Arts+STEM Graduate Workshops

Arts+STEM Graduate Workshops

Creativity, Collaboration, and Environmental Problem Framing

Are you a graduate student in an Arts or STEM discipline with an interest in environmental issues and interdisciplinary engagement? This workshop series is just for you!

If you are interested in participating in future workshop offerings, please complete this brief survey:

Workshops will feature creative activities including writing, collage, movement, and group problem-solving. Participants should be full-time graduate students.

All applicants to the Arts+STEM Workshop series are eligible and invited to participate in a National Science Foundation sponsored research study that will evaluate the workshop activities, and how they may contribute to creative inquiry and interdisciplinary collaboration.

Questions? Contact


Dr. Lizzie King is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Odum School of Ecology and Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. She earned a BA from Reed College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. King conducts research in three main areas of sustainability science. One area focuses on challenges faced by livestock-herding societies in rural Africa, combining ecology and social science to gain a more holistic view of livelihood vulnerability. The second area is restoration ecology in Georgia, including barrier islands of Georgia’s coast and urban forests in Athens. Thirdly, she studies the value and practices of interdisciplinary and academic/non-academic partnerships in sustainability research.

Mark Callahan is the Artistic Director of Ideas for Creative Exploration, an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts at UGA, and serves on the faculty of the Lamar Dodd School of Art. He is a graduate of Cranbrook Academy of Art and Rhode Island School of Design, where he was a member of the European Honors Program in Rome, Italy. He currently serves on the editorial board of Ground Works, a new journal for arts research in partnership with the Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru). Callahan has assisted many collaborative project teams at UGA and facilitated interdisciplinary workshops for a diversity of students and faculty interested in sustainability and environmental issues.

Both facilitators are CICR Affiliates and co-principal investigators of “Enhancing imaginative and collaborative STEM capacity through creative inquiry,” a three-year project supported by the National Science Foundation.


This workshops series was developed by the UGA Center for Integrative Conservation Research in collaboration with Ideas for Creative Exploration. Based on student feedback and the success of a pilot program sponsored by the Graduate School, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from the arts, humanities, and sciences designed activities to train students to think creatively, to collaborate across disciplines, and to work with people with different perspectives, knowledge, and values.

Further support comes from a three-year NSF Innovations in Graduate Education award to study the effectiveness of the workshops and to generate the knowledge required to move these approaches into the broader community. If successful, widespread adoption of these methods will contribute to equipping graduates across the country with communication and collaboration skills and ultimately increase creative and innovative solutions to complex global environmental challenges.

Project team:

Nate Nibbelink (Center for Integrative Conservation Research /Forestry)

Lizzie King (Center for Integrative Conservation Research /Ecology /Forestry)

Mark Callahan (Ideas for Creative Exploration /Art)

Kathryn Roulston (Education)

Brian Haas (Psychology)

Chris Cuomo (Philosophy /Women’s Studies)

Laurie Fowler (Watershed UGA /Ecology)

Rebecca Gose (Dance)

Jenna Jambeck (Engineering)

Michael Marshall (Art)

Meredith Welch-Devine (Graduate School /Anthropology)

UGArden Murals

AJ Aremu, Zahria Cook, and Rachel Seburn worked with Andie Bisceglia and UGArden to create murals on repurposed shipping containers that are used for food storage for Campus Kitchen, a project that brings healthy food to people facing food insecurity in Athens. To learn more about UGArden visit:

Idea Lab Mini Grants Spring 2021

Botanical Garden Soundwalk

The Botanical Garden Soundwalk is a collection of soundscapes created by members of the UGA Student Composers Association in partnership with the UGA State Botanical Garden. Student and faculty composers engaged with Cora Keber, State Botanical Garden Director of Education, to learn about and respond to different environments within the Garden. Playback of soundscapes on the ECHOES app is prompted by the geolocation positioning of the listener within the grounds of the Garden. Visitors can craft their own interactive soundtrack by virtue of the duration and order of regions they encounter.

Project participants

Cora Keber, State Botanical Garden Director of Education
Andres Luz, Music graduate student
Bryan Wysocki, Music graduate student
Michael Flynn, Music graduate student
Daniel Karcher, Music graduate student
Samuel Hoyland, Music graduate student
Caitlin Santos, Music undergraduate student
Paul Dicicco, Music undergraduate student
Kenia Mendoza, Music undergraduate student
Emily Koh, Music faculty
Peter Van Zandt Lane, Music faculty
Thomas Hiel, Music faculty

Misery, Fantasy, Ecstasy

A project that adapts a series of three blazer jackets, exploring the related emotions of misery, fantasy, and ecstasy, into a short art film expanding upon these themes. Miranda Diaz will create the script using a collage cut-up technique with diary entries and perform with original blazers. Christee Imogen Henry will oversee cinematography, editing, and composition and performance of original music for the film. The work explores the relationship between interiority and the expression of interiority in a three-act structure. The project will filmed on location across north Georgia and on a sound stage through summer 2021.

Project participants

Christee Imogen Henry, Art undergraduate student
Miranda Diaz, Art undergraduate student

Language Learning and Community Building

The project considers how cooking classes can be used as tools for language learning and community building in Athens, Georgia. Participants will develop a curriculum to use common cooking terms and invite families to share and translate recipes in a bilingual cookbook site.

Project participants

Elizabeth Dubberly (Language and Literacy Education graduate student)
Valerie Oxford (Athens-Clarke County Schools ESOL teacher)

Mute Harmonics

Mute Harmonics is a collaborative series of two wearable, cooperative musical instruments by interdisciplinary artists Jeremy Diamond and Diana Rojas. The series serves as an investigation of sound, performance, and sculpture as intermediaries for spiritual and interpersonal experiences and a meditation on the inevitability of such intermediaries within those realms of experience. The series will consist of a string and percussion instrument; the effective use of these instruments will be reliant on a mutual obligation between performers. Most notably, playing the string instrument will require a concerted effort from both performers to maintain and adjust the tension of strings between their bodies to tune the instrument. When both performers are not engaged in the use of these instruments, they are rendered unplayable. The finished series will be performed live by students of the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia at the University of North Texas and the University of Georgia.

Project participants

Jeremy Diamond (Art graduate student)
Diana Rojas (University of North Texas graduate student)


Eschaton is a music video that follows the life of Daniel Felser, an aspiring energy executive, from his childhood to his old age and eventual death. His journey is juxtaposed with the macrocosmic cycles of nature, from the changing of seasons to the forming of planets and solar systems. Eschaton combines the intimate with the epic to create a haunting portrait of human greed and environmental collapse. The project will raise awareness about climate change and its dialectical interconnectedness to issues of poverty, racism, capitalism and imperialism, and direct our audience members to ways they and we can help our local communities mobilize via mutual aid, labor unions, activist organizations, and non-profits.

Project participants

Meekah Howell (Music undergraduate student)
Caleb Moss (UGA alumnus)
Jacob Dannenfelser (Journalism and Mass Communication undergraduate student)
Daniel Mathis (Journalism and Mass Communication undergraduate student)
Mike Hussey (Theatre and Film Studies faculty)

FY21 Annual Report

Read the full report here:

FY21 Annual Report

Botanical Garden Soundwalk

Botanical Garden Soundwalk
Thursday, April 22 through summer 2021
State Botanical Garden of Georgia

The Botanical Garden Soundwalk is a collection of soundscapes created by members of the UGA Student Composers Association in partnership with the UGA State Botanical Garden. Student and faculty composers engaged with Cora Keber, State Botanical Garden Director of Education, to learn about and respond to different environments within the Garden. Playback of soundscapes on the ECHOES app is prompted by the geolocation positioning of the listener within the grounds of the Garden. Visitors can craft their own interactive soundtrack by virtue of the duration and order of regions they encounter. The Botanical Garden Soundwalk begins at the Garden Visitor Center and continues in all other gardens and collections. Supported in part by an Idea Lab Mini Grant.


Athens News Matters: Soundwalk — Your Stroll Through the Botanical Garden Now Has a Soundtrack!

Earth Day 2021 Art Challenge

Earth Day 2021 Art Challenge
Deadline: April 15
In an act of unity, partnering organizations are collectively calling on the UGA and Athens community to reflect, embody, and create artworks in alignment with the goals of Envision Athens’ 2021 Year of the Good Neighbor. Prompt: Create a work of art that celebrates and inspires good neighbors – caretakers of people and the planet – to establish a more unified, equitable, prosperous, and compassionate community. All people are eligible and all art mediums that can be experienced online are accepted. Awards offered in three categories: Appreciation, Awareness, and Action.

Idea Lab Conversation: April Parker

Idea Lab Conversation: Arts + Community with April Parker
Friday, April 16 at 1 PM

How can organizations and artists work together to support vibrant communities? Join April Parker, Arts Administrator in Residence at Elsewhere, a museum and artist residency set in a 3-floor former thrift store in Greensboro, North Carolina. She is an activist, community leader, and a Creative Catalyst Fellow in partnership with the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts. Free and open to the public via Zoom.

April Parker (she/her) was Elsewhere’s inaugural Creative Catalyst fellow is now embedded in the administration of the organization as an Arts Administrator In Residence. She is a cultural worker and architect of black spaces using public scholarship, radical librarianship, performance art, and direct action. As a community organizer and archivist April centers the lives, histories, legacies, resiliency, and magic of queer and trans-Black people; while working exhaustively at the intersections of social justice movements to create opportunities for institutional accountability, intergenerational relationship building and creative expressions of resistance. April is a black queer femme, a revolutionary mama, and a twin. Her heart work of grassroots organizing emphasizes the liberation and prosperity of Black folks. Parker drives movements forward, agitating public discourse to address systemic oppression and institutional racism to uplift Blackness.

Since 2011 April’s been at the forefront and front lines in Greensboro, serving as a founding member of Black Lives Matter Gate City, Trans Kindred Emergency Fund & Trans Reparations Project, NC Queer TROUBLMakers, Queer People of Color Collective of the Triad (QPOCC) as well as the Anti-Racist White Folks and Bayard Rustin Center LGBTQ Symposium.

April’s organizing credits include Juneteenth Jamboree, Black Power Town Hall, Black Girls, and Women Matter Town Hall, #SayHerName Defend Black Womanhood, Midnight March, Black Minds Matter Rally and Raised in the Revolution Youth Summit. She served as a Greensboro Delegate to the NC Black Women’s Roundtable Leadership Council as well as Working Group Strategic Facilitator for Democracy Greensboro. During which she co-authored a progressive political platform to push campaigning city councilors toward antiracism.

As a surveyor of landscapes, both socioeconomic and political, she created “intersectionality in action” workshops and intergenerational support groups, centering the lived experience of trans and queer people of color. She holds a B. A. in sociology from Kean University and an M.L.I.S. in Library Science from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.