Friday, October 31, 2014

Survey and our formation announcement sent to membership.

We've sent out an announcement and survey to the members of OBFS and NAML to inform them of the Art @ FSMLs working group, and to learn how many of us have an art/humanities program at present. Thanks for your help drafting the message!

In case you somehow didn't get the memo, I've pasted the announcement below. Please forward to any other non-member stations you may know of, as well.


New Working Group on Art at FSMLs

At the September 2014 OBFS/NAML Joint Meeting in Wood’s Hole, Dr. Jerry Schubel presented on the new National Academy of Sciences publication. “Enhancing the Value and Sustainability of Field Stations and Marine Laboratories in the 21st Century”. In his talk, Dr. Schubel took the FSMLs to task for often failing to connect new data and knowledge through to policy and action, something that becomes more and more critical to our facilities’ survival as time goes by. 

Many of us feel that art can create the emotional connection to science that is needed to link this chain of progression, and can provide unexpected new ways of perceiving problems, issues, and potential solutions. During a lunch table conversation, an official working group on art at field stations and marine labs formed.

The purpose of the working group is to explore the intersection of art and science, provide examples, and share ideas and resources. Integrating art into field science programs is new ground for many stations, and we can all use some aid in figuring out the deep potential of this partnership, and how art can improve our operations, connect us to new stakeholder groups, and help us achieve our missions in a changing physical and political climate.

The working group now has a blog at The list of participants is posted. If you would like to be added to the group, or to post something to the blog, please contact the current Group Coordinator, Faerthen Felix. 

At present, we’d particularly like to build a reference library of case studies for art at FSMLs. The blog already has a few examples, including Philippe Cohen’s list of programs from the 2012 OBFS art at field stations poster session; the H.J. Andrews “Ecological Reflections” program; and program descriptions from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln’s Cedar Point Biological Station and UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station. Please consider helping us expand this resource by writing up a brief case study for your own field reserve or marine lab art program.

We’d also like to establish just how many FSMLs currently have an art or humanities program. We’ve created a very short SurveyMonkey questionnaire, and we’d ask you to please take a few minutes to answer the queries about your program. If you just can’t spare the time, a simple e-mail saying, “Yes, our FSML has an art program”, or, “No, we don’t” is better than no response.

Thanks in advance for your assistance! Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me for more information about the Art @ FSMLs working group.

--Faerthen Felix, UC Berkeley - Sagehen Creek Field Station, ffelix @

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