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Outreach

Antarctic Science and the Cultural Arts: A New Approach



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Eric Douglas plays a gramophone for penguins
Above: Eric Douglas, Royal Australian Air Force pilot-officer and member of the British-Australian-New Zealand Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE) of 1929-31, plays a gramophone for penguins in Adélie Land (Cape Denison, Commonwealth Bay) on January 5, 1931. [larger version]

USGS research vessel Samuel Phillips Lee
Above: USGS research vessel Samuel Phillips Lee in McMurdo Sound (southern Ross Sea) in February 1984 as part of USGS Operation Deep Sweep. Acoustic data were recorded during this cruise to help map the geologic structure of the seafloor and underlying rock layers of the Ross Sea. [larger version]

Antarctic Offshore Acoustic Stratigraphy (ANTOSTRAT) project logo created in 1991.

Above: Antarctic Offshore Acoustic Stratigraphy (ANTOSTRAT) project logo created in 1991. The ANTOSTRAT project, which ran from 1989 to 2002, laid the groundwork for circum-Antarctic seismic, drilling, and rock-coring programs designed to decipher Antarctica’s tectonic, stratigraphic, and climatic histories.

Two scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) center in Menlo Park, California, are leading an effort to help Antarctic researchers more effectively convey key research results and issues to the general public by way of music and the cultural arts. USGS scientist emeritus Alan Cooper and volunteer geologist Julianne Stafford are part of a 10-member international steering committee organizing a unique set of music and cultural-arts events that will be held in conjunction with the 2012 Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research Open Science Conference in Portland, Oregon (July 13-25, 2012).

The concept is to have Antarctic researchers in all disciplines use their personal musical and cultural-arts talents to convey Antarctic scientific results and issues to the general public in a particularly interesting and understandable way without compromising accuracy and validity. Such efforts have been used effectively on a smaller scale by polar scientists during the International Polar Year. Cooper and Stafford are co-coordinators of the musical events of the 2012 Portland Conference, and other leading Antarctic researchers will coordinate the other cultural-arts events.

The project was conceived in August of this year. By mid-October, the initial announcement had been distributed to more than 1,900 Antarctic researchers and had received strong interest from scientists in 18 countries.

If you are or have been an Antarctic researcher—as part of the USGS' 60-plus years of research in Antarctica or as part of research conducted by other organizations—please consider the invitation outlined at the Web site to participate in the 2012 Portland conference. If you know colleagues who are or have been Antarctic researchers, please forward this announcement to them. This is a rare opportunity to impart "science with heart" to the public and others. These cultural-arts events are meant not to replace but to enhance our scientific capabilities.


Related Sound Waves Stories
Antarctic Treaty Linkages: Seismic Data, Music, and Paleoclimates
December 2010

Related Web Sites
A Unique Series of Music and Cultural Arts Events
2012 Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) Open Science Conference

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Fieldwork
cover story:
Sea Otter Numbers Drop

Prehistoric Tsunamis and Great Earthquakes

Seafloor Mapping in Coastal MA

ResearchUnlocking Model Data via Web Services

Outreach Antarctic Science and the Cultural Arts

Staff Internship in Everglades National Park

Mendenhall Fellow to Study Sediment Fluxes

New Mendenhall Fellow in Woods Hole

Publications Dec. 2010 Publications


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