Bridging Art & Ecology to Support Pollinators

The global decline in insect pollinator species threatens the fundamental ecological process of plant reproduction and is of concern from both an environmental and agricultural perspective. Given the importance of maintaining pollinators for agricultural production and ecosystem health we are creating a set of pollinator-friendly habitats that will serve as model for research and outreach. To increase awareness of this massive environmental crisis, I am collaborating with an artist, Conor Peterson, to outfit our pollinator garden and nearby monoculture plots with audiovisual equipment in addition to conventional environmental and soil temperature and moisture monitors. These sensors will gather information on local environmental conditions within the garden, in conjunction with observation of pollinator visitation that will allow us to gather a ‘soundscape’ of the pollinator habitat relative to the less desirable neighboring habitat.