Monterey Bay

Chronicling the History of Fort Ord

Arts & Culture



Cal State Monterey Bay occupies the site of the former Fort Ord military base, the largest and most important military base in the U.S. to be closed. Enid Baxter Ryce, professor of cinematic arts and environmental studies and chair of cinematic arts, developed Planet Ord to document the history, ecology, and visual culture of the military relics.

In collaboration with the Smithsonian and the Monterey Museum of Art, Baxter Ryce is compiling veterans’ oral histories for a special collection at the Library of Congress and a series of exhibitions describing Fort Ord’s history and environment for museums, libraries, and government agencies.

Baxter Ryce's Planet Ord website had more than four million hits, a testament to its international impact. It's funded in part by the California Council for the Humanities, the War Comes Home Initiative, and private donations.

“The Planet Ord project dramatically illustrates the intriguing interaction that can occur between person and place; the key role that Fort Ord played in many veterans’ lives, and in turn, the impact of the military community on it,” says Megan Harris, a Library of Congress reference specialist.

“Professor Baxter Ryce is a visionary and a bridge-builder," says Charlotte Eyerman, executive director of the Monterey Museum of Art. "As a visual artist steeped in a sophisticated multimedia practice, she is also an historian, a storyteller, a connector of past and present.”