Two one-week workshops for eighty school teachers on the exploration of California and the Pacific in the development of the young nation.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego (MMSD) offers a workshop led by Raymond Ashley on Pacific exploration. Noting the European arrival in San Diego sixty-five years before Jamestown, it underscores the importance of the West Coast in early American history. Participants study European voyages and consider how period maps revealed early understandings of geography, diverse cultures, and the science of navigation. They learn about prehistoric Native American seafaring, the first interactions between Spanish explorers and native peoples, and the rivalries between Spanish, British, French, and Russian colonizers. Lastly, they study how exploration of the wider Pacific region through such ventures as whaling and trade with China yielded complex communication, migration patterns, and political exchanges. Led by project director Raymond Ashley (MMSD), the workshops benefit from the expertise of Stephen Collston (San Diego State University), Stan Rodriguez (Kumeyaay College), Iris Engstrand (University of San Diego), and David Ringrose (University of California, San Diego), among others. In addition to the museum's collection of historic ships, some of which serve as an on-board classroom, participants visit the Cabrillo National Monument, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and the San Diego Mission de Alcala. Primary sources include maps, shipping manifests, and customs bills, as well as European and native accounts of exploration and first encounters. Secondary sources include J. C. Beaglehole's The Exploration of the Pacific, William Schurz's The Manila Galleon, Lynn Withey's Voyages of Discovery: Captain Cook and the Exploration of the Pacific, and Richard Johnson's Thence Round Cape Horn. Finally, after a morning on the State's official tallship, California, to immerse participants in aspects of sailing the ship, they share their progress on group teaching projects that are later posted on the MMSD website.