Watercolor Painting

SCIENCE, ART, AND SUSTAINABILITY (SAS)

2020 – Present

We aim to find creative ways to engage with the UChicago community about sustainability through science and artistic projects.

Science

We aim to highlight perspectives on recent developments in climate science and ecology through presentations from working scientists actively working in these fields. Through our Science of Sustainability Speaker Series: Environmental Change and Ecological Consequences, each speaker will delve into their research and connect it to broader policy implications or sustainability action.​

SAS speaker series
Dr. Stephanie Jenouvrier speaks about her research on emperor penguin populations and its connection to sustainable development goals.

Our past speakers include:

  • Uma Bhatt (University of Alaska-Fairbanks), sea ice and arctic climate variability

  • Stephanie Jenouvrier (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute), seabirds as indicators of climate change

  • Shannon Nangle (Wyss Institute at Harvard) - microbial technologies for sustainable fat production

  • Eric Post (UC Davis), arctic/tundra herbivores and responses to climate change

  • Anamika Shreevastava (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) -  Effects of extreme heat on urban cities

Art

The SAS project group also encourages the student body and public to engage with sustainability through unique artistic projects.

Our Annual Great PSI Pumpkin-Off competition invites students to creatively repurpose Halloween pumpkins to reduce food waste.

Student submissions to Great PSI Pumpkin-Off competition. Left are two winners for "Best Looking Pumpkin". Right is the winner for "Best Food Use" which included four delicious foods all from one pumpkin.
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Plastic Bottles

We applied for and were awarded the Logan Center Collaboration Grant to create a nature-themed art installation using materials recycled from student waste. Logan Center will showcase the installation in Spring Quarter, and it will depict an underwater scene made from repurposed student recyclables transformed into marine organisms, such as plastic utensils into fish skeletons and plastic bottles into jellyfish.

We designed, constructed, and guided participation for an interactive pop-up mural for middle schoolers at the Gateway to the Great Outdoors Science Carnival in May 2021. Students engaged with annual plastic pollution data from Rochester Institute of Technology by painting the mural like a giant coloring book, with each image of plastic equating to 200,000 pounds of real-life plastic in the lake.

Volunteers at GGO's Science Carnival paint between groups of middle school students. The finished mural now hangs in a John Fiske Elementary School science classroom. 

Sustainability

We focus another aspect of our work on finding innovative ways to improve sustainable habits in our daily lives.

 

  • We are in the process of working with designer Khadijat Durojaiye to create sustainable fashion pieces for the 2022 MODA spring show. The pieces will utilize biodegradable fabrics, natural dyes, rug tufting techniques, and have a unifying mushroom theme.

  • We created a PSI Holiday Leftovers Recipe Book (see Resources page) that has recipes from the community on creative ways to reuse holiday meal leftovers to reduce food waste. 

  • SAS piloted a Amazon & Plastic Bag Recycling Initiative to encourage separate collection and recycling of Amazon packages, plastic bags, and other plastics that are currently unrecyclable by the city of Chicago. This pilot project, in collaboration with Campus waste Reduction, was implemented in Woodlawn dorm in collaboration with five houses in order to collect data on how impactful this program might be for Housing & Residence Life to implement.​

  • We hosted a seed paper event during Earth Week 2020. Seed paper is a way to recycle your own scrap paper and use it to grow plants. We created a video tutorial for our participants' page that you can see on the Resources page.

Winter Quarter
Winter Quarter

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Fall Quarter
Fall Quarter

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Winter Quarter
Winter Quarter

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SAS members for the 2021-2022 academic year.