We welcome your interest and engagement in the cause of bringing arts, humanities, and science into greater collaboration. We are actively seeking to broaden this network and broadcast the mission, goals, and works of Ecological Reflections as far and wide as possible. That said, so as not to dilute our mission and goals, we believe that each member site should strive to meet certain criteria:
Individual Site Characteristics
- Community and site suitable for setting off on a long-term path of inquiry
- Significant and accessible scientific and/or literary-naturalist legacy
- Informed engagement with natural world
- Capacity to archive and share products of the work.
- Physical and institutional support structure (especially in regard to dwelling space and information management)
- Diverse affiliate institutions
- Individual leadership, commitment, and vision
- Transdisciplinarity: an openness to creative writers, scientists, artists (music, dance, visual arts), native voices, local voices, underrepresented communities.
- Ability to raise awareness of events and results, reach an expansive audience, and measure audience responses and track audience ideas.
Obviously, not all potential sites are going to meet all these criteria right off the bat (or for many years, for that matter.) We understand that, and still encourage your interest. The Reflections network serves numerous functions:
- Potential for a shared source of long-term funding to which participating institutions/artists/writers could apply to support their endeavors;
- Idea-sharing regarding successful approaches to public engagement and outreach, identify priorities for work, etc.;
- Information sharing (relevant papers, proposals, websites, programs, partners, etc.)
- Expertise-sharing (providing guidance during the initial stages of program development at new sites, template-sharing for call-for-artists, artist contracts, etc.)
- Cross-site collaborations (an individual artist spanning different ecosystems and sites, a single transferable mechanism for bringing artists or projects to sites, etc.
- The organization and hosting of conferences, workshops
- The production of attractive publications or other communication products
- The development of common protocols for archiving creative works
- The development of means of communication that would allow easy sharing of ideas and experience across sites and consolidate and increase outreach and news to public
How to Begin Building a Reflections Program
Several of the existing programs that bring arts, humanities, and science together in long-term, place-based inquiry have been patterned off the Long-Term Ecological Research program sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Despite this common starting point, these programs have taken quite different forms: the Bonanza Creek LTER site program emphasizes performance arts, North Temperate Lake emphasizes visual arts, and H.J. Andrews Forest emphasizes creative writing and environmental philosophy. These programs can be sources of ideas for establishing a new program. For description of key ingredients in a place-based, long-term program see the page “Sample Ingredients for a Place-Based, Long-Term Ecological Reflections Program.“
If you think your site would be a good match, please contact the Spring Creek Project.