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Introduction to this year's Camp Internet



Off the coast of southern California lay eight mysterious islands - many with-in view of the shoreline, yet most shrouded in a mist of relatively unknown history, remote wildlife, and sparse human habitation. The Pacific Ocean that lies between this
archipelago and the mainland is a channel of sea that has witnessed the entire history of North America. From prehistoric mammoths
to the first human migrations across the Bering Straits, from early California ranchos to innovative high tech industry, the Channel offers us an intriguing glimpse across thousands of years of time. In fact one of the birth places of Internet technology was beside a lagoon overlooking the Channel.

To understand the Channel Islands, it is important to grasp the history of their region, including activities on the mainland that directly influenced life on the islands. Even before the Europeans arrived, trade routes were well established between the islands, linking them to the mainland. The Channel itself provided the thorough fare linking the original different tribal groups scattered across the islands and the mainland. Several of the Channel Islands were once home to thousands of Native Americans who developed unique material cultures, spiritual practices, and organized government over thousands of year of habitation. The comparatively short length of historical European occupation of the islands and mainland is a brief 200 year span of history in comparison to the thousands of years native peoples have lived along the Channel. How these different cultures have lived along the Channel, the foods they have eaten, the homes they have built, is a part of the puzzle in putting together a clear picture of the Channel Islandís history.

The Channel is a rich natural resource of marine life, island flora and fauna, with the remembrance of historic cattle ranches on the islands, native American villages along the shorelines, and the inevitable conflicts of the Euro-American / Native confrontation that began over two hundred years ago. All together, these separate studies of science, history, culture, politics and human communication weave the picture of the Channelís story, and its influence on the islandís past, and their destiny.

Now, letís get started by looking into the History Expedition Classroom