Thursday, February 2, 2017

Recent research on art at LTERs

From the authors...

Over the last 15 years activities at the art-science interface have grown within the US National Science Foundation-sponsored Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network, a collection of 25 sites committed to long-term, place-based investigation of the natural world.

However, there is little empirical work on the value and effectiveness of this work. After launching a survey (n = 24, all PIs in the LTER Network) in 2013 to assess the values and challenges associated with arts and humanities in the LTER Network (Goralnik et al. 2015), which identified empathy as a meaningful potential outcome of this creative work, we conducted a follow-up analysis to understand:

  1. the relevance of empathy in the LTER Network; 
  2. the role of empathy in bridging arts, humanities, and science collaborations; and
  3. the capacity of empathy to connect wider audiences both to LTER science and to the natural world. 
Phone interviews with representatives from 15 LTER sites, as well as an audience perception survey at an LTER-hosted art show, found that arts- humanities-science collaborations have great potential to catalyze relationships between scholars, the public, and the natural world; cultivate inspiration and empathy for the natural world; and spark awareness shifts that can enable pro- environmental behavior (Goralnik et al. 2016).

This research demonstrates the potential for art-humanities- science collaborations to facilitate conservation attitudes and action in the Network and beyond.

Goralnik, L., Nelson, M.P., Gosnell, H., and Leigh, M.B. 2016. Arts and humanitiesinquiry in the Long-Term Ecological Research Network: Empathy, Relationships,and Interdisciplinary Collaborations. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, forthcoming.

Goralnik, L., Nelson, M.P., Gosnell, Hannah, and Ryan, Leslie. 2015. Arts and humanities efforts in the US LTER network: Understanding perceived values and challenges. In R. Rozzi, F.S. Chapin, J.B. Callicott, S.T.A. Picket, M.E. Power, J.J. Armesto, and R.H. May Jr. (EDs.) Earth Stewardship: Linking Ecology and Ethics in Theory and Practice (pp. 249-269). Springer, Berlin.

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