Project Upsculpt: Wetland Inspired Educational Art that Promotes Preservation

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Pamela A. Lynch , Cindy Roe

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Ask a student which of Earth’s biomes are most “valuable” and you will likely get a response of rainforest, reef or even, simply, “the Ocean.” That is likely because these areas are “pretty” and desirable to visit. To these students, “value” has a very specific meaning equating to appearance and, tangibly, what the area can provide to them. Ecological “value” has a specific, measurable, meaning. Ecological value of a biome is measured in what services will be lost or decreased through its degradation. It is this “value” that I redirect Students’ opinions to while studying our local biome, the tidal wetland. To a student, living in coastal New York, ironically the correct answer to my question is found at home. The ecological value of a wetland is considered the highest of any biome, singularly valued over 20%. It is a true powerhouse of services, ranging from nursery to flood control to water quality protection. Through multiple on-site visits to our local wetland, my students learn to correctly “value” it and are thus less likely to engage in or support activities that will lead to its degradation. In an effort to then promote the value of a tidal wetland, and to help support these long-term goals, the students create original “upsculpted” artwork depicting wetland species and their trophic structures out of material collected within it. This “upsculpted art” will be the focus of my poster session. A discussion of technique and methodology will be provided. Artwork will also be on display.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program