La Paz is the gravitational center for research and conservation in the Peninsula of Baja California and the Gulf of California. It congregates the State University (Universidad Autónoma de Baja California Sur) whose Marine Biology program is the oldest in the country and internationally recognized, and two prominent research centers (Centro de InvestigacionesBiológicas del Noroeste, S. C., part of CONACYT network of research centers, and Centro Interdisciplinario de Ciencias Marinas, a research center from the National Politecnic Institute). All three academic institutions have active research and graduate programs. Most major international and national NGO’s focused on conservation have offices in La Paz, along with a multitude of regional and local civil organizations promoting conservation and sustainability of marine and terrestrial environments, creating a unique combination of like-minded people from all over the country and the globe that appreciate the unique biodiversity and the quality of life the city has to offer. Baja California Sur is the state in the Mexico with less human population density but the one with the largest rates of population growth. The region’s pristine areas are currently under increasing pressure from both local and global dynamics, including urbanization, water and food security, overfishing, mining, tourism, coastal development, aquaculture, among others.
Meetings take place at “AGC-Applied Genetics & Consultancy” a private genetics consultancy service and laboratory focused on research and conservation within the Sonoran Desert, led by N-Gen board member and La Paz chapter co-director Adrian Munguia Vega. Gatherings usually take place on Friday evenings and include research talks, documentary projection, daytrips, guest speakers, discussion of relevant issues within the Sonoran Desert, or just a beer with friends new and old.