Presentation Title

Speaking of the Channel Islands: Oral Histories of Researchers in the North American Galapagos

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-2

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

The California Channel Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, west of Ventura County. First occupied by the Chumash band of Native Americans. The Islands were subsequently colonized by Spanish explorers. The first Europeans to arrive described lush islands teeming with wildlife. In the 1800s and 1900s, the Islands were dominated by cattle and sheep ranchers. Non-native species decimated the islands. By the 1980s, the National Park Service began to reclaim the Islands. Researchers in a multiplicity of fields are involved in understanding the natural and human history of the Islands sometimes referred to as the North American Galapagos. To document the experiences of these researchers, CSU Channel Islands students began interviewing scientists who have done extensive research on the Channel Islands, to create an oral history of contemporary research on the Islands. The students record their interviews with the researchers. They transcribe and upload them to a publicly-available digital database about the Channel Islands. The larger purpose of this project is to compile these interviews perspectives from researchers about the California Channel Islands. This project 1) describes the interview and archival protocol employed to create this public resource and 2) illustrates how these oral histories can be used to understand how scientists perceive the islands and their work there. Using content analysis, we demonstrate the value of oral histories for understanding how researchers “speak” about this channel Islands.

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Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

Speaking of the Channel Islands: Oral Histories of Researchers in the North American Galapagos

HUB 302-2

The California Channel Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean, west of Ventura County. First occupied by the Chumash band of Native Americans. The Islands were subsequently colonized by Spanish explorers. The first Europeans to arrive described lush islands teeming with wildlife. In the 1800s and 1900s, the Islands were dominated by cattle and sheep ranchers. Non-native species decimated the islands. By the 1980s, the National Park Service began to reclaim the Islands. Researchers in a multiplicity of fields are involved in understanding the natural and human history of the Islands sometimes referred to as the North American Galapagos. To document the experiences of these researchers, CSU Channel Islands students began interviewing scientists who have done extensive research on the Channel Islands, to create an oral history of contemporary research on the Islands. The students record their interviews with the researchers. They transcribe and upload them to a publicly-available digital database about the Channel Islands. The larger purpose of this project is to compile these interviews perspectives from researchers about the California Channel Islands. This project 1) describes the interview and archival protocol employed to create this public resource and 2) illustrates how these oral histories can be used to understand how scientists perceive the islands and their work there. Using content analysis, we demonstrate the value of oral histories for understanding how researchers “speak” about this channel Islands.