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SFS Annual Meeting

Monday, May 21, 2018
09:00 - 10:30

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09:00 - 09:15: / 320 CREATIVE RECONNECTION IN THE ANTHROPOCENE

5/21/2018  |   09:00 - 09:15   |  

CREATIVE RECONNECTION IN THE ANTHROPOCENE Artists are trained in systems thinking, pattern recognition, and creative problem solving. Calling on these skills, visual artists are adopting strategies of interdisciplinary research and collaboration in diverse aquatic environments. These projects vary widely, from interpretive artworks to restoring ecosystems and engaging youth. This presentation highlights two case studies. Illustrating an interpretive approach, Ann Rosenthal and Steffi Domike developed River Vernacular, an art installation inspired by the Hudson River Museum’s historic postcard collection. The artists re-photographed selected postcard locations and soaked cloth in the Saw Mill River to map the social and natural histories of Yonkers, New York. Turning to youth and families, Rosenthal initiated LUNA (Learning Urban Nature through Art) which provides community-centric ecoliteracy and art programming. Such projects pose wicked questions: How are our histories and cultural assumptions undermining the sustainability of life on earth? How can we foster a more ethical and empathic relationship to non-human others? In the face of the Anthropocene, projects that transcend disciplinary silos and binary thinking offer a moment of deep insight, a perceptual shift, that can reveal the inextricable connections between nature and culture to revitalize individuals and communities.

Ann Rosenthal (Primary Presenter/Author), LOCUSArt, atrart@gmail.com;


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09:15 - 09:30: / 320 READING WATER: RENEWING HUMANITIES-FRESHWATER SCIENCE SYNERGIES FOR URGENT TIMES AND WICKED PROBLEMS

5/21/2018  |   09:15 - 09:30   |  320

READING WATER: RENEWING HUMANITIES-FRESHWATER SCIENCE SYNERGIES FOR URGENT TIMES AND WICKED PROBLEMS This presentation considers the intersection between humanists and scientists in our institution’s new Freshwater Science and Sustainability program. The presenters are: a creative nonfiction writer and photographer (Heasley), a wetland ecologist (Schriever), and an ichthyologist (Bloom). Initially, we shared a regional focus on ecological changes and problems in the Great Lakes, albeit within our humanities and scientific realms. Later, a collection of lyric essays by Heasley demanded a deeper dialogue (e.g., on the evolutionary ecology of zebra mussels). We began exploring the historical fusion of natural science with art and literature, of scientists in the field with the poets, philosophers, and artists of their day; and how today’s students think it’s normal to isolate themselves within their respective training grounds. Here, we’ll illustrate our confluence (and perspectives) with a short round robin of creative readings and other firsthand examples of humanities-science unions. Our goals are to consider: (1) possibilities for mutual insight and transformation that still honor our autonomy; and (2) possibilities for boundary breaking across professional norms of communication and collaboration, via field settings and other shared places, and within the institutional environments of freshwater research and creative activities.

Lynne Heasley (Primary Presenter/Author), Western Michigan University, lynne.heasley@wmich.edu;


Devin Bloom (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Western Michigan University, devin.bloom@wmich.edu;


Tiffany Schriever (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Western Michigan University, tiffany.schriever@wmich.edu;


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09:30 - 09:45: / 320 A VIRTUAL DIORAMA OF NUTRIENT SPIRALING

5/21/2018  |   09:30 - 09:45   |  320

A VIRTUAL DIORAMA OF NUTRIENT SPIRALING The field of science visualization has recently added the medium of virtual reality (VR), which offers an enormous, yet largely unexplored “expressive landscape” for presenting basic science concepts in a tangible, naturalistic manner – promising a new “golden age of illustration” akin to the advent of photography. VR’s ability to provide a firsthand sense of experience could transform classroom education into something more like a field excursion rather than a bookish exercise in which layers of abstraction frequently veil the subject. And yet, there is great potential for VR to misinform the user, because the medium is compelling enough to make even inaccurate content seem real. Therefore, adapting science content for educational VR requires care, whereby content is simplified enough to fit the programming environment, yet accurate enough to convey a meaningful level of understanding. Here, we present our pilot attempt to adapt a spatial but largely abstract stream ecology concept to VR for education: namely, nutrient spiraling, presented as a navigable virtual stream reach. We explain the visual devices and metaphors used to host this content in VR, and invite feedback and critique from the professional freshwater science community.

Victor Leshyk (Primary Presenter/Author), Northern Arizona University, victorleshyk@esedona.net;


Benjamin Koch (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Northern Arizona University, ben.koch@nau.edu;


Bruce Hungate (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Northern Arizona University, bruce.hungate@nau.edu;


Jane Marks (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Northern Arizona University, jane.marks@nau.edu;


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09:45 - 10:00: / 320 SCIENCE AND ART: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONVERSATION

5/21/2018  |   09:45 - 10:00   |  320

SCIENCE AND ART: AN INTERDISCIPLINARY CONVERSATION At their core, science and art are processes used to describe the world around us. Historically, these disciplines were closely linked, but this connection weakened with increasing specialization in science during the past century. However, scientists and artists are reconnecting to explore how these disciplines can inform and enrich each other. I will discuss my own research on a group of enigmatic fish parasites, the Myxozoa, and how I use art to explore and inform my science. This diverse group of parasite are most closely related to free-living Cnidaria, and their adaptation to parasitism leads to some interesting biological questions. But the arts offer another perspective for exploring and communicating about myxozoan structure and function and how these organisms fit into a river ecosystem. In addition to my own work, I’ll talk about collaborations with artist residents and how to encourage interdisciplinary conversations.

Jerri Bartholomew (Primary Presenter/Author), Oregon State University, bartholj@science.oregonstate.edu;


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10:00 - 10:15: / 320 MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE: A POWERFUL TOOL TO BUILD ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP APPEALING TO THE SENSES

5/21/2018  |   10:00 - 10:15   |  320

MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE: A POWERFUL TOOL TO BUILD ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP APPEALING TO THE SENSES Mapping the River is a performance about water and culture. A team of University of Michigan faculty and students produced the multimedia piece. Collaboration includes choreography, poetry, music, visual arts and ecology and uses the Huron River as model. It was part of Arts on Earth, a University of Michigan initiative linking arts and sciences, dedicated in 2008 to Arts and the Environment. The endless cycle of water inspires the work: rainfall seeping into the ground to form the headwaters stream that becomes the Huron, which flows into the Great Lakes and on to the ocean, where rain renews the cycle. The narrative maps the river from headwaters to Lake Erie and tells stories along the way. Our goal was to celebrate water and to speak to the central role rivers play as they run through lives of humans and other life forms. The challenge embraced was to educate about cultural activities effects on the environment without tuning out the audience and to inspire them to be better stewards. We will document the collaborative process and challenges, lessons learned, and public responses.

Sara Adlerstein (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Michigan, adlerste@umich.edu;


Jessica Fogel (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Michigan, jkfogel@umich.edu;


Evan Chambers (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), university of michigan, evanck@umich.edu;


Keith Taylor (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), un, keitay@umich.edu;


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10:15 - 10:30: / 320 AN EYE FOR DESIGN: A GRADUATE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE ON THE BENEFITS OF COMMUNICATION ARTS TRAINING

5/21/2018  |   10:15 - 10:30   |  320

AN EYE FOR DESIGN: A GRADUATE STUDENT PERSPECTIVE ON THE BENEFITS OF COMMUNICATION ARTS TRAINING Within the scientific community, increasing emphasis is being placed on the importance of broad communication training. Visual communication techniques may be particularly valuable to the next generation of freshwater scientists as they seek to first engage, then educate broad audiences. Unfortunately, opportunities to acquire such training through structured coursework are uncommon. Here, we present some outcomes from a three-credit class in communication arts training, from the perspective of a graduate student. Specifically, we showcase lessons learned and skills acquired through an infographic data visualization course that is offered through a collaboration between the Center for Environmental Studies and the Department of Communication Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. Examples of graduate student work will provide some context for the level of technical skill that can be acquired in a single semester. Furthermore, we will discuss how practicing design principles can translate to a deeper understanding of one’s own research, through deliberate consideration of how their work is perceived by target audiences.

Taylor Woods (Primary Presenter/Author), Virginia Commonwealth University, woodste@vcu.edu;


Daniel McGarvey (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Virginia Commonwealth University, djmcgarvey@vcu.edu;


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