Backyard phenology: Integrating citizen science and public art to build collective agency on climate change
$250k GC Interdisciplinary Work Group Collaboration
Co-PIs: Christine Baeumler, Art; Mae Davenport, Forest Resources; Nicholas Jordan, Agronomy & Plant Genetics; Rebecca Montgomery, Forest Resources
Team Members: Chris Buyarski, Forest Resources; Francis Bettelyoun, Native Medicine Garden; Kate Flick, Forest Resources; Beth Mercer-Taylor, Institute on the Environment
The project focuses on place-based observation and study of seasons and cycles of the natural world. We will engage a wide range of urban residents fostering diverse and intergenerational participation. Participants will act both as scientists—contributing observations to an established citizen-science project (the Minnesota Phenology Network, a regional partner in the USA-National Phenology Network)—and also as artists—contributing to a collective public-art project on phenology. The Climate Chaser Mobile Phenology Lab will provide a platform to host community events and to facilitate contributions including scientific data, audio recorded stories, photography, and short video. We will study how interdisciplinary engagement in phenology affects factors that influence collective agency. We predict that integrating citizen science and socially engaged public art—thus complementing the inherently rational experience of systematic scientific observation with creative artistic experiences—will enhance place meanings, increase place identity, and ultimately, build collective agency on climate change among participants.