jueves, 28 de octubre de 2010

A good job to choose

If I could choose a job... well, I suppose all of us ever made ourself that question, but sometimes the answers are never found.

I have worked on a few things years ago. First as a construction worker when I was 15, a good experience but obviously I was too young. when I was at the highschool, I often went to my godmother store and helped her attending the store and sometimes as a chasher or delivery boy. On the university I worked on security on parties inside the university, not very safe I must say... with 18 I began my first job with contract, on Telepizza. I suppose to be on the preparation table, but I finished working there, on the telephone, as a casher, waiter, deliverer and preparing the routes of the motorcycle´s deliverers. I quit this job only because I went to the army. I really enjoyed all this jobs, and I gladly would come back if I could (without quitting my carreer ofcorse).

But a favourite one?

Maybe some kind of explorer, like the age of discovery on America. Searching other civilizations, paths to other unknown places, making maps of my discoveries and trying to understand the world ahead me.

But today is very difficult, because almost entire world is mapped, and above the surface there´s really few things undiscovered. On the deeps of the ocean otherwise, it´s different, but I don´t get along with the oceanic fauna, so I´ll left this entire world to other persons.

Explore, discover, maybe I´m a dreammer, but I believe there´s a lot of things that we still unknown, and today is easier than any other era to reach and learn. What´s below a glacier (or the entire artic!); how a mountain chain born; where we can put our settlements trying to avoid natural hazards, but ensuring the access to natural resourses, water, food, and enought ground to grow at the same time, found a mineral vein useful for our country; how the rain falls on the basins and where that water go, what things can happen with that water, what benefits can we obtain, and which risk we have; the evolution of a centenarium forest, and learn from them about the place where we live; search for old rock layers below the places and learn how the place was made, and what things can happen (tsunamies, earthquakes, floods, droughts, alluviums, etc.). WAIT! THAT´S EXACTLY WHAT I´M STUDING!

Yes, Geography. Obviously geography isn´t only that, and it´s not only our field or speciallity. Geology, Topography, Engineering, even the people relationed with the space and the satellites, with computers, biology, zoology, Climatology, and a lot of other persons relationed with the geociences. On my point of view, certain geographers can be the explorers of the modern world, maybe not in caravels, maybe not going through a wild jungle full of snakes and natives, but using modern tecnology and knowledge to discover the things that the old explorer even couldn´t imagine. And not only explore and discover, althoght make that new knowledge useful for our people.

Geographer, a modern explorer, I like it.

Why would I enjoy of that? everything I believe, maybe not my thin salary, but it´s a detail. As a specialiced cientist (on glaciology, hidrology, vulcanology, etc.) on a research center, or on a University, I would enjoy the discoveries, everyone, specially if is useful for the city or region. If is on an University, teaching and training new "modern explorers" would be cool, I always enjoyed teach others. If is on other place, a governamental office for example, serching special places to put settlements, making risk maps, or any other thing relationed with the area, I would be happy. Satisfying? ofcourse! making new knowledge and being the first on found something is always a pleasure.

I know a lot of persons working on the area, even outside the university. Violeta´s father (my friend of Valdivia) works on aereal photography. I know a few persons working on research on this areas at the river´s region, and if god want, I will be there on a few more years.

lunes, 25 de octubre de 2010

Back to Valdivia part 3

(because logistical problems, I didn´t have internet conection last week, so I couldn`t post, but I made my homework on paper, so I will transfer my writings now)

October 21st

Last day on the congress for me, because tomorrow it`s the field seasson, and I don`t have enought cash to go.

But saying the true, it was the better day until now of this week. First in the morning my favourite topic was GIS (Geographic Information Systems), but as we geography students know, GIS aren`t a topic for itself, are a tool made to make easier other areas, like hidrology, glaciology, biogeography, and others. So this morning the topics were "Detection and analisys of ground`s uses changes on the center zone, north side of the province of Captain Prat between 1984 and 2003", In the investigation, they concluded a reduction of wetlands and pasturelands, and a grown of the forest use. Honestly I`m not very interested on the conclutions, but the methods used are interesting, using images from TM and ETM+ satellitar sensors and the radiometric, atmospheric and topographic corrections.

Other topic was "Development of a ground`s use change surveillance system for continental Chile" and this one was mainly about the surveillance of the native forest via satellite, and the study of aereal photogrametric pictures of the territory, scales 1:25000 and 1:50000. And the need of make a database with all this info, at country level.

Another was "Inventory of urban woods on Valdivia city". Nothing new, even us on second year can do it. Take the UTM coordenates with a GPS from every wood on the inventory, or if we have a high quallity satellital picture (with a 50cm resolution per pixel for example) we can georeference the image and search the wood on the picture. After that we can calculate the dimentions of the tree, and put the info on the database.

enought of gis for one morning...

at lunchtime, I tried to find a friend, studing chemistry and pharmacy, but she was on a test, so went to the fastfood post, and ate a hotdog.

at the afternoon, I went to megaseisms room. The expositors were my former teachers of forest engineering, but the ones of the geociencies institute. Lots of interesting information, for example the changes on the river`s flow at the moment of the february`s earthquake, and the next months. My former climatology teacher exposed that almost all the basins increase the waterflows between 50% and 70% even 100% on one case. Why? are a lot of posible reasons, maybe the collapse of underground acuifers...

another was about the earthquake of 1960, the reconstruction, the mistakes of the construction, and what would happen if Valdivia suffer a similar tsunami again.

One of the experts of the 1960`s earthquake (my former teacher of geology) spoke about the physical and geodesic process of that earthquake, compared with the process of february... and doesn´t look like good news...

and with all the respect that the other expositors own, I was very tired at that point, and was unable to have more atention. So I left the congress, to went back to my city once again.

I walked arround the river, and sitted on the bridge, watching the day die, and how the lights began to decorate the calle-calle river, until suddenly I notice the most beautiful jewel on the water: a big and shiny white pearl. So I went back to the house, singing a song about the moon bathing at the calle-calle river...

viernes, 22 de octubre de 2010

One to one

Meet one famous or historical person. Difficult to choose only one.

I believe that I would like to meet to Bernard Phillipi, a Prussian (german) naturalist, explorer, cientific, and the responsible of the german colonitation of southern Chile. He saw a very big oportunity for our two countries in this big raining forest, full of animals, bugs and water, almost unexplored by the spaniards, and without conection with the rest of our contrie thanks to the "araucania`s pacification" (the war against the mapuches) even considering that he was a naturalist, he made the role of a geographer, and is the father of all settlements arround Llanquihue lake and the current XIVth Rivers region and part of the Xth lakes region. Not only with that, he was comisioned by the chilean governament to stablish a settlement on the magellan strait (the drake pass) and he made that task with perfection, arriving just one day before a French war frigate with the same mission, winning the control of the strait, and the south of this continent to Chile, making posible the colonitation of Punta Arenas, Coyaique, Puerto Natales, and all the southern cities. He was made governator of Punta Arenas, and was killed years after on a native ambush. His adventures are a example of force of will, and vision of optimism.

He became friend with sir John Williams Wilson, captain of the colonitation ship and father of Juan Williams Rebolledo, Grand Admiral of the chilean navy on the war against Perú and Bolivia on late XIX Century.

What I would like to talk with him? I don´t know one thing exactly, about his adventures, his histories, his discoveries, and the problem with the french crown for the control of the strait. More than talk with him, I would like to imagine myself on the discovery (and not without troubles!) of the llanquihue lake, and adventure of about two months worthy of a movie.

Interesting, because is a important part of out history, and specially of the regions that I love and the start point of the german colaboration in many aspects with our contrie.

Regards from Valdivia. ;) (Today I will go to Rudolph Phillipi museum, his brother and the main colonitation agent of the city of Valdivia)

miércoles, 20 de octubre de 2010

Back to Valdivia (for a while) part two

Well, second day here. Today it was a strange day.
The conference was interesting today, but no more than yesterday, a mixure of topics no so clear, I don´t know, but I feel the congres strange. First in the morning "Geodinamical activity on Atacama desert", being honest, I were very sleepy, so I didn´t understand very much.
"Using GIS and 3D models methods on urban planification, rumanian case", Here I were more awaked, so I learned a few tricks and tips to consider on my next works, but essencialy I understood that it´s no so different if you compare this case with the teorical cases teached on our university, I was happy when I realize that I could understand. "determination of unstable sediments on coastal systems" was about fix a method miscalculation usually made on the information reading on coastal systems conserning non-solid parts of a basin.

a little coffebreak, talking with some teachers and watching the rain out of the building. the first year students are no very confortable with the local weather, but if one watch the people here, one can realize that all the people is very adapted with the weather, rain, cold, wind. Nothing of other world.

I found a former forest engineering partner walking arround, and we stayed talking for a lot of time, about the life, about the city, about forest related things, and mainly about satelital imagery data, and the use of GIS on forest engineering. They learned a lot about GIS, but it`s our speciality still.

Lunchtime, and I feeled a bit lazy, so I didn`t go to downtown and stayed on the university, walking on the forest. Near 2PM I bought a hotdog and 2 cheese`s sandwish, and walked again to the conferense.

Marcela Salgado, one of the assistant teachers that we have on economical geography and social geography was talking about the children point of view of the spacial representation of the rural/urban limit of Santiago, and was very interesting, mainly the use of colours to separate the city with the outsides. "Geodiversity on the LLanos de Challe national park" was the second of the afternoon, honestly I didn´t understand very much, maybe I needed the biogeography first... "sharing experiences: enviromental management system" nothing new on mu opinion, a lot of very nice things that everyone knows that most be do it, but no one will do. "geographic distribution analysis of the swamp forest on araucania region" was the last one for me this day, interesting but very large to be explained here, but was related with the human intervention and very bad management of the swamp areas.

I began to walk to the botanic garden of the university, and without warning I found my sister! (my real sister, bloodsister) and talked a bit about the weather and the conference. She invited me to lunch with her tomorrow, so obviously I accepted (I´m very short of cash). After that we went (with the first year students) to the botanic garden, and they became impress, they didn`t understand how that big forest was part of the university. They don´t believe me that in fact the university have another forest area bigger that the garden, and very close to the campus, on the Teja Island too, so tomorrow we`ll go there, to the arboretum.

Late after that trip, I went to downtown and found my godmother and her daughters, Karin (the older syster) was very happy with a package of japan that arrived today, she was waiting for it nearly a month. Stefany (the youngest) was searching for a plastic sword for a costume party this friday. All the stores were closed, so they went to their house. Then I went to the mall and walk arround this nostalgic place for me. It was the place where I began my former relationship, so I became a bit sad, until I went to Telepizza, my former workplace and found my old employer there. After a talk, he gave me a free pizza, and offer me a summerwork on next January and february, I`ll think about it. The pizza was delitious: extra cheese, bacon and pepperoni, we exchange mails with the restaurant administrator, and finaly I went to the supermarket, to buy food and other things for the house where I guested. Now a cup of tea and a few cookies, and my day will be finished.

I hope it`s everything ok on Santiago, and all ok with you all.

David Henrìquez
a bit cold, but happy to be on MY city again.

martes, 19 de octubre de 2010

Back to Valdivia (for a while) part one

Valdivia again... nine months has passed since my last time here, considering my love for this city, and my personal history here, it was a long time...

But no without "funny" tales.

From the beggining... Yesterday I missed my bus. For the first time I went to the terminal with extra time, but the metro has some kind of problem, so we stayed without move maybe ten minutes, and after that, we went very slowly between stations. So I arrived to the terminal and the bus wasn`t there XD.

So I took another bus, going to Osorno, so early this morning I stoped at paillaco´s crossroad on the highway, and took another bus going to Valdivia. (The benefits of the knowledge about the region)

I Arrived to Valdivia, and the first place where I went was my godmother`s fishing store, and then to the university. On the way I found some lost students and assistant teachers of us, and I helped them to find the building. Registration was normal, except for the fact that the person on charge of that was with me on the last conference that I participed (The "Latin American Remote Sensing Week, LARS" at Hyat hotel, few weeks ago).

Lunchtime, and I went to a chinese restorant with my godmother and her daughters (I told you about they last semester, on a post about Valdivia) and went back running to the university.

The first round of the conference, in the Phisical Geography at least was about ecology. Biodiversity (biogeography and political points of view); efects of pine plantations; vegetation mosaic on Valparaiso and urban planification; and restauration of native forest afected by forest fire twenty five years ago. Interesting round on my opinion, considering my personal preferences inside geography.

Second round after a coffe break, renew of the teaching methods on geography schools
was the first, efects of the cold wave of 2010`s winter as the second. After that I must confess that I left the building and went to the forest engineering school. I wanted to be on my old school one more time, and see if I could find an old face. Only few steps close and I found a former classmate. We talked for thirty minutes more or less, and told me what happened with the others. He talked about a meeting on the next days, for the old days, so I´ll be waiting the confirmation. I walked inside the building and found a former teacher, he recon me at the first view, with name and everything, he was hurry, so we`ll talk again on the next days.

And finishing the day, with a bit of raining (I missed this kind of rain!) I came to the house of my friend Alejandra, I wrote about her too. She gave me a very warm welcome, and her little daughter too. I really love this family, like it was mine. A tea near the fireplace, a cat walking arround my legs, the sound of the raining outside, the smell of the wet trees, and the wood on the fire... the magic of the south. =)

jueves, 14 de octubre de 2010

Learning english

I like to learn english, it´s usually easy for me, because I´ve been learning since I was a child, but sometimes it became a bit difficult, but never too much if one have a good base. I like it because I can use it on very diferent aspecters of my life, like the profesional (reading information not-avaible in spanish, going to seminars (international ones, as a assistant part of the staff in my case, because I can speak english), understanding songs (long live to the 80´s!) watching movies in their original language (because translations usually aren´t very good, saying the less) and my favourite one: because almost all the videogames that I like are in english (ok, they are translated too, but I hate the european spanish accent, always prefer the original casting).

Useful? Very much, anyone saying other thing really don´t know on what age is he living. English now is a door to information, contacts, jobs, goods, and a lot of other things. If you know english, those doors are open, if you don´t, those doors are lock, and very hard locked. If english is useful now as a student, it´s even more useful when I´ll be professional, because most of the information avaible for us is in english (and german), the softwares used for us are in english, if I want to work on a multi-disciplinar team, probably I´ll have to work with english speaking profesionals, and if I want to study a speciality postgrade on other country, obvioustly is a necesary item on the curriculum.

Today, speak english isn´t a luxury, it´s a need. Someone that only speak spanish (specialy a profesional) don´t have the half of the oportunities of a english speaker profesional of the same carreer even. English is a door open not only with native english speakers, but with the rest of the world, because english have become the “common language” almost every part of the world. In my case I´ve spoken with germans, japanise, french, russians, italians, austrians, chinese, swiss, korean, indian and a lot of people of other countries, not speaking on their languages (ok, just with the japanise, and just a LITTLE bit) but in english always.