Tracy Keza, Environmental Science major and Studio Art minor, has been exploring conservation and social justice issues through the lens of her camera, and the world has taken notice. Tracy, an international student from Rwanda, said that she did not grow up with much exposure to art, but that hasn’t stopped her from being propelled into the spotlight of the art world. Tracy’s photographic foci have ranged from conservation-driven photography to highlight the work of conservation agents working to stop elephant poaching in Rwanda’s Akagera National Park, to equality-driven photography to confront racism. Her most recent work culminated in the interactive exhibit entitled, “Hijabs & Hoodies”, which was featured at the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building in Washington, D.C. as part of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s CROSSLINES: A Culture Lab of Intersectionality this past Memorial Day weekend. Most recently, Tracy was an invited speaker and panelist at the Yale University Art Gallery as part of the Artists in Conversation series that took place on March 9. Tracy is planning on doing a series of pop-up exhibits throughout the US after graduating this May.
As part of this year’s ENVS 204 lab Jon offered extra credit to students who would make a science video describing some experiments about air pressure and atmospheric circulation. Here is Cassia and Max’s entry. Have fun!
This Friday Krista Ehlert, our current postdoctoral fellow, gave a presentation on her research project on the links between Japanese Barberry (an invasive plant), Lyme disease and climate change. Krista’s talk was well attended, possibly thanks to at least one difficult mid-term exam and the promise of generous extra credit for students enrolled in the introductory and earth systems courses.
In her talk, Krista pointed out that there is a strong correlation between the abundance of Japanese barberry and black-legged ticks – the main (only ?) vector for Lyme disease in Connecticut. Krista’s research will build on these established relationships between invasive plants, ticks and Lyme disease and study how Japanese barberry will be affected by a warmer climate. In collaboration with the Simsbury Land Trust, Krista will simulate the effects of a warmer climate on Japanese barberry and tick populations using open top chambers. Krista also gave us an outline about her ongoing research projects, which include among others a study on seed dispersal by horses.
If that sounds interesting, contact Krista, and maybe you’ll find yourself out in Simbsury collecting ticks or counting barberry plants.
Krista had a mostly attentive audience …
… and even Christoph managed too stay awake through the entire talk.
Our students enjoyed the talk, and Krista may be the only speaker so far …
… who had fans rushing up to her afterwards to have their pictures taken.