Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My surveys in Tram Chim National Park 

My research has interviews for local people to determine how fish and plants in the Park benefit them. I collaborated with an official in the Park for interviews. We rode motors to find the local people who exploited fish and plants in the Park last year. For a long time, I did not ride a motor! Now, I am not kidding, riding is amazing!!!

Our survey team, my friend working in the Park and me
 We traveled to local people's residence areas. Some people live near canals.

Local people's house floor is built higher than flood water level 
Between local people's house and the Park's levee is a canal
This time, we interviewed local people in a coffee shop (you will see coffee shop everywhere in Vietnam!!!)
Some houses are far from the Park. I am interviewing local people in a local coffee shop

Traditionally, rural people wear no shirt at home, like to sit on their house floor for talking, and invite us drinking their tea

Here is the monitoring tower for the Park's protection. I will take some landscape photos from here

I did some investigation of water gates. Next time, I will do some "swimming-in-flood water" surveys!!!

We did surveys in the morning and input data in the afternoon. How poor my Vietnamese was!!! Sometimes, I needed my friend to express my questions to the local people. For questionnaires, of courses, I have modified my questions many times to become friendlier to local people.

This time is the flood time in the Mekong River Delta. You will see some plants and fish next blogs! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tram Chim National Park - my research favor

The Tram Chim National Park (Park) is located at the Mekong River Delta, Vietnam. This Park has the wetland type representative for the Delta that is influenced by an annual flood.

I am conducting surveys of how tourism benefits the Park and how the Park supports local people's livelihood via fish and plants.

I have captured some moment when arrive at the Park. Below is the coffee shop of the Environmental Education and Tourism Center in the Park (it reminds me the Starbucks coffee shop!!!)

Here are some sunset photos in a sightseeing station (They look like some corners of the Everglades???)

This is a levee of the Park. The left hand side is the buffer zone where local people do rice cultivation or aquacultural cultivation. 

 This is a small canal inside the Park. It is functioned as a water transport mean for fire protection

 And, some captures of sunset, water and plants inside the Park

Others will come up!!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Water they really saving? Quantifying Florida-friendly landscape water-use!

This September I spent eight days traveling across the sleepy little bergs and bustling urban centers that constitute the South West Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) proper on a quest to identify and document 1600 sites for a study on the efficacy of sustainability-minded programs like Florida Yards and Neighborhoods (FYN). This study is part of a larger project about residential irrigation practices slated to begin early next year.

The question

As part of Extension efforts throughout Florida, FYN promotes sustainable practices via its Florida Friendly Landscape (FFL) certification process.
Certifiably FL-friendly!
FFL status is awarded to residential (and commercial) properties that demonstrate adherence to a series of nine principles promoting conservation and sustainability. But what happens once a property is certified Florida-friendly?
Bullet-proof plant choices
Is an FFL site truly a model of sustainable resource use (specifically outdoor water-use) when compared to other non-certified sites in its vicinity?
Let’s ride!
My mission: track down 160 FFL sites scattered throughout SWFWMD. Since sites on the certified list dated back to the early 2000s, the first step was to confirm, at least visually, if the location was still adhering to some basic FFL principles (plant choice, etc.).
In this corner: attractive & sustainable!
Once this was established, I set about identifying ten neighboring sites of similar dimensions but demonstrating an emphasis on turf quality and not on maintaining a varied array of native plants.
And in this corner: turf for days!
All sites were geographically and visually documented. Presumably, outdoor water-use records for a site valuing handsome turf should differ significantly from a location showcasing low-maintenance, drought-tolerant plant life.   
All smiles for miles and miles
Country living: peahens at dawn
My travels took me on adventures throughout far-flung, tony, rural, hard-scrabble, well-to-do, and seaside neighborhoods in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Lutz...
Dade City let's go!
...Gulfport, Brandon, Seffner, Riverview, Lithia, Valrico, New Port Richey, Hudson, Land O' Lakes, Dade City, Zephyrhills, Clearwater, Largo, Seminole...
Home of the Tampa Bay Rays!
...Redington Beach, Madeira Beach, St. Petersburg Beach, Kenneth City, and Indian Rocks Beach.
I-275 North: Goodbye, St. Petersburg!
Next stop: Orlando!
Results for this study by PhD candidate Kizzy Boyer will be presented in early November at the Irrigation Association Show and Education Conference in Orlando, FL. See you there!