After Redlands, I was excited to head on to Santa Barabara for meetings at University of California Santa Barbara’s Center for Spatial Studies. First, I have to say that Santa Barbara is GORGEOUS! The weather was lovely, the beaches were beautiful, and there were so many options for food and drink that you could go to a new place every night and still not get through them all in a year (I was told one visiting professor tried, but did not succeed). Public transportation options were also great and UCSB is right next to the beach; I was even informed that there’s a campus building close to the beach that has lockers for the students SURF BOARDS! It can easily be seen that quality of life here is very nice.
UCSB is also quite big, and as such was a bit late for my meeting at the Center for Spatial Studies (which I’m still rather embarrassed about and apologetic for). After arriving, I shared with the group the various research projects of ExCiteS as well as my own research leading up to my tutorial website – GIS Lessons for You. They discussed various research projects they were all engaged with; in particular, much of the work was centering around SeaSketch – an online GIS for participatory planning of marine resources. Their demo ran me through how to create planned zones for allowing/prohibiting fishing, for example, sharing the plan with others and then having a forum of discussion on the plan (which was quite active); multiple plans can be created and shared and discussion is constantly ongoing – globally! As a developer, I was rather impressed with SeaSketch and can see why the Center for Spatial Studies is one of the premier places to research GIS.
After gathering a few interviews for my research (thank you, to the participants), we finished business and headed to the pier for dinner and drinks, sampling some local wines. It was so great meeting everything from the Center and I hope to see them again soon.