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The  U R B A N  Canyon  Project

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Students produced an augmented reality [AR] urban canyon hike through Ruffin Canyon with the support of the San Diego Natural History Museum and San Diego Canyonlands. This semester long project explored native and non-native plants, relationships in the urban environment and local conservation work. AR tours include snapshots on species found in Ruffin Canyon (and beyond) and can be enjoyed from a classroom or taken out into the field! 


San Diego has 150 canyons carving through a growing urban landscape from sea to summit. The canyons of San Diego are home to a wide variety of habitat types including coastal safe scrub, riparian or river habitats and chaparral or wildfire and drought resistant plants. In San Diego, urban canyon protection started in 1998 and today, there are 40 canyon friend groups and 3,200 acres of protected canyon space in the city of San Diego. 


Open space supports biodiversity, conservation and restoration of native species and habitats as well as resources such as water and air quality, environmental disaster mitigation. Canyons have community access which supports pedestrian and bicycles transportation, recreation and education. Assessing how the intersection of protected and unprotected spaces in our urban environment meet our ecological and social needs, as well as the relationships that drive stability and or change, can help us plan for generations to come.

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