Hubbard Brook’s “Wind Words” at The National Weather Center Biennale

Xavier Cortada’s Wind Words Water (from a 2012 participatory art project honoring Hubbard Brook Science) has been accepted at The National Weather Center Biennale.  This is an international juried exhibition presenting: Art’s Window on the Impact of Weather on the Human Experience.

For more on “Wind Words” go to:

Xavier’s piece and a discussion of  Wind Words and Hubbard Brook will be on exhibit at the  Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma from April 19 to June 14.  You can find out more at:


Xavier Cortada (with the participation of Lindsey E. Rustad, Ph.D., Team Leader and Forest Ecologist, Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest), “WIND WORDS: WATER,” digital art, 2012


Waterviz for Hubbard Brook: A New Water Cycle Visualization Tool

Displaying waterviz.png

Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest and LTER is excited to announce Waterviz:  A New Water Cycle Visualization Tool.

WaterViz for Hubbard Brook represents the nexus between the hydrologic sciences, visual arts, music, and computer design. Hydrologic data captured from a small watershed at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire using an array of environmental sensors, is transmitted to the internet and used to drive a computer model that calculates all components of the water cycle for the catchment in real time. These data, in turn, drive an artistic simulation and sonification of the water cycle, reflecting the hydrologic processes occurring at that moment in time. It is our hope that this visualization will allow the viewer to intuit the dynamic inputs, outputs, and storage of water in this small, upland forested watershed as they are occurring and from anywhere in the world.

To view Waterviz go to:

To sample the Waterviz “listen in” music component, go to:

WaterViz for Hubbard Brook is a cooperative and interdisciplinary project between artist Xavier Cortada, composer Juan Carlos Espinosa and the following organizations, that grew out of a White Mountain National Forest artist-in-residence program:

The Water Cycle. Image from USGS Water Science for Schools


Ecological Reflections Art Exhibit at LTER “Mini-Symposium”

LTER Artwork: Fire moves through grasslands at NSF's Konza Prairie LTER Site in Kansas. Credit: Edward Sturr, Prairie Light Studio

LTER Artwork: Fire moves through grasslands at NSF’s Konza Prairie LTER Site in Kansas.
Credit: Edward Sturr, Prairie Light Studio

We are pleased to announce that art from Ecological Reflections will accompany the LTER mini-symposium. The “Ecological Reflections” art exhibit will be located in NSF’s third floor exhibition area. The exhibit opens at 4 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2013, with a talk by Frederick Swanson of United States Forest Service: “Ecological Reflections: A Sense of Place in Changing Places.”

The exhibit focuses on the question of how we respond as change comes to places we know and love. The artisitc reflections featured in this exhibit–including fiber arts, paintings, drawings, sculpture, song, photography, short films and poetry–showcase art-science collaborations at 11 LTER sites in the continental US, Alaska, and French Polynesia. Work by 39 artists and writers reflects the diverse ecology and culture of the sites they represent

The exhibit will be on display at NSF from Feb. 28 through June 15, 2013. More information can be found in the exhibit brochure: Ecological Reflections Exhibit at NSF .


Lynn Cazabon was the 2012 Artist-in-Residence for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. Her project, Uncultivated, is an ongoing public art project consisting of geo-referenced photographs, a website (, and commercial displays, representing wild plants within urban landscapes. Commonly known as ‘weeds,’ the project draws attention to tiny pockets of wildness within the urban environment and challenges the common practice of privileging certain parts of nature at the expense of others. Uncultivated also reflects upon how urban landscapes are evolving due to the effects of global climate change. Each printed image in the project is displayed with a QR code, which when scanned with a mobile device connects to its corresponding webpage containing detailed information on all the plants found in the image, their location, and the date it was taken. The public displays are designed to deepen awareness of the immediate surroundings of the viewer by displaying a photograph taken in close proximity.







The “Poetic Inventory” continues at Rocky Mountain N.P.

In May we lauded the activities of Eric Magrane, of Spiral Orb, who organized the Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park to coincide with the 2011 BioBlitz and Biodiversity Festival at Saguaro. Our post ended with a call to replicate the Poetic Inventory at the 2012 BioBlitz at Rocky Mountain National Park.

We’re happy to hear that Charlie Malone and Wolverine Farm Publishing took up the call and conducted A Poetic Inventory of Rocky Mountain National Park.

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Ecological Reflections Activities at the upcoming LTER All Scientist Meeting 2012

We invite all and any participants in the upcoming LTER All Scientist Meeting to join us in a “Workshop on Engaging Arts and Humanities.”  We have workshop times set for 1:30-3:30pm and 4:00-6:00pm on Monday Sept. 10 in the Longs Peak Keyhole room.

The working group sessions will address:

  • What is the current situation of the Ecological Reflections network, including brief presentations from a sampling of programs?
  • How do we foster this work at our own sites and as a network?
  • How should we administrate ourselves (as a working group) in the coming few years (e.g., continue grassroots or get more organized)?
  • What are next important steps to take in this work both thematically (e.g., begin inter-site arts/humanities) and in terms of institutional arrangement (e.g., with NSF, NEA, private foundations, …)

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Ecological Reflections Activities at ESA 2012 Annual Meeting in Portland, OR

The 97th annual ESA conference took place in Portland, Oregon, from Aug. 5-Aug. 10, 2012.  Ecological Reflections choreographed a number of activities.

Art Exhibit

This display of visual arts (painting, sculpture, fiber, photography) and creative writing came from four Long-Term Ecological Research sites (Andrews Forest (OR), Bonanza Creek (AK), Harvard Forest (MA), North Temperate Lakes (WI)).  Over the four days of the exhibit more than 400 people visited the display and many of them triggered stimulating discussions on topics like “Hey, we’re doing something similar and want to connect.” Or “We want to do that – how do I get more information about this works.”  A museum curator asked for a proposal to display these work at the Burke Museum at University of Washington.  Overall, the reception was very enthusiastic.

Links to examples of this work can be found on the Harvard Forest, Andrews Forest, North Temperate Lakes, and Bonanza Creek pages.

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“A Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park”

An event was recently brought to our attention that captures many of the qualities found in an Ecological Reflection program and is one which we believe could be replicated elsewhere. The event was titled “A Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park” and was held in conjunction with the BioBlitz held in Saguaro National Park October 21-22, 2011.

A BioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which teams of volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible. In this case, more than 5,000 people combed Saguaro National Park outside of Tucson, Arizona. The 24-hour count added over 400 species to park lists, including 190 species of invertebrates and 205 species of fungus previously unknown to the park. At least one species of bryophyte discovered was new to the park and could be potentially new to science.

Leading up to the BioBlitz, Tucson poet and naturalist Eric Magrane created “A Poetic Inventory of Saguaro National Park,” in which he gathered close to one hundred poets and prose writers to contribute creative pieces based on species in the park, including the Bark Scorpion, Jumping Cholla, Flicker, Saguaro, Mountain Lion, Gila Monster, Sacred Datura, Tarantula, Western Diamond-Backed Rattlesnake, and Harris Hawk.

Poems and prose works were featured in the latest issue of Spiral Orb, a literary journal that Magrane has dubbed “an experiment in permaculture poetics.” In it, Magrane explained the “Poetic Inventory” process:

“The project’s contributors used various modes to address their species. Some wrote poems taking the voice of their species; some wrote celebrations of their species; some wrote to their species, addressing them in the form of an ode or asking questions; some wrote playful lyrics; some followed the human name of the species into a poem, letting language be a species itself; some created new fairy tales.”

To read more about the poetic inventory, click here.

To read the poems themselves, please click here.

In addition to the Spiral Orb issue, a well-attended “reading” was held at the University of Arizona’s Poetry Center. For video, click here.

One idea that we had is that Magrane (or another dedicated soul) could treat the 2011 Poetic Inventory results as base-line data and, in future years, re-sample Saguaro’s plant and animal communities. This would bring the concept of The Poetic Inventory into the fold of Ecological Reflections’ “long-term” emphasis and further Magrane’s own question on biodiversity: “how do we, as Homo sapiens—one species among many—relate with other species?”

Regardless, and perhaps needless to say, we think the “Poetic Inventory” is a brilliant idea that other sites, programs, or individuals could undertake or organize, especially as National Geographic is helping conduct a BioBlitz in a different national park each year during the decade leading up to the U.S. National Park Service Centennial in 2016.

2012 is Rocky Mountain National Park. Any takers?





“Ecological Reflections” at The Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill

We are pleased to welcome the addition of The Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill to the Ecological Reflections network. The facility and staff of the Desert Laboratory were key contributors to what is now considered the science of ecology, including participating in the creation of the Ecological Society of America in 1915 and the journal Ecology. The current staff now includes an (unpaid) “Research Associate” position filled by the artist and illustrator Paul Mirocha. Paul has developed a fascinating and dynamic website titled “Tumamoc Sketchbook,” which works to “promote non-destructive, mutually beneficial uses of this highly protected natural and historical site by developing and expressing an on-site sense of place.”

For more information, click on their “site profile” or go directly to their website.

Thanks for reading.


Ecological Reflections art exhibit at National Science Foundation

We’re pleased to announce that an exhibit featuring artwork from North Temperate Lakes LTER’s “Drawing Water” exhibit, Bonanza Creek LTER’s “In a Time of Change” series,  and Harvard Forest LTER’s artistic residency program are being exhibited at the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA.

(Bonnie Peterson, artist, and Dr Cora Marrett, Deputy Director of  NSF, in front of Peterson’s art piece “Of Bogs and Benthos.”)

True to the ideas behind Ecological Reflections, all the works of art are accompanied by an explanation of the science behind the art, as can be seen in the following photo.

Photo courtesy of Bonnie Peterson

More information (including additional pictures) on the NSF exhibit can be found on “Drawing Water’s” Facebook page. The NSF press release mentioning the exhibit can be found here. The Introduction to the art display can be found here.

The show will be on display at NSF for two months. Afterwards, the exhibit will be featured at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting (August 5-10; 2012, Portland, OR.) It will then travel to the LTER All Scientist Meeting (September 10 – 13, 2012; Estes Park, Colorado.) We will continue to provide updates as this exhibit makes its way across the country.

Needless to say, we are  thrilled with the level of outreach this exhibit provides, and wish to congratulate the artists, scientists, and personnel who made this possible.