Wyland: Merging Art, Science, and Conservation
Posted: Friday, September 30th, 2011
by Dean Gilbert
Two years ago, I had the opportunity to meet marine conservation artist Wyland at an Earth Day event in the San Fernando Valley. We were both there to celebrate the winners of the Robert Bateman Get to Know Environmental Science Art Contest. After the awards presentation, Wyland and I had lunch and discussed a variety of topics. I shared my interest in science; he shared his passion for art. Oddly enough, the topics we discussed were very much similar in nature, no pun intended.
I have always been an admirer of Wyland’s art and how he so elegantly captures the beauty of the marine ecosystem. We spoke of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, the kelp forest, and how we both use scuba diving as “down time” – to relax and to take time to appreciate the awesome beauty nature offers.
Wyland and I found a common denominator that not only defines who we are, but also what drives us in our respective professions. Wyland uses his talent to create masterpieces of the marine creatures that we both admire when exploring the underwater world with our compressed air lifelines. And I, as a former marine biology teacher, marvel at the diverse taxonomy of marine life, from the simplest cnidarians to the largest mammals, the whales. Looking through different lenses, we both find unique ways to express our visual perception of marine animals.
Since that initial introduction, I have visited the Wyland studio in Laguna Beach numerous times, and had the opportunity to meet with Wyland and his staff from the Wyland Foundation. Each time we meet, we seem to pick up the conversation where we left off, as if no time has elapsed.
I invited Wyland to be a part of the Los Angeles County Science and Engineering Fair last April. Experiencing the World through Art & Science became the theme of the Science Fair. The highlight of the three-day event for over 300 students who participated was painting a 40-foot mural alongside Wyland. It was the perfect fit – the integration of art and science. Students of all ages grabbed paintbrushes and acrylic paint to express themselves, with Wyland at the helm. Yes, science students were creatively expressing themselves! At the day’s close, we had a finished product that would become part of Wyland’s personal collection.
Wyland even stayed late into the evening for the awards ceremony. He amazed the audience as he created Chinese brush paintings which he auctioned off as a means of fundraising for our non-profit Science Fair organization.
As Co-chair of the upcoming CSTA Annual Conference in Pasadena, I again sought to partner with the Wyland Foundation. I wanted to extend art and science opportunities to my science colleagues. I want them to meet Wyland, witness to his passion for nature, art and science, and to have first-hand experience and hands-on interaction with the Wyland Clean Water Mobile Learning Center. This center is a project of the Wyland Foundation focusing on the preservation and conservation of water.
Wyland’s Mobile Learning Center connects science and art. It is a great location to view Wyland’s phenomenal work up close and to learn about the life stories behind each painting, sculpture, and photograph.
So there you have it. The world renowned marine conservation artist Wyland is coming to Pasadena to be a part of the CSTA’s California Science Education Conference. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Wyland, and hear him speak about his passion for art and the integrated connections between art and science. Coupled with the other fantastic focus and keynote speakers, workshops, field courses and vendors, the CSTA Conference will prove to be a great professional development experience for everyone.
Wyland’s work will be on display throughout the conference, with affordable prints for purchase and collector pieces for bid at auction as a fundraiser for CSTA.
Dean Gilbert is science consultant with the Los Angeles County Office of Education, is CSTA’s region 3 director, and is co-chair of the 2011 California Science Education Conference Committee.
Posted: Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
by Jessica Sawko
In June 2016 California submitted a waiver application to discontinue using the old CST (based on 1998 standards) and conduct two years of pilot and field tests (in spring 2017 and 2018, respectively) of the new science assessment designed to support our state’s current science standards (California Next Generation Science Standards (CA-NGSS) adopted in 2013). The waiver was requested because no student scores will be provided as a part of the pilot and field tests. The CDE received a response from the U.S. Department of Education (ED) on September 30, 2016, which provides the CDE the opportunity to resubmit a revised waiver request within 60 days. The CDE will be revising the waiver request and resubmitting as ED suggested.
At its October 2016 North/South Assessment meetings CDE confirmed that there will be no administration of the old CST in the spring of 2017. (An archive of the meeting is available at http://www.cde.ca.gov/ta/tg/ai/infomeeting.asp.) Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
by Carol Peterson
1) To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Google has put together a collection of virtual tours combining 360-degree video, panoramic photos and expert narration. It’s called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” and is accessible right from the browser. You can choose from one of five different locales, including the Kenai Fjords in Alaska and Bryce Canyon in Utah, and get a guided “tour” from a local park ranger. Each one has a few virtual vistas to explore, with documentary-style voiceovers and extra media hidden behind clickable thumbnails. Ideas are included for use in classrooms. https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/25/google-offers-360-degree-tours-of-us-national-parks/. Learn More…
Posted: Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
CSTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 CSTA Awards for Distinguished Contributions, Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award, 2014 and 2015 PAEMST-Science recipients from California, and the 2016 California PAEMST Finalists. The following individuals and organizations will be honored during the 2016 California Science Education Conference on October 21- 23 in Palm Springs. This year’s group of awardees are truly outstanding. Please join us in congratulating them!
Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award
The Margaret Nicholson Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made a significant contribution to science education in the state and who, through years of leadership and service, has truly made a positive impact on the quality of science teaching. This year’s recipient is John Keller, Ph.D. Dr. Keller is Associate Professor, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Co-Director, Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. In her letter of recommendation, SDSU science education faculty and former CSTA board member Donna Ross wrote: “He brings people together who share the desire to make a difference in the development and implementation of programs for science teaching. Examples of these projects include the Math and Science Teaching Initiative (MSTI), Noyce Scholars Program, Western Regional Noyce Initiative, and the Science Teacher and Researcher (STAR) program.” Through his work, he has had a dramatic impact on science teacher education, both preservice and in-service, in California, the region, and the country. He developed and implemented the STEM Teacher and Researcher Program which aims to produce excellent K-12 STEM teachers by providing aspiring teachers with opportunities to do authentic research while helping them translate their research experience into classroom practice. SFSU faculty member Larry Horvath said it best in his letter:“John Keller exemplifies the best aspects of a scientist, science educator, and mentor. His contributions to science education in the state of California are varied, significant, and I am sure will continue well into the future.” Learn More…
Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
by Peter A’hearn
NGSS is a big shift. Teachers need to learn new content, figure out how this whole engineering thing relates to science, and develop new unit and lesson plans. How could NGSS possibly make life easier?
The idea that NGSS could make our lives easier came to me during the California State NGSS Rollout #1 Classroom Example lesson on chromatography. I have since done this lesson with high school chemistry students and it made me think back to having my own students do chromatography. I spent lots of time preparing to make sure the experiment went well and achieved the “correct” result. I pre-prepared the solutions and organized and prepped the materials. I re-wrote and re-wrote again the procedure so there was no way a kid could get it wrong. I spent 20 minutes before the lab modeling all of the steps in class, so there was no way to do it wrong. Except that it turns out there were many. Learn More…
Posted: Tuesday, September 20th, 2016
by Robert C. Victor. Twilight sky maps by Robert D. Miller. Graph of evening planet setting times by Dr. Jeffrey L. Hunt
Our evening twilight chart for September, depicting the sky about 40 minutes after sunset from SoCal, shows brilliant Venus remaining low, creeping from W to WSW and gaining a little altitude as the month progresses. Its close encounter within 2.5° N of Spica on Sept. 18 is best seen with binoculars to catch the star low in bright twilight. The brightest stars in the evening sky are golden Arcturus descending in the west, and blue-white Vega passing just north of overhead. Look for Altair and Deneb completing the Summer Triangle with Vega. The triangle of Mars-Saturn-Antares expands as Mars seems to hold nearly stationary in SSW as the month progresses, while Saturn and Antares slink off to the SW. Learn More…