Art + Science Partnership
Through a partnership between NOAA Fisheries and the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), I have had the pleasure of developing products and programming that engage the public in science and stewardship on new levels. Art is uniquely suited to synthesize complex scientific information, promote new perspectives, and reach people emotionally. Around the world, people are just beginning to recognize the powerful role art can play in promoting sustainability. Public works of art have demonstrated that art can be an effective tool to address environmental degradation head-on and prompt behavioral changes that might otherwise be shrugged off. Below are a few examples of projects I have co-led through the Art + Science Partnership.
Salmon Life Cycle Animation
This 5-minute animation highlights the arduous journey of Pacific salmon from alevin to spawner. These small, but mighty, fish migrate for hundreds—and sometimes thousands of miles—through drought-stricken habitat, over dams, and past the mouths of sea lions and back again. The animation compliments the An Incredible Journey curriculum and children's book.
Through vividly-colored, playful illustrations from Anke Gladnick, An Incredible Journey highlights the role salmon play as a keystone species in the Pacific Northwest. The book also connects salmon to the cultures of peoples in the region and around the world. The final illustrations of the book illustrate how individuals, communities, and governments can make a meaningful difference for salmon.
This mural, created by Esteban Camacho Steffensen, depicts a Chinook salmon and the many factors that influence its survival. Chinook salmon depend on snow pack, which produces the clean water that flows through mountains, rivers, bays, estuaries, and finally, to the ocean. The image shows these habitats interwoven with human activities, including those—like washing cars and fertilizing lawns—that bring toxics into waterways. I work with schools, nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies to install this mural in public places to inspire watershed and salmon stewardship. Learn about our latest installation in Seattle, WA.
Seeds for Salmonids
In 2016, I launched the Seeds for Salmonids program to help individuals learn about the cultural, economic, and ecological benefits of plants commonly used for salmon and steelhead (salmonids) habitat restoration. The program also provides participants with packets of native seeds that are commonly used in riparian restoration projects in their local communities. The program also introduces the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy habitat to help participants more deeply understand the connection between healthy habitats and health salmonid populations.