Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Welcome to Open Phenology

Get Involved!
  • How: Show up and be curious.
  • When: Fridays at 10 am, May 13September 2, 2011 (Duration ranges 10–45 minutes and depends on conditions.)
  • Where: Start at FlatPak House (in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden) and meander the area in free-form exploration. (Latecomers, catch-as-catch-can.)
  • What: Weekly wildlife surveys consist of looking, listening, hypothesizing, documenting, conversing, and surely more...
  • More: Optional tools (bring your own) include binoculars, sun screen, field guides, a notebook and pencil, and weather-appropriate attire.
  • Even More: Comment on this blog to ask questions and share observations.
What is Phenology? Phenology is the discipline of recording and studying life cycle events as they play out through seasonal and interannual variations. It is making a science of witnessing change.

What is Open Phenology? Open Phenology is an experiential and experimental project dedicated to observing (mostly) natural phenomena as they occur in the Walker Art Center's vicinity. Everyone is welcome to participate.

Project Intentions and Background
While Open Phenology borrows certain schema, methodology, and motivation from science, I am shaping it to be a creative pursuit. Expect an approach that is highly subjective, intentionally non-authoritative and at times whimsical, with built-in opportunities for public participation and spontaneity. Open Phenology's goals include:
  • Engaging the public in collaborative experiences through the fact of shared focus and pursuit
  • Increasing awareness of (and reverence for) wildlife in an urban setting
  • Empowering participants to develop the skills of a naturalist
Open Phenology's virtual domain is this blog, its physical home base is FlatPak House, and its geographic focus is the Walker Art Center's campus and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Open Phenology is an experience designed to inform my investigation into citizen science. This intellectual exercise exists under the auspices of Field Office, a summer endeavor coinciding with Walker Open Field that encourages the Walker's Education & Community Programs staff to conduct independent research.

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