In this week’s blog I will present my projects for the summer so that you can know all about the work I am doing here in Point Reyes! I have also included a weekly update in photos with captions to highlight the most exciting parts of the past week.

First off, the main project for my summer is the 39th annual Big Time Festival, which celebrates the traditions and heritage of the Coast Miwok Tribe. Importantly, this year’s event turns our focus towards the tribe’s present and future. For this event, I will assist with outreach, designing festival events, creating a pamphlet, and promoting the event on social media. So far, I have written a draft for the pamphlet, with an excerpt about traditional ecological knowledge below.

“Traditional ecological knowledge refers to the evolving knowledge acquired by indigenous and local peoples over hundreds or thousands of years through direct contact with the environment, gained through many generations of learning passed down by elders about practical as well as spiritual practices… Here in Point Reyes National Seashore, the Coast Miwok worked the land for centuries, nurturing beneficial plants by removing harmful pests, pruning, and leaving enough for the plants to continue to prosper.”

My second main project aims to develop protocol for collecting tule grass (Schoenoplectus acutus) in order to eventually be used to dry and demonstrate for education programs and for fixing shelves in the kotcas at Kule Loklo, houses in the recreated Coast Miwok village. So far, I have researched the plant extensively and surveyed the park for tule grass sites with park archaeologist Paul Engel, in addition to compiling information about departments that must be consulted and mandates that must be followed.

Lastly, I am developing a plastic waste and beach clean-up program to present to the public. This topic is a personal interest of mine, so I am working on this side-project in addition to the two above, and I am currently awaiting review of the draft I have. The plastic waste talk will start with an overview of the history of plastics and their mounting issues, working towards discussion about solutions and concluding with group action at a beach cleanup to foster a shared stewardship for natural environments.

Again, thank you for continuing to keep updated with my adventures at Point Reyes, be sure to check out the photos down below, and as always, feel free to leave questions and comments down below. Until next week!

Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) through a scope
Northern elephant seal (Mirounga angustirostris) through a scope (Photo by Diego Morales).
The historic Pierce Point Ranch on a foggy morning
The historic Pierce Point Ranch on a foggy morning (Photo by Diego Morales).
Abandoned fishing boat in Inverness along Tomales Bay
Abandoned fishing boat in Inverness along Tomales Bay (Photo by Diego Morales).
View of Point Reyes Beach from lighthouse parking lot
View of Point Reyes Beach from lighthouse parking lot (Photo by Diego Morales).
Cyprus tree tunnel
Cyprus tree tunnel (Photo by Diego Morales).
Porcelain crab (Petrolisthes sp.) at Duxbury Reef tide pools
Porcelain crab (Petrolisthes sp.) at Duxbury Reef tide pools (Photo by Diego Morales).
Duxbury Reef tide pools at -1.2 feet tide
Duxbury Reef tide pools at -1.2 feet tide (Photo by Diego Morales).
Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) at Duxbury Reef tide pools
Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) at Duxbury Reef tide pools (Photo by Diego Morales)
World Ocean's Day Limantour Beach clean-up
World Ocean’s Day Limantour Beach clean-up with volunteers (back row), Community Volunteer Ambassador May Slen (front left), and Latino Heritage Internship Program intern Kevin García López (front right) (Photo by unknown).

Diego Morales

Diego was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and is an undergraduate student in the Society & Environment major and Anthropology minor programs at the University of California at Berkeley. This summer he is interning as an interpretation and resource education assistant at Point Reyes National Seashore in the interpretive department. Before Point Reyes, Diego spent a semester as an Every Kid in a Park intern at Rosie the Riveter/World War II National Historical Park. A more long-term educational and career goal of his would be to bridge and solve environmental and social issues being faced, ideally as an environmental lawyer.

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