My name is Dustin James. I am a student at University of California, San Diego. I am majoring in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution and minoring in Photography. In the fall of 2016 I participated in the Ecology and Conservation program that is run through the UC Natural Reserve system. In this program I gained knowledge on various field methods in ecology, data collection and data analysis, and scientific writing.
When I finally settled into my major I had thought that research was the only route that was available with such a degree. I had taken up a minor in Photography not as a career path but rather with the intent to further develop a hobby. The Ecology and Conservation program made me realize two things: that doing research was not the only way in which science can be communicated and that I liked photography more than I had initially thought.
This summer I am working for Oregon Sea Grant from the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance near Bandon, OR, conducting coastal tourism asset documentation and marketing through photography. This project’s purpose is to tie the tourist experience to resources in the local communities/local environment. I will do this through the acquisition of professional images, specifically for marketing purposes. These images, while ranging in content and subjectivity, will be meant to engage those who might not be familiar with Oregon’s southern coast by showcasing the services, amenities, and features that make the South Coast so unique. This makes it an ideal project to observe nature, document it, and use it in a way that is beneficial for the economies of the larger Oregon community.