To date, working in Davenport, California has been the first time in my life that I have worked in an office. It has been amazing to experience the amount of work that goes into preparing a research project. For the best possible means of preparing a solution to ocean conservation from additional sources of funding (ie. Surfer’s potentially paying for the ecosystem service of surfing), a lot of care in establishing relationships with involved organizations and stakeholders has been essential. It is interesting to realize the way ideas are framed, and the language in which they are presented, is of upmost importance for positive results.
For this reason, the open-space work environment of Save the Waves Coalition has really helped me throw around various ideas and the framework of how I should present them. Being in an office with a handful of surfers who love the ocean environment, is always enjoyable. When someone gets over-burdened by tasks or stress, we lighten the load by sharing quick photos or videos of waves and surfing, or even going out to our backyard to watch waves run into the rocky cliff coast of Davenport, CA.
The most exciting and demanding part of my job thus far has been our Skype conversations across multiple time zones and ethnic groups and nongovernmental organizations. As I visited family in Vermont, we had a conversation linking Connecticut, Davenport, San Diego, Oahu, Australia, and Indonesia, all at the same time. In a large business oriented Skype conversation where you cannot see the eight other people on the conversation, listening and taking notes is key, because you may only get a couple of questions and a small chance to put in your two cents, so listening is the only solution to making your input worthwhile.
While the computer desk environment has helped build my professional skills of networking and preparing research designs in an efficient and timely manner, the outdoor environment around Northern California has kept me in wonder of the world in which we live. I’ve tried to offset the desk environment by camping around the Davenport area of northern California, and taking short trips up and down the coast to new beaches and vistas that I’ve never experienced before.
Though not yet in Bali, our own US environment is an incredible one, and I’ve included some pictures of the California coast that I’ve taken in my weeks preparing for the research project that I am about to embark on. While I have always loved traveling internationally, I believe very strongly in appreciating the beauty in our own wilderness, something that is often over-looked by active international travelers. Our world is a beautiful one, and the beauty of California has inspired me to enjoy and soak up the magnificence of Indonesia, but never to forget the beauty of the world that I am from.