Kaikoura 2 credit Dave Allen NIWA
Credit: Dave Allen NIWA
21 May

Webinar: The Unseen | Art is a powerful way to communicate science

In this webinar, interdisciplinary researcher Gabby O'Connor, with marine scientist Carolyn Lundquist and oceanographer Joe O'Callaghan, will discuss The Unseen, an art-science-education research project that investigated ways to communicate risk and uncertainty in marine science.

Through a series of workshops, more than 1,600 school students and community members explored the risks associated with environmental and climate change, and how this might affect the way we manage New Zealand’s marine ecosystems. 

At each workshop, guest scientists presented their research and Gabby connected the science with art using her own work in Antarctica, as well as the local geography, as an example. Participants then worked together to synthesise their shared knowledge into a collaborative artwork.

The findings show that art can be highly successful at conveying complex, intangible science concepts.

In this presentation, Gabby will discuss the outcomes of The Unseen, including the effectiveness of using art to communicate science and to collect data; how art can build trust and share knowledge, and can provide opportunities to individuals and communities to connect with science. She will be joined by Carolyn and Joe who will provide scientists' perspectives on the research.

The Unseen is part of the Navigating marine social-ecological systems project.

This webinar is open to anyone but will be of particular interest to scientists and researchers, community engagement specialists, policy makers, teachers, artists and local government.

About the speakers:

Gabby O’Connor is an artist, educator and interdisciplinary researcher with training in sculpture and an interest in science communication and community. She is a current PhD candidate with University of Auckland with a scholarship from the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge researching intersections between art, science, education and community. Her research supervisors are Karen Fisher, Carolyn Lundquist and Alys Longley.

Carolyn Lundquist is a marine ecologist with a joint position at NIWA Hamilton and the University of Auckland. Her research interests are diverse, ranging from the ecology of coastal ecosystems, to development of marine spatial planning tools, to social-scientific research that develops future visions of ‘what could be’ to inform environmental management. She is a project leader for Tools for managing cumulative effects, a Phase II Sustainable Seas project. Carolyn was one of the marine scientists involved in the workshops and one of Gabby's research supervisors.

Joe O'Callaghan is an oceanographer at NIWA and her research spans biophysics of land-sea interactions, mixing and transport of material in shelf seas, and most recently marine heatwaves in a changing ocean. She adopts an observational approach to better understand the parts of the ocean where people work and play. Recently Joe has been working with autonomous underwater vehicles - ocean robots - tools that are at the forefront of marine science in New Zealand and worldwide. Joe was one of the marine scientists involved in the workshops.


Held via Zoom

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