Experiencing the Antarctic Through Art-PCC grads go on a field trip

PCC Graduate Students at Zaria exhibit
Michael Diamond
Left to right: Angie Boysen (Oceanography), a visiting prospective student, Judy Twedt (Atmospheric Sciences), Ethen Campbell (Oceanography), Michael Diamond (Atmospheric Sciences), Hillary Scannell (Oceanography), Megan Feddern (Fisheries), and Hannah Director (Statistics).

by Michael Diamond, Atmospheric Sciences Graduate Student and PCC Graduate Student Representative

On Saturday, October 28, a group of graduate students with the Program on Climate Change visited the Winston Wachter Fine Art gallery to see the exhibit “Antarctica” by artist Zaria Forman. The exhibit features detailed drawings of ice from Zaria’s four-week art residency aboard the National Geographic Explorer expedition ship. Zaria was also invited to participate in the 2016 and 2017 deployments of NASA’s Operation IceBridge campaign, which started in 2009 to measure changes in ice and snow around Greenland and Antarctica.

Visiting an art exhibit centered on the science of the changing polar latitudes gave the group new insights on public science communication. One particularly interesting innovation was Zaria’s use of audio in addition to the drawings to demonstrate the sound of “ice crispies”.

“Forman’s paintings made me appreciate the delicacy of Antarctica’s remote and icy landscapes; something that is hard to appreciate by just looking at the data,” reflects Hillary Scannell, a graduate student in the School of Oceanography and P-GraSC member. “The irregularities in the ice tell a story of its past and invites curiosity on how Antarctica is being transformed and what its future will look like.”