Instructor: Dr. Anna Davidson (she/her), Department of Natural Resources & the Environment email@example.com
Cross listing: ENVS 3020/ NTRES 3020
Session: 7-week course, Fall 2022
Meeting Times & Location: Wednesday lecture 2:40-3:30 in M01 Stocking Hall, Friday Lab/Studio 1:30-4:30 in G024 Fernow Hall
+Multiple mandatory weekend field trips:
FLD 1: (Field trip 1) SA 8/27/22, Stone Quarry Art Park, Cazenovia, NY
FLD 2: (Field trip 2) FRI 9/2-9/4/22, Shackelton Point Biological Field Station
FLD 3: (Field trip 3) FRI 9/23-9/25/22 Arnot Forest Biological Field Station
FLD 4: Final Exhibition: 10/8/22, Soil Factory, Ithaca, NY
Prerequisites: At least one of: a studio art class or a college-level biology class or a visual studies class or an environment & sustainability class or permission of instructor.
Student Fees: $50 for food and supplies
Taught by an artist who is also a trained scientist, in this experiential, place-based field course, students will engage in a range of interdisciplinary practices to understand and interpret ecological systems and land use issues using artistic and scientific approaches. The core of this course will be based on weekend fieldtrips to diverse sites in the Finger Lakes Region of New York with varied cultural and ecological significance. Sites include Cornell’s Biological field station at Shackelton Point on Oneida Lake, Arnot Forest, and several art museums. Immersive stays will allow students to gain a deep understanding of place along with uninterrupted time to work on creative projects independently, in groups, and as a class. Students will gain an understanding of the history of creative interventions and performance in the landscape, as well as scientific approaches to engage with and conceptualize Earth’s topography and natural phenomena. Students will have the opportunity to interact with various visiting scientists and artists who are leaders in their fields. Lectures, readings, fireside chats, critique, and interdisciplinary experiences will contribute to students’ development. The final product of this class will be an art exhibition at the Soil Factory, an interdisciplinary art space in downtown Ithaca.
This class is experimental, combining students from the humanities and sciences. As such, students will be asked to participate in a research project supported by the National Endowment of the Arts, studying the efficacy of art incorporated into an environmental field course. This research will be based upon surveys, interviews, and other forms of data collection.
Course Learning Outcomes:
After this class, students should be able to:
- Interrelate field study, scientific research, cultural and artistic practices to deepen a sense of place.
- Design, conduct, and present site-specific research and artwork.
- Illustrate knowledge on a wide range of current topics in environmental studies while broadening aesthetic and sensorial capacities to respond to and bolster field-based scientific research.
- Name, describe and critique the work of a diversity of international artists and scientists who exemplify a holistic study of nature, sustainability, and humanities, while learning about the strategies and critical concepts they employ in their work.
- Gain new perspectives to diversify approaches to students’ discipline-specific problems.
- Use shop tools and/or software for the creation of artwork.
Undermining, A Wild Ride through Land Use, Politics, and Art in the Changing West, Lucy Lippard
This is a short intensive seven-week class so it is very important to attend all classes and field trips to ensure you will not fall behind. Attendance to all field trips is required. Students must communicate with instructors by September 3 about any Cornell-related activities (band, sports, etc.) or other planned activities (i.e., academic conferences) that will conflict with class and field trips. Not including field trips, you are allowed one absence over the seven weeks. For every subsequent absence your grade drops by a letter grade (i.e., A to A-).
Late work is not accepted unless it is due to extreme circumstances such as health issues or family emergencies communicated to the instructor.
Students are required to wear appropriate clothing on all off-campus field trips (those involving van/bus travel). Appropriate attire includes long pants, hiking shoes /boots (or tall rubber boots or sneakers), and depending on weather conditions, a rain jacket and/or warm clothing. Depending on the location, students may need sleeping bags or a tent. While we will supply most of the tools and equipment needed for the field trips, we encourage students to bring their own cameras, Go-Pros and art materials, camping supplies if they have it. The use of alcohol and drugs are prohibited on all field trips and during regular class times.
Except for changes that substantially affect evaluation and grading, this syllabus is a guide subject to change with advance notice.
Academic Integrity Policy:
All students are expected to adhere to the University’s Code of Academic Integrity (https://theuniversityfaculty.cornell.edu/dean/academic-integrity/code-of-academic-integrity/), which states that any submission of work by a Cornell student for academic credit indicates that the work is the student’s own. All outside assistance should be acknowledged and truthfully reported in all circumstances. Students in this class who violate the Code of Academic Integrity will be given a grade of zero for the assignment and/or a failing grade for the course.
Diversity and Inclusion:
Cornell University and I are committed to full inclusion in education for all persons. Services and reasonable accommodations are available to persons with temporary and permanent disabilities, students with DACA or undocumented status, students facing mental health or other personal challenges, and students with other kinds of learning challenges. Please feel free to let me know if there are circumstances affecting your ability to participate in class. Some resources that might be of use include:
Please let the instructors know well in advance if a religious observance conflicts with class attendance or other course-related requirements. We will figure out an equivalent way to make up for this.
Students with Disabilities:
Your access in this course is important to me. Please request your accommodation letter from Student Disability Services early in the semester, or as soon as you become registered with SDS, so that we have adequate time to arrange your approved academic accommodations. Disability accommodation procedure for students.
Physical and Mental Health:
Maintaining your physical and mental health is extremely important, especially under our current circumstances with Covid-19. I recommend trying to get plenty of rest, exercise, eat well, and follow Cornell’s Covid-19 safety guidelines. If you are struggling to complete something in the course due to mental health issues, please reach out to me. Additionally, please check out this website, Mental Health at Cornell that hosts a wide range of services and strategies.
All information, assignments, grades, readings, etc., will be posted in Canvas and will be updated throughout the course.
All Students are required to attend at least two cultural events over the seven-week course. “Events” include art exhibitions, art lectures or performance art. Several options are listed in the schedule, or you can communicate with the instructor if you are interested in attending an event not listed. You are required to submit a one-page reflection paper on the event (see template in Canvas resources).
What to bring on Overnight Trips:
Journal, reading materials, sunscreen, bug spray, comfortable walking/hiking shoes/boots, sunhat, layers of comfortable clothing (1-3 days worth), sun glasses, medications, toiletries, sleeping bag and pillow, bathing suit, shower flipflops, computer, camera, go pro (if you have one), charging cords, water bottle, daypack/backpack, binoculars, alarm clock, watch, headlamp or flashlight, camp knife, personal studio/art materials and tools (journal, drawing materials, laptop, camera), special dietary needs (i.e. gluten free pasta), personal emergency kit (whistle, compass, maps, bandages, lighter, antiseptic, sterile gauze pads, adhesive tape), camp/work clothing: adverse weather gear (cold, hot, rain) rain gear/outer shell, thermal layers, gloves, warm socks, knit hat, sun hat, shorts, pants, loose fitting long sleeve shirt, work gloves). DO NOT OVER PACK! DO NOT OVERPACK! DO NOT OVERPACK! DO NOT OVERPACK! DO NOT OVERPACK! Your overnight bag must be able to fit between your feet in the van or sit on your lap during the drive!