fishermen,  Fulbright,  In Santa Barbara,  Rachel,  Research

Ah, back in business!

I feel good now – I have finally made contact with another fisherman – this time in Ventura – and now I feel great! I needed to feel I was getting back to business and getting some real interviews in!

Since last, I have naturally interviewed a whole group of fantastic fishermen from Santa Barbara Trawlers Association – wonderful group that shared so whole heartedly of their expeirences and fears and worries and joys of being a fisherman! They helped me do my first workshop ever using Systems Thinking and Bayesian Belief Network, and they were curtious and kind to me! I still have follow-up interviews with four of them left, but one is going to happen soon – I have at least made contact with him and his wife and that makes me happy! I do have a fisherman that stood me up – that made me sad – but such is life as a researcher i guess. And the last one 🙂 Well – that is personal – he is from Norway and he is not getting away LOL After that I will send in the first article about them for publication. Still have not decided where to send it though. I am tempted to send it to Marine Policy again – becasue it really is a great fit – but then I thought maybe it is time to branch into the pure political science journals now… and aim for the top… I am still debating. On the one hand, I want my audience to be perfect = Marine Policy. On the other hand, I want to establish myself in the more Political Sciency journals and make my mark as a Political Scientist working interdisciplinary with marine topics (and not an interdisciplinary marine political scientists, which I have been so far – see the distinction?)…Tough… the jury (my mind) is still undecided!

I have also been to Morro BAy and interviewed fishermen there a few weeks ago, which was also fantastic, but so hectic! The leader was amazing and really put it all together in no time at all — but I made a mistake time. He said it would not be necessary for me to bring any food and drinks – and I should have insisted. It lasted for 4 hours (and some tempers were flaring by the time we were almost thorugh because they felt misled about hte time committment… I should specify – ONE fisherman was upset, the others were just fine and kind of humerous about hte whole thing). I had seven fishermen do this one – total – and they also filled out two other forms to accomodate for my colleagues here at Bren who wanted some additional information from them in a specific format so that they would be able to do a comparative paper once they had their data in – now THAT is a cool paper I am very excited about being a part of!

The reason why I have now expanded my workshop wishes though is that I was included in a project proposal on EXACTLY my topic – offshore aquaculture and simmering conflicts – that Bren has submitted now. And in this proposal, they are asking me to interview fishermen in Ventura and in San Diego as well – and given taht I really want to be part of this, I am now rushing to find fishermen in these two places.

And behold, John Richards of SeaGrant – who has helped me out SO much – is helping me out again! He is now making sure I get the contacts I need in ventura as well – so I have shot off a mail to the californai wetfish producers association located in Ventura asking for help, and I have also spoken to the leader of the Ventura fishermens association, and I am meeting him for lunch tomorrow in Ventura – very very excited! I am struggling more with San Diego though… lacking the contacts, quite clearly, and John Richards does not have them either unfortuantly. I will just have to keep digging!!

But – yes – exciting times 🙂

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