Feet to the Fire: The Art and Science of Climate Change
"BIOL106 Feet to the Fire: The Art and Science of Climate Change" is an intensive, interdisciplinary course melded scientific and choreographic inquiry in pursuit of one of the most important topics facing society: climate change due to global warming. This course included both classroom and laboratory sessions. The laboratory was Middletown’s landfill. The landfill, less than two miles from campus, dominates the landscape and flood plain of the north end of Middletown. It is a perfect laboratory within which to explore the effects of climate change on both wilderness and urban landscapes through the lenses of science and choreography. With an emphasis on the body and its relationship with its environment, participants had an opportunity to consider the multiple layers of histories, time, and memory layered within the landfill and the continuing impact of this changing environment on the body. Students learned modern scientific and kinesthetic tools for assessing environmental conditions and ecological responses changing in time and space. The methods of scientific deduction and choreographic composition were applied to metaphor and the meaning of climate change for all living things. The experience was intended to reciprocally illuminate artistic and scientific practices in pursuit of common goals, renewed pathways of inquiry, perception, and ideas.