Biodiversity Research Institute
Biodiversity Research Institute
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Linking Science and Art
Linking Science and Art

In his book Letters and Images, Ansel Adams writes: “I believe the approach of the artist and the approach of the environmentalist are fairly close in that both are, to a rather impressive degree, concerned with the affirmation of life. Response to natural beauty is one of the foundations of the environmental movement.”

The Science Inspires the Art; the Artist Gives Voice to the Science

BRI's mission includes using our scientific findings to advance environmental awareness and inform decision makers. We often incorporate art, photography, and graphics as a way to explore and explain complex scientific concepts, as well as a way to engage people in conservation. 

Like every creative endeavor, conservation is a process, and it requires first and foremost an idea that strikes a chord. Art reaches people at that emotional level. Once captivated, people can begin to gain an understanding of a given concern, and once they understand an issue, they will be more apt to take positive action, which is the ultimate goal.

Paul Bannick, a wildlife photographer and conservationist, writes in BRI's book Journey with Owls, "We protect what we love and we love what we know...we must create empathy, and thus inspire the education and love that will support conservation..." 

Creative Collaboration with MECA

Creative Collaboration with MECA

In the fall of 2018, BRI began a unique collaboration with the Maine College of Art (MECA). 

As part of our mission, BRI is dedicated to advancing environmental awareness and informing decision makers about the research that we conduct. To that end, we publish science communications pieces and offer outreach programs that highlight our research in ways that are accessible to the public. We rely on high impact photography and graphics to illustrate our research. Infographics offer an effective way to convey complex scientific concepts to a general audience. 

MECA's Public Engagement program integrates art, real world problems, and community partners into its teaching curriculum. 

The results of our first collaborative effort with MECA can be seen here.

Voices on the Wind

Voices on the Wind

Photography/Art/Writing Week on Block Island

Thirteen miles off the coast of Rhode Island in Narragansett Bay lies a teardrop-shaped natural wonder: Block Island. In the fall, the island becomes a place of refuge for countless numbers of migrating songbirds and raptors that stop here to rest and refuel before continuing their journeys to distant southern latitudes. One October, the island became a creative refuge for those who would give voice to their inspirations...

During this unique BRI retreat, photographers, artists, and writers gathered on Block Island to bring experience to their art through observations and lessons in raptor, songbird, and wetland ecology. 

Click here to view the creative results of this retreat.

 
Photo Credits: Header - The Quiet Hour by Sherrie York (linocut © 2018) MECA student presentation at BRI. Feather Poem by Susan Parmenter.
Biodiversity Research Institute