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Dr. William Preston
Dr. William Preston


Dr. William Preston, Professor of Geography, retired after 40 years at Cal Poly. Originally from Tulare, California, he focused his research and teaching on human impacts on the environment and drew much from his experiences in the Central Valley, including his book Vanishing Landscapes: Land and Life in the Tulare Lake Basin, California. Dr. Preston's research interests included the diffusion and impact of disease in colonial California, human impact on wildlife ecology in California, and land tenure and community health in the San Joaquin Valley along with the influence of climate upon human activities, historical geography, and military history. His courses GEOG 333 Human Impact on the Environment and GEOG 325 Climate and Humanity were notorious for their rigor, but also well loved by students due to his dry-humor and insightfulness as evident by being awarded Cal Poly’s Distinguished Teaching Award. We wish him well in his retirement!


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