This course is designed to provide students interested in art and the environment with a toolbox for exploration of the science behind the issues. The course will use the recent Deepwater Horizon tragedy as its focus. By exploring the gulf oil spill from both an artistic and scientific standpoint, students will learn the science of the Gulf Coast region and the ecological impact of the oil spill as well as artistic tools and methods that will enable them to understand the science at a deeper level and make the research and the meaning of that research visible to an audience through their art.
In the wake of what is now being called the largest environmental disaster in United States history, this course explores both the human and scientific impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Co-taught by Barry Chernoff, director of the College of the Environment, and Leigh Fondakowski, head writer of THE LARAMIE PROJECT, a play based on interviews with the town of Laramie, Wyoming, in the aftermath of the brutal beating and death of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, this course will teach students about the oil spill through the lens and research methods of a scientist and an artist, resulting in final student projects that combine science and art content.
Students will travel with their instructors to the Gulf Coast for a 10-day trip, including visits to laboratories, research institutions, tours of the wetlands themselves, as well as visits to affected communities to meet the people who live there. Students will conduct interviews with the people of the towns.Travel, lodging, and some meals will be provided by the course.
The course will include instruction, research, discussion, and the creation of original art work. Additionally, students will be asked to do readings and research ahead of the start of the class. This course is open to all who have a serious interest in producing art with environmental themes.