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Friday, December 05, 2003

LINKS TO GROUPS WORKING IN BAJA AND THE SEA OF CORTEZ AND WEB SITES WITH USEFUL INFORMATION

If you have any suggestions for links that should be added to this list, please let us know. Thanks!
The Sea of Cortez Expedition and Education Project is a team of scientists, a writer and photographer embarking March 11 from Monterey on voyage retracing the expedition that John Steinbeck and Ed Ricketts made to the Sea of Cortez in 1940 and chronicled in the book Sea of Cortez: A Leisurely Journal of Travel and Research and later published as The Log from the Sea of Cortez. The new journey will be chronicled in a daily log online at www.seaofcortez.org so that interested teachers and students can follow the voyage and interact with the scientists via e-mail. If you would like to learn more or have any suggestions, you can e-mail the team with your questions and ideas by clicking on this link. The San Francisco Chronicle recently ran a front-page story about the expedition. The Stanford Report had a five-page comprehensive spread about the expedition. And the Monterey Herald also ran front-page story about the trip.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Sea of Cortez virtual fieldtrip: Marine and Environmental Education and Research offers a Web-based tour of the Gulf of California, geology, geography, and biogeography.
Bibliography for Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles Through Baja California by C.M. Mayo: Wow! This is it. El maximo. An amazing Baja bibliography online.
San Diego Natural History Museum Binational Expeditions: A team of approximately 30 scientists took part in a natural history expedition to explore the Sierra de la Giganta in Baja California Sur. The scientists represented multiple disciplines, including botany, herpetology, mammalogy, ornithology, entomology, and paleontology. For 19 days beginning November 5, 2003, these researchers from Mexico and the United States conducted fieldwork at the southern end of the Sierra de la Giganta between Agua Verde and Punta Mechudo. The web site has a description and a daily log of the research.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's Gulf of California Expedition: From February 19 through May 30, 2003, the Research Vessel Western Flyer and the advanced Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Tiburon explored the deep sea in the Pacific Ocean off of Baja California and in the Gulf of California. Their web site has maps, a logbook, and descriptions of the researchers and their work.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

ISLA, Conservación del Territorio Insular Mexicano (ISLA), "es una organización sin fines de lucro.... La misión de ISLA es la conservación de la diversidad de los ecosistemas insulares así como de aquellos ecosistemas marinos y costeros asociados a las islas de México." ISLA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is conservation of the diversity of island ecosystems and the marine and coastal ecosystems associated with the islands of Mexico.
Grupo Ecologista Antares "is a private non-profit organization, whose mission is to protect wildlife and elements that form the ecosystems of the area surrounding Loreto, Baja California Sur. GEA's objective is to work toward sustainable development of the natural resources. GEA runs many programs, projects, and activities to work towards this goal, including environmental awareness and education programs, conservation programs, research and analysis of threats to the environment and how to solve them. They also aid on-going scientific investigations, and have created an eco-center and natural history museum that is open to the public."
Give2Baja is a campaign of the International Community Foundation. "To help create a sustainable and balanced community in Baja California, the International Community Foundation (ICF) has launched the Give2Baja campaign, aimed at increasing the level of philanthropy and volunteerism for the benefit of non-profit organizations and charitable causes throughout the Baja California Peninsula in the areas of education, health care, community development, the environment, economic development, and culture and the arts."

"Baja California is a region with tremendous human and natural resources. Its biodiversity is rich and unique; its population is growing; its economy diversified and it is considered among the most prosperous regions in the Republic of Mexico."

"While this is so, Baja California faces many challenges with a high level of immigration from poverty-stricken states in the interior of Mexico: growing demands for basic infrastructure (roads, water, sewage, electricity) and social services (including education and health care); increasing economic competition from lower-cost labor markets such as China and Guatemala; as well as irreparable damage to its sensitive habitats due to unplanned growth and urban sprawl."
Pro Esteros "es una organización binacional no lucrativa de carácter ciudadano que se dedica a la protección y conservación de las lagunas costeras de la Península de Baja California." Pro Esteros is a binational nonprofit citizens organization dedicated to the protection and conservation of coastal estuaries on the Baja California peninsula.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Comunidad y Biodiversidad (CoBi), Community and Biodiversity, is a group dedicated to promoting conservation and community development through participative and sustainable management of coastal and marine resources around Baja and the Sea of Cortez.
Wildcoast is an international conservation team, dedicated to the preservation of endangered species and threatened coastal wildlands of the Californias. "Through community-based conservation, we are working to eliminate threats to ecosystems, and to develop reserves to protect them into the future," their web site says. "We are currently working to preserve over 1.2 million acres at the following sites in Baja California: Laguna San Ignacio, Bahia Magdelena, Bahia de los Angeles, and Bahia Concepcion. We are also working with a variety of organizations, including the U.S. and Mexican governments, to implement a sea turtle recovery program for Baja California."
Island Conservation is an organization working to protect the more than 250 islands of Northwest Mexico, which include some of the most ecologically intact islands in the world. They provide essential breeding areas for marine mammals, sea turtles, and seabirds and are home to over 250 endemic plants and animals.
Ocean Oasis, a web site based on the giant screen film of the same name, is a fascinating journey into the bountiful seas and pristine deserts of two remarkably different, but inextricably linked worlds — Mexico's Sea of Cortes and the Baja California desert.
The Gulf of California Conference in Tucson, Arizona, June 13-15, 2004, "will pull together specialists in many fields, from geology to oceanography, and from paleontology to ecology. The conference will include both plenary talks (up-to-date, topical, summary, state-of-knowledge) and contributed papers and posters. Themes of the conference: Biodiversity, the Colorado River Delta, Conservation, Estuaries/Esteros, Human Dimensions, Islands, and Monitoring."
CEDO is the Centro Intercultural para el Estudio de los Desiertos y Oceanos also known as the Intercultural Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans. Based in Tucson and Puerto Penasco, CEDO boasts "20 years of education, adventure and research exploring and protecting the desert and sea."
Terra Peninsular "es una organizacion no gubernamental de formacion reciente dedicada a la conservacion de tierras particulares y ejidales de la peninsula de Baja California." Terra Peninsular is a nongovernmental organization dedicated to the conservation of private and communal lands on the Baja peninsula.
SeaWatch is an organization of private citizens dedicated to a healthy Sea of Cortez. "We monitor destructive activities throughout the region and communicate the data we gather to the people of Mexico, the U.S. and the world," says their web site.
The Sea of Cortez on Planeta.com, Mexico's internet magazine, has a collection of pages devoted to the Gulf of California and a plethora of links.
Bajalife Online is a tourism promotion site with loads of information and links. To quote directly from the site: "Fishing, Diving, Watersports, Golf, Romance, Eco-Adventure Tours... These are only a few of the fabulous experiences waiting to be discovered in Baja California. Welcome to Baja Life Online, the most comprehensive website dedicated solely to Mexico's Magnificent Peninsula. Our image-rich, information packed site is designed to help you discover the vast array of natural wonders found throughout the entire 1,100 mile length of the Baja."
The Gringo Gazette Baja's English language newspaper covers North and South Baja in two separate editions, each one publishing every other week. Both editions feature news of local golf, fishing, hotels, car rentals, restaurants, and tourist activities. The Gringo Gazette also gives the reader insight into living in Baja, as it is read and used by the large expatriate communities.
Discover Baja - Mexico Travel Club has a great collection of maps and other resources for travelers by land or sea. The club claims to be "the largest and fastest-growing club of its kind."
bajacalifology.org features Archaeological News & Events from Baja California.

Monday, November 10, 2003

Listen to a BBC - Radio 4 report on Ed Ricketts & John Steinbeck.

In 1940 two remarkable men, both with a passion for life, set sail on a sardine boat for a 4000 mile voyage. They left Monterey in California to explore the Sea of Cortez. Together they shared a gift of the gab, a keen eye for observation, a love of words and a reverence for all living things. One was Ed Ricketts, a talented young biologist, the other was Pulitzer prize-winning writer, John Steinbeck.

Howard Stableford travels to Rickett's old lab on Cannery Row in California to find out about this extraordinary friendship and the deep impact it had on each man. He discovers that Ricketts was the inspiration for many of Steinbeck's characters whilst Steinbeck helped the biologist express his ideas. Ed was ahead of his time in taking a holistic approach to biology and his book "Between Pacific Tides" is still used as a textbook by students today.

Steinbeck had been interested in marine biology even before he met Ricketts and ecological theory influenced his writing — especially "Cannery Row" where he examines the inhabitants and the links between them in the same way a biologist might examine the community of animals in a rock pool. After writing "The Grapes of Wrath" he made a concerted effort to become a respected marine biologist, going with Ed on the collecting expedition around Baja California. Afterwards they wrote a book together, "The Sea of Cortez", describing their adventures and the animals they found. Together they mixed arts and sciences, working in symbiosis as ecologists.

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