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May 14 AAAS Lecture and videoteleconference on artworks by Siberian schoolchildren

A group of young schoolchildren from a remote Siberian village will discuss their artworks, which are on display at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Gallery, 1200 New York Ave, NW, Washington, D.C.

The children, who are 9-14 years old, will describe their works and answer questions from the audience via a videoteleconference beginning at 6:00 p.m. 14 May in the AAAS auditorium. The works, mainly watercolors and some charcoal drawings, share themes of the Siberian environment and climate changes occurring in that environment.

R. Max Holmes, an earth system scientist at Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC)co-sponsor of the Siberian art exhibit at AAASwill also give a lecture on how his Arctic field studies led him to develop research collaborations with Siberian students interested in science.

Anya Suslova, the first such student to work with Holmes, will be at the 14 May lecture at AAAS. Suslova was 13 years old when she first met Holmes during a 2003 research expedition along the Lena River in Siberia. She expressed an interest in the research going on in her community, and Holmes encouraged her interest by allowing her to participate in simple sampling procedures.

After learning of the Suslovas research participation, other schoolchildren and their teachers became involved. Their scientific contributions became a key part of a research initiative to explore how climate change affects large Arctic rivers in Russia, Canada and Alaska. The National Science Foundation funds the Student Partners Project, which unites K-12 schoolchildren and their teachers with scientists who study Arctic rivers.

Climate changes in the Arctic, including melting permafrost in Siberia, flooding in Alaska and dissolving icebergs in Norway, are providing early warning of the potential impact of global warming. Holmess work explores how climate change alters water cycles and chemicals in Arctic environments.

The schoolchildren thanked Holmes for stimulating their scientific interests by giving him a collection of their artwork.

Many pieces depict local animals, plants, and landscapes. Other works present images of everyday life, such as children plucking icicles from a log cabin and a group of peopleand their footprints in the snowwaving goodbye to a caravan of sleds pulled by reindeer. And in Lucky Fisherman, a watercolor by Misha Soloven, a dog watches as two fishermen gather fish from a net.

Twenty works are on display until 6 June at the AAAS Gallery, which is free and open to the public. The exhibit includes photographs of the Siberian villages where the schoolchildren live, photographs of the children, and information on climate change in the Arctic. Beaded vests are also on display as examples of traditional Siberian craftwork.

The exhibit is part of the AAAS Art of Science and Technology Program, established in 1985 to showcase art about science, art by scientists, or art that employs a new or original technology or technique.

What: The Art of Science: Paintings by Children from the Sakha Republic, Siberia
Videoteleconference and lecture: 6:00 p.m., Wednesday May 14
Exhibit Ends: Friday 6 June
Where: AAAS Gallery, 1200 New York Ave, NW
Gallery Hours: 9 a.m. 5 p.m., Monday - Friday


Contact: Molly McElroy
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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