December 28, 2019

Science and art integration in the Galapagos

Science and art integration in the galapagos

This Fall, for one month, I lived in the Galapagos islands aboard the Lindblad Expeditions ship, the National Geographic Endeavor II, conducting deep-ocean research with National Geographic, MIT Media Lab, and the Charles Darwin Foundation, using National Geographic Exploration Technology Lab’s Deep-Ocean Dropcams. We explored seamounts around the Galapagos to discover what lives in the deep.

Prior to the expedition, I developed an observation guide and field-journaling kit and provided these kits for the science team. This course was made to guide explorers in an art-integrated approach to enhance our observation and participation with the places we visited. More than a logbook, the field-journaling exercises were designed as a method to engage more of our senses and faculties in exploring nature, to delve below the surface with ‘artful attention’, and to join the field-journaling tradition of the early naturalists and pioneering deep-sea explorers. The human-natural connection developed and logged through these activities complement and provide context for the Dropcam video footage taken from the deep-sea sites, connecting the deep-sea with the surface waters, and human culture with nature.

Published this month in the sustainability journal Verde Galapagos, a short story that I wrote about our expedition. I am grateful to share in two languages, moments of wonder and connection from the expedition, and the passion and purpose that drives our art-integrated exploration of the deep-sea.