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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Artists Meet the Scientists: The Tijuana Estuary and Beyond


The project goal was to bridge the gap between scientists and policy/planning professionals and communities, especially in marine conservation. Art has proven a successful means of communication between communities throughout human existence. This project seeks to use art as another means by which complex environmental matters can be communicated, and perhaps even begun to be resolved. For this project, a workshop was held at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve with six scientists and over 20 artists. Scientists lectured about the ecosystem services provided by the area, conservation challenges it is faced with, and possible solutions for these problems. There were small group sessions where artists could speak to scientists, along with a tour of the Reserve and explore a kelp holdfast. Ten of these artists agreed to produce artwork based on what they had learned during the workshop, generating a body of estuarine related artwork for public showing.

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