GBI Media Contest June 2021 Submissions, Part 1

For this month’s media contest, we kept things simple. The theme was “J”. Yes, just the letter “J”, as in June. As in Jay, Juniper, Joy, and Joshua Tree. And as in Japanese-American, as we see with our winning entry, submitted by AmeriCorps member, Jenna Horiuchi, who submitted photos related to the incarceration of Japanese-Americans from 1942-1945 during WWII, over 10,000 of whom were incarcerated at Manzanar.

Jenna provided background on the photo above: “Over 110,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were ordered by the United States government to leave their homes in 1942. This mass removal led to being incarcerated in remote, military-style camps that were kept under armed guard and surrounded by a boundary of barbed wire fencing. Deemed a ‘war relocation center’, Manzanar was one of these ten Japanese American confinement sites where the U.S. government detained both Japanese immigrants and Japanese American citizens until 1945. Manzanar National Historic Site preserves the stories of the over 10,000 people who passed through its entrance and lived in the barracks, offering the public the opportunity to learn about the historic events that took place.

“In this nighttime photo of the replica historic entrance sign to Manzanar, the Inyo Creek Fire burns in the background (approximately eight miles away) and fills the area with smoke–a reminder for us all to practice wildfire prevention, awareness, and safety this dry, hot season.”

Our thanks to Jenna for the superb photos and for helping keep the important stories underlying them alive. And thanks to the many others who submitted such great images. “J” provoked such an outpouring that we’ll be devoting several posts to these submissions, so keep watching this space for more galleries like the one below.

Jenna Horiuchi, AmeriCorps. “Since 1969, an annual pilgrimage to Manzanar has taken place every spring (minus the COVID years), offering formerly incarcerated Japanese Americans and their family members the opportunity to speak about the experience, and the public the chance to learn more intimately about it. These banners represent the ten Japanese American Confinement Sites and are on display in the Manzanar Visitor’s Center, but one day out of the year are carried in the pilgrimage procession. From left to right, Rohwer (AR), Jerome (AR), Amache (CO), Heart Mountain (WY), Minidoka (ID), Topaz (UT), Poston (AZ), Gila River (AZ), Tule Lake (CA), and Manzanar (CA).”

Emmi Peterson, Research Associate. “Tent Colors: Juniper, Joshua Tree, Jeffrey Pine. I’m on the stream survey crew as part of the RA program in Elko. My team & I were out on our first hitch to sample the North Fork Humboldt River & Beaver Creek, & when we pulled out our tents, we were all rocking green!!”

Christian Hernandez, Research Associate. “Joyous. Being part of the RA program working with the Klamath Network for the NPS has us traveling around a lot to different parks or monuments looking for newly establishing invasive plants. This picture was taken at Whiskytown National Recreation Area which was extensively burned in the 2018 Carr fire. Most of the areas we were surveying showed just the early stages of regeneration, with the exception of the creeks. Water is life, and these Lilium pardalinum (Leopard Lily) were loving the flowing creek next to it, but it was the visiting swallowtail butterfly that really made the moment joyous to us.”

Laurie Fisher, Research Associate. “Juniper! This is a photo of Juniperus Californica found in the higher elevations of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge. I am an archaeological research associate at the Refuge Complex and took this photo as I drove up to the Desert Pass campground to survey for cultural resources in that area.”

Shayne Geiger, Research Associate. “Just in time. This beautiful small flower is Lewisia kelloggii, one of our focus species here at Stanislaus National Forest. They are only identifiable for about 8 weeks before their flowers and leaves dry up for the summer. Even with the start date of my RA Botany Crew Lead position being delayed I was lucky enough to find this specimen at a new study site, just in time. We were able to catalogue the population in this area and confirm that it is either the largest or second largest population in our district. L. kelloggii is a threatened and sensitive species, with most risk due to logging, recreation use and cattle grazing. This population will now be protected from major threats and can be tracked for further study in the future. This has definitely been my favorite moment so far in the season, and a great feeling to know our work is making significant impact to protect rare plants and their habitats.

Elizabeth Menenez, Research Associate. “JOB. ‘WFH: /werk frøm høm/ verb. Work From Home – the ability to do your JOB, do it well, and do it at home in sweats.’ The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many employees to work from home, and the magnitude of the shift to remote work has shaken a lot of people, even myself. As a geophysicist my lab work is with my computers, so in an effort to be flexible I have made the most out of this situation and really enjoy working from home now.”

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