I’m Katie Noonan, a High School teacher form Oakland California. I want to say “Hi!” to all my students and invite them to will join in the discussion here (OK- EXTRA CREDIT!!!). As part of the first group of IPY-Roamers to arrive in Ushuaia, I have been busy dusting off my Spanish phrases, checking out the prison and natural history museums and sampling the fantastic centolla (that’s king crab).
I have been struck by how similar the environmental challenges are here to our own. There is a surprising amount of graffiti on all kinds of city buildings. It seems to be political and social, but not gang-related. There is a plastic problem here, too. Just as in our city streets, there are bottles, bags and wrappers along the curbs, heading toward the ocean. A lot of construction is going on here with the tourist boom, using lots of cement (a CO2 contributor)! I did see some signs of recycling going on (a newspaper collection point). The shoreline shows a telltale green scum indicating eutrophication from an outfall and city runoff.
Along the waterfront, we noticed a huge ship container lot – a mini-Port of Oakland. What is coming in and going out in these? I am researching this. Fish is an important export here, but that’s a whole lot of fish. The crowds along the streets at night seem younger than the average in the U.S. I watched an amazing demonstration of break-dancing in the city plaza. The IPY-Roam Spanish Group interviewed some of the teenagers in tonight’s podcast.
We are getting our research projects finalized in these days before we get on the ship. It is hard work, but it will pay off when we get South.