Professor of Geography
Gail Hobbs 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 the college by developing a GIS laboratory, classrooms and related coursework, and by forming strong bonds with students.
Hobbs was born in Chicago but grew up in North Hollywood and both areas played significant roles in her professional life. She earned a bachelor's degree 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.
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. She was a longtime member of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the California Geographical Society (CGS), 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.
Hobbs was solely responsible for developing the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) program at Pierce in fall 1997, the first of its kind, and still the only complete GIS Certificate program in the Los Angeles Community College District.
She was recognized by her peers as the 2009 Professor of the Year (Pierce College), Friend of Geography (CGS), Teacher of the Year (NCGE), and 2003's Outstanding Educator Award (CGS).
She was passionate about her teaching, influencing hundreds of geography/GIS students during her tenure; devoted to her family, and had a positive outlook on life.
Gail Hobbs passed away on February 8, 2009, after a brief battle with cancer. Through the Foundation for Pierce College, the Gail Hobbs Memorial Scholarship was created.
A dedication plaque in honor of Gail Hobbs to be placed at the entrance of Ginger building, Room 1613, the GIS lab at Pierce College, awaits approval by the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees (2016).
The plaque reads: The GIS Lab is dedicated to the memory of Gail Hobbs (1946-2009), Professor of Geography and GIS. The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes - Marcel Proust