Maria R. Johnson

Disciplines: Communications, Conservation, Fine Art, Ichthyology, Natural History, Photography, Science Illustration, Visual Arts
Regions: Central Sonora, Gulf of California, Midriff Islands, Seri

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My life is rooted in both art and science, and I strive to merge the two fields towards the goals of communication and conservation. I live and work in Bahía Kino, Sonora at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center as a Research and Conservation Fellow in Art, Communications, and Fisheries.

My time is spent working on an ongoing research project to monitor bycatch in the local shrimp trawling fisheries as well as create art and media projects that aim to diffuse information to the world. Through photography, illustration, and science, I explore the relationship between humans and the natural world in its numerous forms while seeking creative ways to inspire a sense of connection and care.

Here are a few links about the shrimp trawler bycatch project that I have been working on for the past few years:

The science section of my website.

A conference poster.

An educational poster.

A paper.

As part of the Prescott College Kino Bay Center's research and conservation projects, we have been studying the ecological impacts of the shrimp trawling vessels in the Bahía Kino region since 2003. Our goals are to calculate the percentage of bycatch by weight, document every species captured in the bycatch, and see the changes within the species composition from year to year. We have calculated a bycatch percentage of 86.08% that rises throughout the season and is made up of 221 species of fishes and invertebrates. This includes a large percentage of juveniles, many threatened and endangered species, and represents an economic loss for local, small-scale fishermen.

By participating in 6&6, my hope is to effectively share the findings of this project, the theme of bycatch in general, and the beauty of Gulf of California marine life through art.