CUE Gets $257,000 Grant to Follow the Life of Water
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Butler University will receive a $257,000, three-year grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that will use mobile device technology to show people in Indianapolis how water connects their property to the White River.
The project, called FLOW (Following the Life of Water), will include creating a Smartphone application called Raindrop to allow people to trace the path of a drop of water, as well as link with art installations at the Indianapolis Museum of Art to draw attention to the issues regarding climate change, weather and water quality.
“This is a really interesting, fairly novel collaboration between an artist and scientists to present scientific knowledge in a way that’s relevant to more people,” said Tim Carter, director of Butler’s Center for Urban Ecology. “They like to call it affective learning, not just building more head knowledge. That is, people are actually emotionally changed by what they experience.”
Under the grant, which begins Oct. 1, the Center for Urban Ecology will team with the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Indiana State Climate Office at Purdue University, New York City-based Mary Miss Studio, which will provide the creative direction for the project, and EcoArts Connections in Colorado, which brings together scientific, artistic and other organizations to advance understanding of climate change and sustainable solutions.
Carter said he hopes the project will make citizens aware of the importance of rivers and how land use affects water flow. The Raindrop app will show the pollutants water picks up as it flows from lawns and streets into sewers and to the river.
“This will give people the opportunity to say, ‘How can I change things? How can I reduce the flow of water coming off my property?’” Carter said. “One of the themes of the project is that all property is riverfront property so you’re connected to the river, whether you know it or not, in a variety of ways. People will hopefully have a better understanding of that through this application.”
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