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Summer Research Project 2018

  • Title: Hemlock Hospice Video
  • Summer Supervisors: David Buckley Borden; Aaron Ellison
  • Researchers: Aaron Ellison
  • Project Description:

    This unique multidisciplinary video production project is an opportunity to test the theory and collaborative practice of art-based science communication with an ongoing Harvard Forest outreach initiative. This 11-week project will focus on the production of two videos; a short (3-5-minute outreach video for YouTube) and a 30-minute documentary-style film. Both video productions will focus on Hemlock Hospice, a year-long, art-based interpretive trail by David Buckley Borden, Aaron M. Ellison, and their team of interdisciplinary collaborators. The selected student will produce a finished video narrative documenting the Hemlock Hospice project, its collaborative process, and its supporting outreach initiatives.

    Hemlock Hospice, an immersive site-specific science-communication project, tells the story of the ongoing demise of the eastern hemlock tree at the hands (and mouth) of a tiny aphid-like insect, the hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA). While telling the story of the loss of eastern hemlock, the Hemlock Hospice project addresses larger issues of climate change, human impact, and the future of New England forests.

    The selected student will document Hemlock Hospice artwork in the field. Video content will also include creative process, including shortfalls and lessons learned, and highlights of the team’s collaborative approach to a science communication project at the intersection of ecology, art, and design. The selected student will have an interest in ecology, science-communication, art, and design and will spend the summer co-writing, filming, editing, and co-producing a short project profile with Aaron Ellison and David Buckley Borden.

    Mentored research will include bringing together relevant scientific, historical, literary, and artistic information that has informed the Hemlock Hospice project. For example, scientific data from paleoecology, land-use history, disturbance, succession, and invasive species could be linked with writings in environmental literature and art in relationship to science-communication precedents and case studies. The work will include regular field trips to the Hemlock Hospice project in the Forest Dynamics plot (“megaplot”), weekly meetings with mentors in focused on ecology, art and design, video production, and design communication, all informed by research and mentor collaboration

    The selected student should have significant experience in digital design and editing tools, such as Adobe Creative Suite, including Adobe Premier or comparable video editing software.

  • Readings:

    Borden, D. 2014. Graphic Adaptation. Landscape Architecture Frontiers, 2(5): 150-158.

    Borden, D. 2017. Envisioning New England Landscape Futures. The Site Magazine, Vol: 37: 123-131.

    Dunne, A. and F. Raby. 2013. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction and Social Dreaming, The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA.

    Foster, D. R., editor (2014). Hemlock: A Forest Giant on the Edge. Yale University Press, New Haven, CT.

    Swanson, Fredrick. 2015. Confluence of Arts, Humanities, and Science at Sites of Long-term Ecological Inquiry. Ecosphere, Vol: 6: 1–23.

  • Research Category: Conservation and Management, Invasive Plants, Pests & Pathogens, Biodiversity Studies