EMPOWERING CAPABLE CLIMATE COMMUNICATORS SYMPOSIUM
LTER All Scientists’ Meeting | Next Generation Synthesis: Successes and Strategies
Workshop: Integration of the Environmental Sciences, Arts, and Humanities Across the LTER Network
The integration of environmental science, arts, and humanities (eSAH) is flourishing across the LTER network, where it is being applied to enhance outreach/education activities as well as fundamental inquiry with the aspirational goal of helping society overcome the social-ecological grand challenges of today.
During this workshop organized by Bonanza Creek LTER’s Dr. Mary Beth Leigh ( University of Alaska Fairbanks), scientists will:
a) share examples of varying eSAH activities from across the LTER network through brief presentations from artists, scientists, and organizers,
b) report on research assessing the impacts of eSAH activities on audiences and their value to LTER,
c) analyze the range and extent of interdisciplinary integration currently being achieved through different programmatic models, and
d) develop an action plan for organizing, communicating, and expanding the growing network of LTER eSAH programs.
Xavier Cortada will serve as special guest artist/speaker to present on his work as artist in residence at the following LTER sites:
At its meeting of February 21, 2018 the School Board approved Board Item H-4 proffered by School Board Member Perla Tabares Hantman, endorsing April 22, 2018 as Earth Day in Miami-Dade County Public Schools
For the ninth year in a row, we are proud to again partner with local artist Xavier Cortada and local organizations on an Earth Day project through which all schools will be able to plant a native tree on campus, together with the symbolic posting of a land reclamation flag. Other partners in this native tree canopy enhancement project include Florida International University College of Arts, Sciences & Education (CASE)│School of Environment, Arts and Society (SEAS), FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA), FIU Libraries│Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC), Pinecrest Gardens, Frost Science, and the Deering Estate. In addition, students will be afforded the opportunity to interpret Earth Day by designing their own flag.
Celebrations are scheduled as follows on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at two featured public schools:
Starting on April 19th photos of the tree planting and flag posting activities can be uploaded by the schools at: http://nativeflags.org/participant-upload/
For more information on this year’s Earth Day celebration or the land reclamation project go to www.NativeFlags.org or call 305-995-4646.
Xavier Cortada, “Native Flags: North Pole,” 2008.
Please join us for the special screening of “Dangerous Seas” on Wednesday, January 24th at 7PM at the Deering Estate in Miami. The episode of DANGEROUS SEAS showcases Florida artist Xavier Cortada using his own creativity to inspire environmental restoration.
This event is open to the public and is RSVP only. Click here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/premiere-battleground-everglades-at-the-deering-estate-tickets-41877591002?aff=efbeventtix (EVENT CLOSED/Sold out)
As part of the Speaking Sustainably Film Series, South Florida PBS (WPBT2 – WXEL) and the Deering Estate invite you to a complimentary reception and screening of the Battleground Everglades, Dangerous Seas, on January 24th at 7pm at the Deering Estate Visitor Center Theatre. Reception begins at 7pm with light snacks and beverages. The screening will begin at 7:30pm. Following the screening guests can participate in a Q&A with featured experts and the production crew. Event is free and open to the public.
BATTLEGROUND EVERGLADES explores the struggle to save one of the world’s most revered wetlands: Florida’s Everglades. Devastated by a century of drainage and development, the entire Everglades watershed is suffering from man-made pollution, habitat destruction and species decline.
Hosted by Charles Kropke, author and well-known Everglades expert, the 6-part series showcases dramatic challenges and innovative solutions to restore this World Heritage Site. As more and more countries battle sea level rise, invasive species, algae outbreaks and other environmental issues, the Everglades is poised to become a beacon of learning and hope.
“DANGEROUS SEAS” EPISODE:
South Florida is at the epicenter of a world-wide threat from sea level rise. DANGEROUS SEAS examines how Florida’s porous Biscayne aquifer, the source of South Florida’s drinking water, is endangered by rising oceans and other contaminates.
The program also journeys to a remote Florida Bay mud flat, to discover how sea level rise contributes to dwindling bird nesting populations. In Everglades National Park, audiences can watch scientists studying how sea level rise is affecting critical peat soil, a building block for Florida’s storm-vulnerable coasts. DANGEROUS SEAS also showcases a well-known Florida artist using his own creativity to inspire environmental restoration.
The series will begin airing on both South Florida PBS stations in February 2018, See below airdate schedule!
101 – Algea Explosion – Wednesday, February 7th, 7:30 PM
102 – War on Invasive Species – Wednesday, February 14, 7:30 PM
103 – The Battle Over Big Water – Wednesday, February 21, 7:30 PM
104 – Dangerous Seas – Wednesday, February 28, 7:30 PM
105 – Survival at Stake – Wednesday, March 7, 7:30 PM
106 – Glades Warriors – Wednesday, March 14, 7:30 PM
101 – Algea Explosion – Thursday, February 8th, 8 PM
102 – War on Invasive Species – Thursday, February 25, 8 PM
103 – The Battle Over Big Water – Thursday, February 22, 8 PM
104 – Dangerous Seas – Thursday, March 1, 8 PM
105 – Survival at Stake – Thursday, March 8, 8 PM
106 – Glades Warriors – Thursday, March 15, 8 PM
I marvel at looking into a microscope.
I focus in and see time. I see the past, really far into the past. I see beautiful small aquatic plants encased in glass that lived on our planet for many millions of years. Sitting inside Dr. Evelyn Gaiser’s Algae Research lab at Florida International University in Miami, I look at a slide and see diatoms.
Diatoms transport me to a place so distant in time that it wouldn’t look like the Earth I know. They help connect me to an Earth I am trying to better understand. An Earth fluid. An Earth as process. An Earth completely interconnected. An Earth generating life forms across space and time.
In diatoms, I also see moments captured in time. Scientists can determine the past salinity of water by examining the glass shells of diatoms preserved in sedimentary core samples. Each diatom species has a different salinity preference, so changes in the mixture of fresh and sea water (driven by sea level rise and water management) can be inferred from past diatom remains.
Their presence in the layered sediment connects us to the ecosystem in which they thrived while they were alive. Indeed, they are a portal to what once was so that we can better learn how to protect what now is.
A diatom glass shell is a talisman.
The tiniest of talismans– as tiny as a cell: a single-celled organism that lives in the water and harnesses the power of the sun to convert CO2 into organic substances to sustain its life and releasing oxygen in the process. Indeed, the oxygen in one of every third breath we take was returned to the atmosphere by and through diatoms!
Elegant, gem-like, the bilaterally symmetrical shapes of many diatoms move me to depict them in my art. I do so to celebrate the science that shows us their relevance in our world. These are some of the works:
Diatom Fountain (Fig. 3)
I am currently putting finishing touches on Diatom Fountain. Comprised of 1,616 handmade, hand-painted ceramic tiles, we just need to add water as soon as we get the lights and water pump installed on this sixteen-foot tall public fountain. It is my latest public work, one of several featuring diatoms.
This one is at Miami-Dade Housing Authority’s Smathers Plaza, an elderly living community in Little Havana. Here, four vertical water channels disrupt the natural flow of diatoms across the sculpture, much like dredging and canals have disrupted the flow of the River of Grass across South Florida. I like depicting diatoms in public places as a way of engaging audiences – an entry point for them to learn about how scientists use diatoms to monitor water flow and quality in the Florida Everglades and throughout Florida’s ecosystems.
Florida Coastal Everglades LTER (Fig. 4)
Using a microscope, I captured the image of a diatom from samples used by scientists working in the FIU-led Florida Coastal Everglades LTER (Long Term Ecological Research) program to study the ecology of the Everglades and sea level rise. In the digital art piece, my first work about diatoms, I had this diatom image hover over a layer of maps (that I captured using Google maps) showing the artificial canals and lakes created to develop parcels of developable land where the River of Grass once flowed.
Miami Beach City Hall (Fig. 5)
To create the Centennial art piece for the City of Miami Beach, I used a diatom as the central image for the digital work. The diatom depicted in the art piece was living on Biscayne Bay in 1915. It was creating the very air Miami Beach founders breathed 100 years ago as they brought the city to life. Its glass shell, all that remains from the diatom, is used by scientists today to see what was as they research environmental issues crucial to the city in the century to come.
Florida Turnpike (Figs. 6, 7)
I was commissioned to create permanent public art installations in three Florida Turnpike plazas, making them cultural destinations in and of themselves. Wanting to connect tourists and locals to Florida’s true beauty–nature, I portrayed Florida’s life-giving sun, its endangered animals, and native wildflowers. At the Florida Turnpike Turkey Lake Plaza near Orlando, I depicted the Florida’s sun-using and water-bound diatoms that harness its power thus creating oxygen. Conceptually, I wanted to track a day in the life across the Sunshine State:
• Sunrise: Huge diatom-clad sunrays rise above the Northbound entrance (on the east side of the Turkey Lake plaza),
• High Noon: life-giving diatoms appear as circles on the ceiling at the center of the building
at high noon, and
• Sunset: the rays set above the Southbound entrance on the west.”
Cortada first published this article for the FIU Florida Coastal Everglades LTER’s Wading through Research | “Diatom of the Month” Blog in February 2017: http://floridacoastaleverglades.blogspot.com/2017/02/diatom-of-month-february-2017.html
Project Seahorse is partnering with Miami-based eco-artist Xavier Cortada to present an educational event at Sweetwater Elementary school on May 2nd, 2017. We will be teaching students about Seahorses, the magical creatures that call Biscayne National Park and the waters of south Florida their home! Project Seahorse scientist Emilie Stump will discuss the importance of seahorses in South Florida and discuss the educational and research efforts conducted by her international group (see www.projectseahorse.org). Students will also participate in a collaborative art project culminating in an installation that captures their pledge to protect them. At the end of the event, students will be inducted into the Seahorse Society. The performance and activity is co-presented by Project Seahorse and by the Participatory Art Projects, Inc. with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
“Wildflowers, with help of their pollinators, help make Earth verdant: Plant life sustains all animals (including humans) and balance atmospheric gases (that accelerate global climate change). Wildflowers would naturally continue to blanket our planet were it not for the displacement caused by the concrete we’ve poured ‐‐ and the parcels we’ve platted ‐‐ to build our homes and grow our society. Help reverse the trend: Show us your wild side. Plant wildflowers in your yard.”
— Xavier Cortada
Cortada often engages scientists in his art-making: At CERN, Cortada and a particle physicist created a permanent digital-art piece to celebrate the Higgs boson discovery. He has collaborated with a population geneticist to explore our ancestral journeys out of Africa 60,000-years ago, with a molecular biologist to synthesize a DNA strand from a sequence 400 museum visitors randomly generated, and with botanists to develop multi-year participatory eco-art efforts to reforest mangroves, native trees and wildflowers across Florida.
The Miami artist has created environmental installations (North Pole and South Pole) and eco-art (Taiwan, Hawaii and Holland) projects, and painted community murals addressing peace (Cyprus and Northern Ireland), child welfare (Bolivia and Panama), AIDS (Switzerland and South Africa) and juvenile justice (Miami and Philadelphia) concerns.
Fore more info visit https://cortada.com
At its meeting of February 15, 2017 the School Board approved Board Item H-4 proffered by School Board Member Perla Tabares Hantman, endorsing April 22, 2017 as Earth Day in Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
For the eighth year in a row, we are proud to again partner with local artist Xavier Cortada and local organizations on an Earth Day project through which all schools will be able to plant a native tree on campus, together with the symbolic posting of a land reclamation flag. Other partners in this native tree canopy enhancement project include FIU College of Arts, Sciences & Education│School of Environment, Arts and Society, FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts, FIU Libraries│Digital Library of the Caribbean, Pinecrest Gardens, Frost Science, and the Deering Estate. In addition, students will be afforded the opportunity to interpret Earth Day by designing their own flag.
Starting on April 22nd photos of the tree planting and flag posting activities can be uploaded by the schools at: http://nativeflags.org/participate/upload/
For more information on this year’s Earth Day celebration or the land reclamation project go to www.NativeFlags.org or call 305-995-4646.
Celebrations are scheduled for Thursday April 20th, 2017 as follows:
8:30 am Ceremony – Joella C. Good Elementary School
6350 ZNW 188th Terrace
Miami, Florida 33015
10:30 am Ceremony – Miami Sunset Senior High School
13125 SW 72 Street
Miami, Florida 33183
Xavier Cortada, “Native Flags: North Pole,” 2008.
DEERING SPRING CONTEMPORARY “PLATFORM 450”
An international symposium and curated exhibit focused on the intersection of science and art.
Exhibit & Special Event on Saturday, April 22, 2017
3:30 pm -10:00 pm; Free and open to the public
Exhibit on display from April 9 – June 26, 2017
5 Actions to Stop Rising Seas was created by Xavier Cortada during April-May 2015 during an artist residency at the Rising Seas Confab 2015, Rauschenberg Studio, Captiva, Florida. In this performance, Cortada comments with irony on the weak to non-existent actions being taken to address both the causes and the imminent realities of climate disruption in a State clearly at the epicenter of potential disaster—one which has been caused by inadequate action globally on soaring levels of greenhouse gases related to human activity.
Cortada has long been involved in art that intervenes in, and/or comments upon environmental problems. He has created environmental installations (North Pole and South Pole) and direct-impact ecological art projects, in Florida, around the US, and internationally, (Taiwan, Hawaii and Holland).
Xavier Cortada is Florida-educated and has lived in Miami since he was three. He is currently Artist-in-Residence at FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society | College of Arts, Science & Education and the College of Communication, Architecture + the Arts. (https://cortada.com)
ABOUT DEERING ESTATE:
The Deering Estate offers complimentary exhibit evenings, highlighting a variety of contemporary, historic, and visiting exhibitions inside the historic homes. Exhibit Evenings are free of charge and offer the public a chance to interact with artists and curators and to experience a variety of exhibit tours and talks. Exhibit Evenings are held from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm, unless otherwise noted. Exhibit on view daily, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm; Free with Estate Admission.
By Ivan Lopez
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicts sea levels in South Florida will rise from three to seven inches by the year 2030 and from nine to 24 inches by the year 2060. A rise of that magnitude would put close to 30 percent of South Florida underwater, completely transforming our city in ways we cannot fully comprehend.
FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) is bringing together dozens of faculty members and students from many different disciplines – theatre, dance, music, journalism, architecture, environmental science – to produce A Sea Change: a Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration in Response to a Global Threat. The 90 minute program will feature a lot of important research and facts presented in creative and impactful ways.
Phillip M. Church, associate professor of theatre, conceived and directed the evening. Church has spent much of his professional career creating art and theatre that speaks to important social issues.
“There is no greater threat to our survival right now than climate change,” he said. “FIU has been researching and raising awareness about climate change and sea level rise for well over a decade. We are at a point, however, where all of that research needs to transform into tangible action. That requires all of us, not just the scientists and policy makers. A ‘sea change’ is needed in our collective thinking about this issue.”
Robert E. Gutsche Jr., assistant professor of journalism and media, produced the evening.
“My hope is that this project takes people beyond awareness, even beyond expertise of specific areas of climate change. We need to find ways to engage knowledge with action. It’s not enough for people to know about an issue. We have to decide to do something about our problems.”
Renowned environmental artist Xavier Cortada will present an immersive interactive piece; FIU Professor of Music Orlando Garcia composed music especially for the event; and Adjunct Lecturer of Dance Crystal Patient choreographed some dance numbers.
Joel Murray, chair and professor of theatre, wrote a short play titled Good that addresses the impact art can have on social change.
“If it is strong enough, art can change the way people think. The real question though is does that change transform into action. Will it make the audience participate, roll up their sleeves and demand change.”
Other FIU Theatre artists participating in the event include Associate Professor Wayne E. Robinson, Jr., alumni Evelyn Perez, Zack Myers, Caitlyn Lincoln, Pia Vicioso-Vila and current student Sigrid Corvo.
A Sea Change is part of CARTA’s larger Climate Change Initiative, which aspires through teaching, research, engagement and creative work to position the college as a global thought leader in climate change information, adaptation, mitigation and resilience.
“Preparing for climate resilience is among the critical imperatives of our times, and our college is particularly well-positioned to address it,” said Marilys Nepomechie, associate dean and professor of architecture. “Climate change is a complex, multi-faceted challenge. One that can only be addressed successfully by involving many areas of expertise. This collaboration between multiple college departments is, in fact, absolutely perfect.”
A Sea Change will be shown on both campuses. On April 4, it will be performed at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center at Modesto A. Maidique Campus and on April 7 at the Mary Anne Wolfe Theatre at Biscayne Bay Campus. Both performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
Space is limited. To make a reservation, call 305-348-0496. You can find more information about the event at eyesontherise.org/aseachange.