The first N-Gen webinar series was held in the Fall of 2013 on the theme, “Human-Environmental Relations in the Sonoran Desert.” Here are abstracts of the presentation presented.

“Urban Waterways: Comparative Cases from the U.S. and Mexico,

Urban and Rural Connectivity for Watershed Management
By Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar, Watershed Management Group – Tucson, Arizona
This presentation will touch upon several topics in relation to community, watersheds and urban and rural environments. It is eminent that “the future of humanity is urban” so we have to deal with this. As the case of Tucson shows, urban communities are connecting with their urban watershed in innovative and adaptive forms. Rainwater harvesting is becoming a way to connect people to their environments and to change their behavior towards water and natural resources. These techniques are shaping community capacity, public policy, resiliency and adaptability to the future. In connection to this, this presentation will address the role of rural communities and how they are adapting along with watershed management. As a point of dialogue the presentation argues that while a majority of conservation organizations and institutions concentrate their work on rural or remote biodiversity, urban areas continue to grow and demand services. Thus, it is of vital social and ecological importance to work in these urban environments.

Tactical Urbanism in La Paz, Baja California Sur
By Lucia Corral, Urbanería – La Paz, Baja California Sur
La Paz is the capital of the state of Baja California Sur, the most arid entity in Mexico. Its population growth is one of the highest in the country, which has led to uncontrolled urban growth. People living in La Paz have a deep love for their city and an important connection with natural areas, yet natural spaces in the city are disappearing and there are no parks or public spaces to replace them. The arroyos that cross the city are natural public spaces that go through the city center. However, people use them for littering and consider them undesirable places to have close to home, not recognizing the potential value that they could have for the city. This presentation reflects on two tactical urbanism workshops organized by Urbanería in 2012 to increase the interest of citizens in their arroyos as public spaces. We conducted an intervention of 1000 feet in the arroyo “El Piojillo”, installing benches, murals, and reforestating with native trees to create areas for recreation, sports, fraternizing with neighbors and exchanging ideas.

About the N-Gen Webinar Series:
The N-Gen webinar series aims to create a space where researchers can come together from afar to share ongoing research endeavors and start conversations to support future collaborations. The online platform is user-friendly and conducive to conversation. Webinars will be conducted in English and Spanish depending on the preference of the presenters, as our network of researchers navigate on both sides of the border.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact Lucero Radonic.