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  • Association of Pacific Coast Geographers Annual Meeting October 3–6, 2012
    Olympia, WashingtonAbstracts for Oral Presentations and Posters

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Oral Presentation Abstracts

James P. Allen,, California State University, Northridge; and Eugene Turner,, California State University, Northridge.Relative Earnings of Mexicans and Whites in U.S. States. Mexican men and women in the United States average fifty-seven percent and sixty-six percent, respectively, of the earned income of Non-Hispanic White men and women. Much research has established that most of this Mexican-White earnings gap results from the lower average educational attainment and English-language proficiency of Mexicans. Using the Census Bureau’s Public-Use Microdata Sample file of the 2006–2010 American Community Survey, we investigate state differences in Mexican-White earnings ratios after matching employed Mexicans who spoke English very well with Whites by three different levels of completed education. We describe with tables and maps state differences in the relative earnings of employed Mexicans and Whites. Our explanations of state differences are based on the correlation of ratios with other measured characteristics of these employed persons and with demographic characteristics of states. Descriptive findings vary considerably by gender, educational attainment, and whether Mexicans were of U.S. or foreign birth. In general, Mexican men averaged much lower earnings compared to Whites in California and Texas, by far the largest centers of Mexican population.

Ashley Allen,, University of Wyoming. Ghost Ships and Narrative Landscapes of Memory. This study examines ghost ships as memorial landscapes in Alaska. My objective was to determine the significance of ghost ships and ghost ship lore to the Alaskan landscape and the experiences of the Alaskan people. To do this, I analyzed literature and folk texts as well as historic documents and archival materials from the State Historical Library of Alaska and other historical materials made available by the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. My results indicate that specific ghost ships may become memorial landscapes because the feelings associated with their stories are significant in the eyes of the Alaskan people. I conclude that these narratives are significant because, even if they are to be considered fictional accounts, the narratives, experiences, and memories associated with their stories are real. [End Page 192]

Daniel D. Arreola,, Arizona State University. Picturing Reynosa: Visualizing the Past of a Mexican Border Town. The visual past has emerged as a recent avenue to understand changing perceptions and representations of people and place using historical photographic imagery. Photography has been used to investigate the place relationships of cultural groups as well as to document landscape change. In cultural geography, a focus on imagery and its relationship to how places are socially constructed has developed parallel to the concerns and uses of historical photography in the social sciences and humanities. This illustrated talk constructs a visual landscape of the lower Río Bravo Mexico border town of Reynosa, Tamaulipas, from the 1900s to the 1950s. The primary documentary evidence for this study is my personal collection of vintage historical photographic postcards of Mexican border towns. Circa two hundred images for Reynosa are used to interpret the changing representations of the place, and to compose a narrative visual culture history for the town. This research builds on previous examination of the cultural and urban geography of Mexican border cities to expand the understanding of how these cities have been represented through visual media and to document changes in places. The present investigation incorporates lessons from those experiences as well as from two decades of research and teaching about the Mexican border.

Leigh Barrick,, University of British Columbia. Vulnerable Landscapes and United States Border Fortifications in the Olympic Peninsula. The United States northern border has undergone a rapid process of fortification in recent years, most noticeably through the increased presence of U.S. Border Patrol personnel. Federal reviews, plans, and legislation have pointed to the myriad insecurities of this border, calling for expansions of Border Patrol staffing and technology upgrades. In this discourse, natural features of the boundary landscape emerge as key actors...