Friday, September 14, 2007

Favorite Powerpoint Slides for the Coastal Baja California Conservation Presentation in Ben Halpern's Class

If you happen to know and care, Matt. Sorry, I'm beating a dead horse. I am getting used you just being a mental thought experiment once again. Just an abstract concept in my mind. Not a tangible reality. So, above are three powerpoint presentation slides I converted to jpegs. The official title of my powerpoint presentation is "Case Study in Progress: Marine Vital Signs Monitoring in the Tijuana-San Quintin Coastal Corridor: Laying the Roadmap for a Cooperative Public-Private Conservation Partnership." I gave the presentation on July 23, 2007. It went rather well, though some of my slides, I do admit, were unaesthetic and seeminly crammed with too much information, though the case was I was just trying to show to the class my basic role involved in the conference, like editing the draft "Conceptual Model" for the region, and showing how species lists were being formed. And what existing scientific papers were already in existence that shaped the organization of the conference I attended. I believe I was the only graduate student there. Thanks to Dr. Ernesto Franco for letting me get into the conference through the back door. I am glad I had an opportunity to talk to the class about this experience. It was draining some old demons I acquired at UC Riverside.

Milton Love made comments on how I went to grad school at UCR for one year when BOTH of my parents work there. Pretty incestuous. No one was taking me seriously. And as a result, I was not taking them seriously. I felt I didn't have a right to say anything simply because I might get "preferential treatment" due to my parents circumstance. I felt my voice was suppressed and I had no say about what can be done and how things can be changed. I couldn't voice what I thought and what I felt... to a point I could only vent to my "outsider" psychologist: Ann Aasen through the UCR Student Health Center. I don't want prefential treatment. I want to just be Victoria, and I want to be known and respected out of my own intrinsic abilities and contributions and merit, not simply because, "Oh. You're Rich Minnich's daughter." Barry, a botanist at UCLA, at one point said, "Oh. You're the daughter of that famous fire ecologist. I see." Okay, fine, that's pretty cool for someone to say that, but overall I'm tired of that bullshxt. That's why when I write, my pen-name is just "Victoria" and not "Victoria Minnich." I heavily identify with my father philosophically, holistically, "spiritually" in terms of who I am and what I have been shaped to be, but sometimes it's a bit much to acquire relationships with people merely because of our biological relationship. This is beside the point, but it seems like everything I am writing is beside the point. I guess that's what happens when I am attempting to mentally recooperate myself from a temporary mental divorce from a male specimen....

There are several things I have learned about the Baja California circumstance. As my father and I tend to theorize about how to re-construct human-environmental policy, my dad one night (in September of 2005, right before my year at UCR grad school started) stated that "The landscape is not a blank check." Oooh. Now, here's a fire ecologist getting into revamping theories of environmental economics! It's like saying that you have to re-map values and knowledge on landscapes, and re-assign economic values to everything (positive and negative) within a given region, simply because our existing economic systems are so skewed, incomplete, and unaccounting for so many factors.... I wonder how Dr. Linda Fernandez (UCR) or Dr. Chris Kostello of UC Santa Barbara would take such a comment? Good question to ask.... The other thins I learned through participation of this conference are listed in one of the power point slides. I was thoroughly amused at the novelty of perceiving several scientists and community agencies of various disparate disciplines all in once room, conversing with each other, benignly, all because they are concerned about one thing: the future of the human and environmental health of the rapidly developing, rampantly decaying coastal Baja California region. Ernesto Franco advised me to observe "the sociology of scientists," and how scientists of disparate fields tend to interact with each other. In the end, he stated that everyone was rather civilized. The other three points on the powerpoint slide I either talked about (how much knowledge scientists and policy-makers need to do some Theodore Roosevelt "big stick" swinging) or I am apathetic to discuss right now--the lack of "conceptuality" of the the Draft Conceptual Model, and how Gary Davis refrained scientists from discussing potential policy ideas and hyperfocused on what we needed to do enact systematic long-term monitoring of the region. It's tragic to think that there has been not much of a follow-up from this conference (held Spring of 2006). I guess things continue to slip and shift and slip down in Baja California. The appalling tragedy of all of this coastal development and change in Baja California is that I have been witnessing this in my own lifespan! 15 years! Sheesh!

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