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Tonight at AAAS: Students from Remote Siberian Discuss Climate Change Art Exhibit
Watercolor on paper by Senya Koyakin, a middle school student in Zhigansk, Siberia.
Image courtesy of the Student Partners Project
A group of schoolchildren from a remote Siberian village will discuss their artistic interpretations of global climate change—now on exhibit at AAAS—and answer questions via video-teleconference during an event at the association's Washington, D.C., headquarters tonight [Wednesday 14 May] at 6:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.
The children, who are 9-14 years old, will describe their works and answer questions from the audience. Their artworks, mainly watercolors and some charcoal drawings, share themes of the Siberian landscape and climate changes occurring in that environment.
R. Max Holmes, an earth system scientist at Woods Hole Research Center—co-sponsor of the Siberian art exhibit at AAAS—will also give a lecture on how his Arctic field studies led him to develop research collaborations with Siberian students interested in science. Past AAAS President John P. Holdren, Woods Hole director and the Teresa and John Heinz Professor of Environmental Policy at Harvard University, also is expected to be on hand for the event.
Max Holmes and Anya Suslova tour the AAAS exhibit of artwork by Siberian schoolchildren
Anya Suslova, the first such student to work with Holmes, will be at the AAAS event in person. Suslova was 13 years old when she first met Holmes during a 2003 research expedition along the Lena River in Siberia. She expressed an interest in the research going on in her community, and Holmes encouraged her interest by allowing her to participate in simple sampling procedures.
After learning of the Suslova's research participation her classmates in Zhigansk, Siberia and their teachers became involved. Their scientific contributions became a key part of a research initiative to explore how climate change affects large Arctic rivers in Russia, Canada and Alaska. The National Science Foundation funds the Student Partners Project, which unites K-12 schoolchildren and their teachers with scientists who study Arctic rivers.
Climate changes in the Arctic, including melting permafrost in Siberia, flooding in Alaska and dissolving icebergs in Norway, are providing early warning of the potential impact of global warming. Holmes's work explores how climate change alters water cycles and chemicals in Arctic environments.
The schoolchildren thanked Holmes for stimulating their scientific interests by giving him a collection of their artwork.
Many pieces depict local animals, plants, and landscapes. Other works present images of everyday life, such as children plucking icicles from a log cabin and a group of people-and their footprints in the snow-waving goodbye to a caravan of sleds pulled by reindeer. And in "Lucky Fisherman," a watercolor by Misha Solov'en, a dog watches as two fishermen gather fish from a net.
Twenty works are on display until 6 June at the AAAS Gallery, which is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time. The exhibit includes photographs of the Siberian villages where the schoolchildren live, photographs of the children, and information on climate change in the Arctic. Beaded vests are also on display as examples of traditional Siberian craftwork.
The exhibit is part of the AAAS Art of Science and Technology Program, established in 1985 to showcase art about science, art by scientists, or art that employs a new or original technology or technique.
14 May 2008