Students in Professor Laura Garrett's ENGL 101 class visited the Tejon Ranch Conservancy to study first-hand land development and conservation issues common to much of Southern California. The students, all members of the Cal State LA Honors College, explored with conservancy docents the former Tejon Ranch, part of which has been set aside as a land conservancy and part of which is slated for a large land development project that has met with opposition and occasioned controversy amongst environmental and conservation advocacy groups.
Besides visiting the Tejon Ranch Conservancy and learning about its biodiversity, history, and the plans to conserve and restore part of it while developing other parts, students were later asked to write about the issues raised. Students could opt to write an argumentative essay that examined the development plans in relation to the environmental justice issues it raises. Alternatively, students could prepare a report that assesses the environmental effect of the project--as if they were writing a section of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).