Art & Ecology Program

We specifically blend the arts into our NSF-funded REU Sites Program program because there is a growing movement among Biological Field Stations and Long-term Research sites for integration of art and ecology as a means to promote public outreach as well as a mechanism to foster creative activity in both the arts and sciences.

Integrating arts and science can enhance development of scientific thinking. Indeed, some have argued that scientists needed to better develop their “System-I thinking,” which is more intuitive and creative than the deliberative System-II thinking used by most scientists, and that greater cooperation with the arts would introduce more System-I thinking into the scientific process. In our program art students accompany and help ecology students and ecology students learn about and often participate in the creative process. Final artworks are displayed and maintained at the Sevilleta Field Station facilities under the care of the University of New Mexico.