Department Chair and Faculty Advisor for
Dr. Erin Hayes
Faculty Advisor for
Dr. Brian Pierson
Faculty Advisor for
Adrian Youhanna, GISP
Jason Finley, Ph.D., CCM, GISP
Gail Hobbs passed away on February 8th, 2009 after a brief battle with cancer. Gail served as Professor of Geography in the Department of Anthropological and Geographical Sciences at Pierce College, where she taught a wide range of courses. Over her 22-year career she played an instrumental role in strengthening geography at Pierce College by developing a GIS laboratory, classrooms and related coursework, and by forming strong bonds with students.
A well-known advocate of geography education, she was a member of the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) for over 20 years and served as its President in 1999. Gail was born in Chicago but grew up in North Hollywood and both areas played significant roles in her professional life. She earned a B.A. in education from Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois and a master’s degree in geography from UCLA. Concordia later presented Hobbs with an honorary doctorate.
In addition to her association with NCGE, Gail was a longtime member of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the California Geographical Society, the Los Angeles Geographical Society, and the Society of Women Geographers. A skilled organizer, she served as co-coordinator of the Southern California Geographic Alliance from 1987 to 1997.
She was passionate about her teaching, devoted to her family, and had a positive outlook on her life, which ended much too soon. We were very fortunate to have had her as a professor, a colleague and a friend.
Through the Pierce College Foundation, a scholarship has been created in Gail’s honor.
To contribute send a check to:
The Foundation for Pierce College
Gail Hobbs Scholarship Memorial Fund
6201 Winnetka Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA 91371
William “Bill” Russell, Professor of Geography and a LACCD family member since 1970, passed away on Monday, May 13, 2014 from a heart attack. His friends, colleagues, and students were shocked and saddened by his sudden passing.
Bill attributed his interest in the field of geography to reading early issues of National Geographic, which captured his imagination with the different landscapes and cultures represented in the magazine. These interests, together with his B.A. in history, encouraged Bill to obtain a Master’s Degree in Geography at Cal State Northridge.
In 1984, Bill joined Pierce College and in 1985 he became the Director of the Pierce College Weather Station, which began operation in 1949 as a cooperative weather station for the National Weather Service. Bill was a motivated teacher and loved working with students. He said, “I like the idea of being able to help people understand the world better and learn about what the world is like. I wanted to convey my interests to students as well.” Bill received the National Weather Service’s distinguished Special Service Award in 2004, and received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition by Congressman Brad Sherman in 2012. He was a member of the California Geographical Society and the Los Angeles Geographical Society.
Bill had a variety of interests, including landscape photography, bicycle riding, and art. In his bio, written by him, he states “Over the past forty years I have traveled to Europe, Australia, Africa, Middle America and South America. I enjoy sharing my experiences and images with students in my courses. I constantly urge students to travel so that they gain a better understanding of the world’s physical, biological and human diversity.” He taught courses in geography, meteorology, and environmental studies.
A generous gift in the amount of $50,000 was left by Bill to the Pierce College Geography Department. This a true testament of Bill's passion for geography and his dedication to the Pierce Weather Station. A portion of this gift will be placed in an endowment, as well as establishing a scholarship in Bill's memory.