In several days, students in Dyson Professor Maria Luskay’s, EdD, Media and Communication Arts class will travel to Mexico’s Baja peninsula to chronicle how communities that once depended on sea turtle poaching and other extractive activities depleting the region’s rich natural resources are now thriving with a new economic model, one built around conservation and sustainable tourism.
Students, Luskay, and Pace Professor and New York Times blogger Andrew Revkin will camp on a remote stretch of beach and film the marine and coastal wildlife around Magdalena Bay, the largest wetlands ecosystem on the Pacific coast of Mexico’s Baja California, north of Cabo San Lucas, as part of Pace’s unique travel courses.
They will also interview and follow the lives of the Mexican conservationists and guides, many of whom were formerly poachers. There will be a special focus on Magdalena Baykeeper, a group that is one hub in a worldwide network called the Waterkeeper Alliance, which has its roots with the Hudson Riverkeeper here in the Hudson River Valley and at Pace University.
For the past month, students have been hard at work preparing for their documentary: researching everything from conservation to sustainable fishing efforts in Magdalena Bay, to the American and Mexican Laws governing the harvesting of sea turtles and other marine life. There will be a screening of the documentary later this spring, but until then, follow them on their journey on WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Over the last few years, students in Luskay’s award-winning Media and Communication Arts class have traveled to the Netherlands to shoot a documentary on the U.S. Ambassador to Holland appointed by President Obama, to Belize where they chronicled the world of sustainable shrimp farming, and to Portugal to uncork the connection between wine on your table and the fate of forests. The Life of an American Ambassador: The Netherlands won Best in Category for “Documentary” at the 4th Annual Indie Short Film Competition and Linda Thornton: Seeking Sustainability One Shrimp at a Time was awarded Best Short Documentary in the Best Shorts Film Festival. You can watch all three videos at http://www.pace.edu/travel.