties adjacent to San Joaquin County. How many could you name before looking at the map key? Save the county map and then view a relief map of California . Describe the relief in San Joaquin County. What is the relief in the adjacent counties? Look at the map and decide in which counties agricultural production would be a major component of the economy.
STEP 2: Agricultural Production in California
Obtain the statistics on agricultural
production in California for 1996 from the California
Department of Food and Agriculture . The listing is in rank order.
What is San Joaquin County's 1996 rank? What was the dollar amount
of agricultural production in San Joaquin County in 1996? From the
statistics, is it easy to determine the level of agricultural production
in the counties surrounding San Joaquin County? Open the project
file in ArcView and activate the 1996prod view.
Notice the concentration of agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley (San
Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Tulare, Fresno, and Kern Counties.)
Notice also the agricultural production in the Salinas Valley of Monterey
County and the high productivity in San Diego and Riverside Counties in
southern California. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using
the ArcView map? What the advantages and disadvantages of using the
STEP 3: 1998 Estimated
Obtain the crop damage estimates for the 1998 calendar year from California Department of Food and Agriculture . Notice the Statistical Table includes total damage and a breakdown of damage to crops, animals and facilities. Activate the agricultural losses theme in the ArcView project. Notice the concentration of losses in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. Activate the crop damage theme in the ArcView project. Again notice the concentration of losses in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties. What counties experienced the greatest losses in livestock and bird production? What county experienced the greatest loss of facilities? What county experienced the greatest percent in of its total production?
Although there was a lot of precipitation
there was no major flooding in San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties in the
Spring of 1998. By analyzing precipitation data from selected National
Weather Service stations from the California
Data Exchange Commision . Activate the Weather
Stations theme on the ArcView Project. Click on the individual
stations to see the data recorded for each station. Activate the
ArcView Chart produced using the data from the
weather stations. Notice the pattern of precipitation as you go from Weather
Stations in the north to Weather Stations in the south. Can you reach
any tentative conclusions from analyzing this chart?
STEP 5: Explanation of 1998 losses in San Joaquin County
From the chart you viewed in Step
4 you were able to see the difference in precipitation between 1997 and
1998. But why did this increase in precipitation result in crop loss
when there was no significant flooding in San Joaquin County? One
possible explanation could be the monthly rainfall pattern. Activate
the May ArcView Chart
produced using the data from the weather stations. Notice the dramatic
increase in May rainfall during 1998. The rain and cool weather in
May of 1998 likely impacted pollination and maturation of crops.
This project was produced during
a 1998 Woodrow Wilson
TORCH Institute held at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.
It was completed thanks to the support and guidance provided by the instructors,
Institute Director Dick Filson, and my fellow participants.