In the Spring of 2016, I served as the American Arts Ambassador with the US State Department and ZERO1. The goal is to launch projects that support environmental health via technological with the community in Dumaguete (a town on the Island of Negros in the Philippines).
There I headed up several initiatives and workshops targeting citizen science, environmental cleanup, interactive art, data visualization, and novel recycling methods. I also led the video and print documentation teams working to share these ideas. Overall, this massive project was a non-stop whirlwind of activity with dozens of core participants resulting in a mesh of cultural, technological, and environmental intersections.
This photo-essay about the project also describes the project with several examples. If you want to be involved with the future of the BOAT Lab in Dumaguete, Philippines, contact the current project organizers at: https://www.facebook.com/WaterspaceIncubator/
The 2015 Wearables in the Wild Hiking Hack takes a crew of biologists, engineers, designers, and craftspersons into the Appalachian wilderness. Our mission, as with many of the hiking hacks, is to test out contextually creating tools for understanding living creatures in nature. Sponsored by the Georgia Tech Wearable Computing Center (http://wcc.gatech.edu/), an extra component of this investigation is how wearable devices can be built in the wild and to withstand the harshness of the wild.
Technology Target: Making Wearable devices for exploring the environment and interacting with animals.
Hiking Hack Target: developing and testing tools
Field Notes: We will not have communication access where we are going. Thus we will document the trip when we come back, reliving the trip day-by-day and posting updates as if we were in the field. So stay tuned!
Safety: This is the first Hiking Hack where we will have to worry about bears! We will be needing to be setting up bear traps and all sorts of stuff, but should be all good!
To be extra safe, our emergency contact info is here: [We all made it back safe! contact info removed]
As part of the series of Hiking Hackathons, we launched an expedition to Madagascar in February 2015.
Brian Fisher, head entomologist at the Cal Academy of Sciences, Hannah Perner-Wilson, digital craft designer at Kobakant, and Andrew Quitmeyer, PhD student in Digital Naturalism, traveled to south Madagascar’s Anoyasan Mountain range to explore three main goals:
Discover a, yet unclassified, ant found by the 1971 French expedition on the summit of an unnamed mountain
Test new methodologies for crafting digital devices in harsh, rainforest conditions
Explore ways of documenting and sharing science and design research from the field
Having successfully defended my Proposal in February 2014, I am conducting my final field season for my PhD. This is the longest field season where I will be down in Panama for a full 3 months to test out and evaluate the Digital Media theories I have developed over the years of my research.
This year I will have three main projects, designing an ant sensor, hosting a hiking hackathon, and filming a music video for my dissertation:
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Here are my journal entries for the season:
In 2012, I went down to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute to collect research video of social animals behaving in their natural environs. I also took this opportunity to beging some of my earliest research in “Digital Naturalism.” I kept a journal holistically describing my encounters with the wonderful wildlife and people there!