Learn More About SymbioArtlab and Our Work on The Soul of California Podcast

Joshua Trees on The Soul of California

by Richard Dion

In this 34-minute episode, UC Santa Cruz artist/scientist Juniper Harrower places the iconic Joshua Tree in the context of the desert, her PhD research (complete with her mom and a ladder), then moves on to the implications of climate change on the tree (min. 6), and her own nod to social media’s dating power for the tree (min. 12). 

She then moves on to the balance of the throngs of tourists now visiting the park, stretching public services (min. 24), which medium she prefers to make an impact (min. 27) and closes out with her favorite spot (min.33). 

Feed your soul. Keep listening. 


More at http://thesoulofcalifornia.libsyn.com/#AZ7mHOieRkWoZKXF.99

The Mojave Project and KCET Artbound

The Mojave desert is a strange and intriguing piece of American subculture. Kim Stringfellow – transmedia documentarian and professor of art at San Diego State University, weaves a narrative with haunting imagery, video, art, and stories collected from and inspired by people of the Mojave Desert. Juniper Harrower’s Joshua tree ecology and arts research is featured in her latest dispatch by the talented writer Chris Clarke.

The Joshua Tree: Myth, Mutualism and Survival.

“Given this slender reed of hope, perhaps a bit of deliberate optimistic mythmaking is in order. But imagine those Sierra Nevada clumps of Joshua trees persisting, growing by cloning themselves, flowering often enough to maintain a population of yucca moths. Every so often a fruit with viable seed offers itself up to the local antelope ground squirrels. Every so often one of those fruits rolls downhill and to the west. In time—a long, long time, well after the last industrial farm is long forgotten and the freeways are fossilized outcrops—clonal clumps of Joshua trees appear at the mouth of the Kern River canyon on the floor of the San Joaquin Valley. They populate the southern Sierra foothills. Moth larvae delve the deeper soil of the Valley. San Joaquin antelope squirrels decide to cache Joshua tree seeds.”

Norris Center Art Residency

SymbioArtlab Creator Earns Artist Residency at UCSC's Norris Center

For this art/science collaboration, Juniper Harrower has translated her doctoral research into a narrative for stop motion animation. Joshua trees are under threat from climate change. Her ecological research focuses on how the plants are reproducing across Joshua Tree National Park, and whether the plants’ key symbiotic interactions will be affected by the changing climate.

Species Loss Exploration

Species Loss: Exploring Opportunities with Art-Science

Human-induced global change has triggered the sixth major extinction event on earth with profound consequences for humans and other species. A scientifically literate public is necessary to find and implement approaches to prevent or slow species loss.  Here we explore the goals, impacts, cascading impacts, and lessons learned from art–science collaborations, as well as ideas for collaborative projects.

Harrower, J., Parker, J., Merson, M., 2018 Species Loss: Exploring Opportunities with Art-Science. Journal of Integrative and Comparative Biology: https://doi.10.1093/icb/icy016

Clothing Design Inspired by Science

Seeking Symbiosis: Featured at IDEA Hub Innovator Fair

Our eco-clothing line Seeking Symbiosis was thrilled to receive a second round of start-up funding for innovating design through IdeaHub. At the launch party we shared ideas with an inspiring group of entrepreneurs and discussed strategies for success. 

At Seeking Symbiosis we design and execute stylish prints for clothing and accessories that depict species interactions found in nature. Our artists work with ecological scientists to fabricate unique designs to be featured on the clothing which is then linked to research descriptions through our website.

Learn more and check out the connection of science and art through clothing, research, and collaboration on seekingsymbiosis.com.  

SymbioArt Lab Founder’s Research Featured in National Geographic!

Iconic Joshua Trees may disappear - but scientists are fighting back.

By Philip Kiefer

(Full story available on the National Geographic website)

The desert’s harshness breeds strange bedfellows—desert bats fly hundreds of miles in the night to feed on agave, and seedlings often rely on their dead forebears to provide shelter. But those relationships can make it hard to adapt in a changing climate.

Rising temperatures have set the natural world creeping uphill or northwards in search of relief. But ecosystems don’t move in lock-step. The foxes might outpace the tortoises which might outpace the trees. In the process, the ecological deck is shuffled. These changes threaten to unravel the interspecies networks on which desert organisms depend. And the Joshua tree, an international symbol of the American desert, seems to have been dealt a bad hand.

Full story here…

SymbioArt Lab Co-Produces Art-Science Exhibition

This event is co-sponsored by the UC Santa Cruz Natural Reserves and The Ken Norris Center for Natural History, and SymbioArtlab which partner to expose students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to the natural world.  Exhibit opens with a private event and art/science panel moderated by ecologist and artist Juniper Harrower.

Exhibition: Reserves of Inspiration: Exploring UC Santa Cruz Natural Landscapes Nov 6 – Dec 8, gallery hours, Tues – Sat, 12-5pm

Open House Events: Nov 10, 12-5pm Dec 7, 5-8pm

Nature-inspired artwork blends creative expression with the direct observation and interpretation of the world around us. Both making and viewing nature-focused art can open our eyes to the intricacies, complexity, and beauty of the natural world, motivate directions for scientific inquiry, and spark or renew our connection and love for nature. We are excited to inspire connections with the UC Santa Cruz Natural Reserves through this exhibit.

This event is co-sponsored by the UC Santa Cruz Natural Reserves and The Ken Norris Center for Natural History, which partner to expose students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to the natural world.

The Natural Reserves at UC Santa Cruz include four of the 39 reserves that comprise the University of California Natural Reserve System, as well as the Campus Natural Reserve. Each reserve consists of natural environments set aside for research, education, and public service. From fog-enshrouded manzanita to the steep coastal canyons of Big Sur, they provide an unparalleled opportunity to investigate the natural world firsthand.

The Ken Norris Center for Natural History is an on-campus resource center for students and community members interested in studying anything related to the natural world. The Center supports numerous classes, research projects, internships, and programs. The Norris Center Art and Natural History Initiative supports science illustration courses, nature art weekend workshops, partnerships between faculty researchers and student artists, and public exhibits such as this one.

Bringing Hey JTree to Joshua Tree Music Festival

Online dating site to meet Joshua trees at the Joshua Tree Music Festival

Come dance under the stars at the Joshua Tree Music Festival and learn about Juniper Harrower’s climate change research on Joshua trees. She will guide you through an interactive experience of what it is like to be a Joshua tree engaging with different species, and introduce you to art projects like Hey Jtree – an online dating site to meet trees from her research sites! Participate in a public printmaking event to fall in love with a tree and take the print home. We hope to see you there! Saturday October 6th, 2018.

Getting Creative in the National Park

Moth Art for Joshua Tree National Park!

Joshua trees are pollinated by a tiny moth, no bigger then an apple seed! Artist-in-residence and featured scientist Juniper Harrower works with Joshua Tree National Park rangers through iSWOOP to bring her research to the public in creative ways: Juniper creates animation, props, and illustrations about her research in Joshua Tree National Park!

This collaboration was recently highlighted in a story through on Instagram – follow: @joshuatreenps and @JuniperHarrower to see more!