Solo Adventures in San Diego (Part Four)

Here is part four of my solo adventures in San Diego.  This was my last day in San Diego and it was the most beautiful.  Before visiting any more museums, I wandered around Balboa Park taking photos of the lovely buildings.  After that, I headed to the Timken Museum of Art.

Day Five

The Timken Museum of Art is similar to the San Diego Museum of Art, except it is smaller and more importantly, free.  It houses European artwork, 19th century American art and artwork from Russian icons.  Also on display is San Diego’s only painting by Rembrandt.  This museum, also know as the “jewel box,” came about thanks to the Timken family and the Putnam sisters, who purchased many of the pieces on display there.  One of the exhibits on display when I visited was “El Lissitzky: Futurist Portfolios,” which featured geometric artwork by a Russian artist.  Unfortunately I was not allowed to take photos at this museum, so you will have to see this one in person.

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Solo Adventures in San Diego (Part Three)

Here is part three of my solo adventures in San Diego.  I started off the day by going to a museum just a few blocks from the convention center and then heading over to Balboa Park to visit more of the museums there.

Day Four

My first stop of the day was at the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum.  This museum promotes the history and culture of the original Chinese immigrants.  San Diego’s downtown used to be a Chinatown.  The building that now houses the museum was once the church and school for the local Chinese community.  In the 1990s, this building was slated for demolition but the San Diego Chinese Historical Society was able to save it.  In 1996, it became the museum it is today.  It has expanded throughout the years and now includes two other facilities and a garden behind the original museum.

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Solo Adventures in San Diego (Part Two)

Here is part two of my solo adventures in San Diego.  Instead of going to see more museums at Balboa Park, I decided to head over to San Diego Zoo.

Day Three

I hadn’t been to a zoo since I was a teenager in Japan, so I was kind of excited to see the famous San Diego Zoo.  My main goal was to see the Giant Pandas.  This zoo is huge and I walked the entirety of it probably several times but it was worth it.  The day started out with peacocks, flamingos and ducks.  I also got to take a ride on the guided bus tour, allowing me to see where everything was before I started walking around.  I also rode the Skyfari (cable cars that cut across the park) a few times to save my feet.  The view from there is amazing and totally worth the sometimes long wait.  You can see the entire zoo and beyond into Balboa Park.

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Solo Adventures in San Diego (Part One)

Back in July of 2014, I got to spend a week in San Diego.  A fellow Long Beach student got a free week long pass to attend the ESRI User Conference (UC).  ESRI UC is held every summer, typically in June or July and at the San Diego Convention Center. This is the biggest conference for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals hosting numerous presentations and vendor displays, all discussing the latest and greatest in GIS.  While I was not able to attend the conference because I didn’t have a pass, I was able to explore San Diego.  I did get to see some of the conference later, thanks to the Family Night event they had.

Day One

My first day in San Diego was mostly spent in the hotel room.  I was rather tired from the journey there.  The drive was about two hours, but since I had to wake up early that day and I’m an anti-morning person, I really had no energy to go out.  The next day though I was ready to take San Diego by storm.

Day Two

On Tuesday, I grabbed my stuff and headed for Balboa Park.  This park is filled with museums!  You could probably spend an entire week just visiting all the museums located within this one place.  Before leaving for this trip, I had spent a few days researching where I wanted to go and more importantly, how to get there.

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APCG: Getting the Grant

During the summer of 2015 after my first year of graduate school, I received an email from my newly chosen thesis advisor.  Fortunately this turned out to be a very good email.  My thesis advisor had nominated me for the Women’s Network Travel Grant given out by the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers.  The grant is an award of $200 and is used to highlight outstanding female undergraduate and graduate students and to support female attendance and participation in geography.  Each awardee also get one year free membership in APCG and a free lunch honoring the Women’s Network Grant recipients at the annual meeting.  That year’s meeting was at Palm Springs, which I was grateful for because then I didn’t have to travel too far to get there.  This year’s meeting is in Portland, OR, which even with a travel grant would have been much too far for me to attend.

Several other members of my graduate cohort attended the Palm Springs meeting as well and we traveled together.  One of them even gave a presentation on her thesis research.  This meeting had paper presentations as well as map displays.  The first day there I enjoyed looking at the map displays and speaking with the creators of the maps.  The second day was full of paper presentations.  I didn’t have time to attend all of them as some were occurring at the same time.

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Spatial Patterns of Crime in Long Beach

In November of 2015, the Los Angeles Geographical Society (LAGS), continued their lecture series with a presentation by Dr. Chris Carter, a professor at Long Beach City College.  His lecture was titled: “Spatial Patterns of Crime in Long Beach Using ArcGIS Spatial Statistics Tools”.

He started off by discussing Long Beach demographics for 2015.  The population at that time was 471,210 with a diversity index of 87.8%.  The per capita income was $25,807, which matches 86% of California’s per capita income.  His crime data comes from the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) and ranges from 2010-2014.  This data includes crime type, crime location by address, arrestee in combination with city by address, and victim by address.

He examined patterns of assault and battery (not including domestic/family violence), robbery (not including commercial),  burglary (not including commercial), and murder.  With this data he performed geocoding, which is the act of transforming spatial, locationally-descriptive text into a valid spatial representation.  For this he used ESRI software, specifically ArcGIS Desktop, which was one of his first tips.  Another tip he gave was that with crimes and addresses of people you need to rename/re-code points from police station and police substations.

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Gentrification and Women in STEM

In October of 2015, the Los Angeles Geographical Society (LAGS), continued their lecture series with a presentation by students from the Math, Science and Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights.  This was the second time students from this school presented at LAGS.  You can read about the previous year’s projects here: “Social Inequalities and GIS“.

These students were part of the Youth Participatory Action Research, a service learning project.  They had to identify a problem and research it using GIS, creating maps to outline the issue they studied.  Three different groups presented projects. Two on gentrification and one on women in STEM.

The first project discussed gentrification, stating that “there is no replacement for displacement”.  The county of LA needs 4,000 units to meet the current housing need.  Most people pay too much for rent, amounting to about 30% of their paycheck.  This leaves little left for other expense, such as food.  This is thus a real problem for the community, impacting everyone.  The average income there is below $45,000 a year and the income needed is $90,000 in order to afford the average home cost of $200,000 and maintain taking care of a family and a mortgage.  The average renting costs is about $1,500 a month, while most people make about $3,000 a month.  This them amounts to half of the monthly paycheck going towards rent alone.

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