Ecotones: Arts at Field Stations & Marine Labs

Ecotones is a network of opportunities for artists to work at biological field stations, marine laboratories, and long term ecological research sites. 

As transition zones between two different environments, ecotones are rich environments. Organisms from each habitat wander into the edge, and others specialize in the edge habitat itself. We invite you to wander into this rich ecotone where art and science mix.

Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary art-science activities at field stations can:

  • Expand the way scientists and artists approach their work
  • Engage the public with science and art, and communicate science in new ways
  • Challenge the boundaries we have set up between art and science to think more broadly about our relationships with the natural world
Artist Erin Wiersma working at Konza Prairie Biological Station, KS. See her work at https://erinwiersma.com/konza-prairie.
Artist Erin Wiersma working at Konza Prairie Biological Station, KS. See her work at https://erinwiersma.com/konza-prairie.

Arts residencies at field stations vary widely. Some field stations promote long-term relationships with artists who “embed” for many years and develop a deep knowledge of the science and an intimate familiarity with the site. Others may provide regularly scheduled residencies or visiting artist opportunities for a month or a summer, or longer. Some provide arts opportunities sporadically, dependent upon funding. A few provide lodging, meals, and/or stipends, while others may charge fees. Some provide services that match artists with scientists for collaborations, while others may encourage artists to work on their own. They all provide a rich opportunity for artists to immerse themselves in ecology or other environmental sciences, and they encourage artists to develop a relationship with the science of these natural environments. 

 

The data may change our minds, but we need poetry to change our hearts. 

  • Robin Wall Kimmerer

 

Do you represent a FSML with an arts program, or interested in starting one? You might benefit from the Ecotones Guide to Arts at FSMLs, available to OBFS members on the Member Access Documents page. Are you an artist interested in residencies at field stations or marine labs? Find out more about each arts program from the information listed below.

 

Field stations with arts residency programs:

 

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Artist in Residence Program
Housing: Private
Fees: No
Stipends, fellowships, or other support: No
Contact: Caitlin Barale Potter
caitlin@umn.edu

 

Flathead Lake Biological Station, MT
Housing: Private;
Fees: No
Stipends, fellowships or other support: Some
Contact: Tom Bansak
tom.bansak@umontana.edu 

 

Friday Harbor Laboratories
Artist in Residence Program
Housing: Private or shared
Fees: No
Stipends, fellowships or other support: Housing covered, some travel costs, partial meal allowance
Contact: Adam Summers
fishguy@uw.edu

 

H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, OR (LTER)
Long Term Ecological Reflections, arts & writing residencies
Housing: Private or shared
Fees: No
Stipends, fellowships or other support: No
Contact: Carly Lettero
https://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/webform/spring-creek-project/contact-us

 

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, HI (Marine)
No formal AIR program yet but interested – contact for info
Contact: Judy Lemus
jlemus@hawaii.edu 

 

Helsinki University Hyytiälä Forest Station
Climate Whirl Artist-in-residence program
Housing: Private or shared
Fees: Housing
Stipends, fellowships or other support: No
Contact: Ulla Taipale
ulla.taipale@helsinki.fi 


Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest
Art-Science
Housing: Dorm rooms
Fees: No
Stipends, fellowships or other support: Yes
Contact: Lindsey Rustad
lindsey.rustad@usda.gov

 

Kellogg Biological Station, MI (LTER)
Artists-in-Residence program
Housing: Private or shared
Fees: No
Stipends, fellowships, or other support: Yes
Contact: Elizabeth Schultheis
schulth5@msu.edu

 

Lacawac Sanctuary Field Station
Lacawac Artists Residency
Housing: Private or shared
Fees: Housing
Stipends, fellowships, or other support: No
Contact: Craig Lukatch
residency@lacawac.org

 

Mountain Lake Biological Station, VA
Art Lab
Housing: Private or shared
Fees: Meals
Stipends, fellowships, or other support: Some
Contact: Eric Nagy
esn8n@virginia.edu  

 

Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
Arts at the Institute
Housing: Private
Fees: Housing
Stipends, fellowships, or other support: No
Contact: Michelle Skedgell
mskedgell@cedarcreekinstitute.org

 

Shoals Marine Laboratory, ME (Marine)
Shoals Marine Lab Artist in Residence Program
Housing: Private;
Fees: No
Stipends, fellowships or other support: Yes
Contact: Sara Morris
sara.morris@unh.edu

 

Toolik Field Station, AK
Artist-in-Residence programs 
Housing: Private or shared
Fees: Facility use
Stipends, fellowships, or other support: Yes
Contact: Haley Dunleavy
uaf-toolik-communication@alaska.edu

 

Trout Lake Station
Art and Science
Housing: Private or shared
Fees: Provide own meals
Stipends, fellowships, or other support: No
Contact: Amber Mrnak
amrnak@wisc.edu

Leah Wilson: LISTENING TO THE FOREST, public art at Oregon State University, George W. Peavy Forest Science Center. Acrylic and bio-based resin on birch plywood; 16 62 x 46 in. panels arranged in a 4 x 4 grid. See her work at https://www.leahwilson.com/project/listening-to-the-forest.
Leah Wilson: LISTENING TO THE FOREST, public art at Oregon State University, George W. Peavy Forest Science Center. Acrylic and bio-based resin on birch plywood; 16 62 x 46 in. panels arranged in a 4 x 4 grid. See her work at https://www.leahwilson.com/project/listening-to-the-forest.

Many field stations provide other kinds of arts programs, such as arts workshops for the public, interdisciplinary classes for undergraduates, art-science collaboration symposia, and exhibits or performances. 

 

Field stations with non-residency arts programs

 

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve
Various art-science projects, often spearheaded by artist in residence
Contact: Caitlin Barale Potter,
caitlin@umn.edu

 

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, HI (Marine)
Arts collaborations
Contact: Judy Lemus,
jlemus@hawaii.edu

 

Kellogg Biological Station, MI (LTER)
Exhibits
Contact: Elizabeth Schultheis,
schulth5@msu.edu

 

Mountain Lake Biological Station, VA
Exhibits
Contact: Eric Nagy,
esn8n@virginia.edu  

 

Rice Creek Field Station
Programs and Events
Arts workshops for general public
Contact: Kristen Haynes,
kristen.haynes@oswego.edu

 

Shoals Marine Laboratory (Marine)
Arts workshops for general public
Contact: Sara Morris
sara.morris@unh.edu

 

Trout Lake Station
Mentoring program for undergraduate students
Contact: Amber Mrnak,
amrnak@wisc.edu

 

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Waukesha Field Station
Art classes and workshops for university students and general public
Field Station Kiln
Contact: Teresa Schueller,
schuelle@uwm.edu 

 

About Ecotones: Arts at Field Stations

The network of arts programs at field stations & marine labs was first developed as ArtSci Converge, led by Faerthen Felix and Jeff Brown at Sagehen Creek Field Station. The network of arts programs at long term ecological research sites (LTERs) was first developed through H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest as Long Term Ecological Reflections, and has grown into the LTER Arts & Sciences network. Now over 50 member sites strong, the Ecotones network continues to grow and promote these rich interactions of artists and scientists at environmental study sites If you represent a field station, marine lab, or long term ecological research site and you are interested in joining the Ecotones network, if you would like to connect with someone in the network, or if you have comments or questions, please contact  Nancy Lowe at sciencecandance@gmail.com.