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Archive for Rasha Aridi

Sophia and me posing while hiking in Shore Acres.

I’m lucky to be able to work with Wild Rivers Coast Alliance, an organization that funds community projects on the south coast of Oregon. It implements the triple bottom line concept, which consists of community, conservation, and economy, to help boost sustainable tourism and promote economic development in the region. This past week was a little different than my usual job – I, alongside Keana (OSU Marine Studies Initiative) and Sophia (Sea Grant Scholar), got to work on a grant-funded project to create a library of photos to be used in marketing the Oregon coast by the Regional Tourism Network.

Two photographers from Portland, Justin and Erik, drove down here to shoot the photos while Keana, Sophia, and I all tried “modeling” for them. We had a busy few days and got to shoot all over Coos Bay, Charleston, and North Bend. We modeled a night out at Seven Devils Brewing Co., awkwardly tried to pose while tasting tacos at the farmers market, pretended to shop in downtown Coos Bay, and ripped into a delicious plate of fish and chips at The Boat Restaurant. A majority of the photoshoot was outdoors. We went on a few short hikes, kayaked and paddle boarded in Sunset Bay, took a buggy in the sand dunes, went crabbing, and explored Golden and Silver Falls. We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs (especially laughing at each other’s awkward poses, as you can see in these photos). I don’t have any photography experience, much less modeling experience, so it was super cool to see what goes into taking a stunning photo. Justin and Erik had a lot of patience with us newbie models, but I know they took some great photos and we had such a fun time doing it!  

I feel very lucky to have been a part of this experience. I worked with an incredible team of very talented photographers who captured the beauty of the Coos Bay area. This project was a huge collaborative effort by people along the coast to help promote tourism in this beautiful area; it felt great to be a part of that. I don’t know how or where these photos will be used, maybe on websites, brochures, or magazines, but I’m excited to see!

Sophia pretending to look for gray whales.


under: Rasha Aridi, sea_ari

First Impressions

Posted by: | June 24, 2018 | 2 Comments |

I am very lucky and excited to be an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar. I’m from Richmond, Virginia and have been to Portland once before, so this whole experience is very new to me: new wildlife, new friends, new grocery stores, new sites, new workspaces, and new restaurants to try. And I am now realizing how this newness is important to my position with Wild Rivers Coast Alliance. I’m working on a project that surveys the products and pricing of whale watching, kayak, and salmon fishing tours along the Oregon coast. I’ll be analyzing this data to see what kind of experiences are out there and, in turn, communicate these findings to tour operators, scientists, and community members to boost tourism on the Oregon coast.

I was surprised by my first impression of Coos Bay. I was expecting a quaint, sweet coastal town like I’d seen on the internet or in movies. Instead, I found a place where nearly 20% of the population lives below the poverty line, have seen many run-down and struggling businesses, driven past several trailer parks, and noticed a high homeless population. There are some really great and beautiful places in Coos Bay, but the town seems to be struggling. I’m realizing that they could really use an economic boost, possibly brought on by sustainable tourism. Being new to this area and being able to make these observations has helped me realize how important tourism can be to these coastal towns and their community members. It has me even more excited to keep me working on my research to see how tourism affects these places.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep enjoying this beautiful place I get to call home for ten weeks, keep exploring this new area, and trying to identify all the cool wildlife around me!

under: Rasha Aridi, sea_ari