As in weeks prior, artistic research shines new light into future scientific research. It feels as if scientific research is of a one-track mind, so much so that it necessarily requires the help of artists to innovate the field.
Luke Jerram’s Plant Orchestra, for example, is quite an untouched field. The way plants communicate is unheard of. We know how plant root systems work, the uptake of water and nutrients, the replication (fertilization, seed dispersal), we know much about the way by which they survive, but hardly anything about the way they live their lifes on a day to day and communicate. This of course for our own egocentric view that plants are not as humans are living, breathing organisms. However, there is much to learn of plants, perhaps the way by which they communicate may be converted into a highly functional wireless relay system, research has potential for big things.
When speaking of research ecology is near and dear to my heart, why because I need it to survive. I need trees and water and oxygen and nitrogen to actually survive.
A part of ecology that is important is nature conservation, much like plant orchestra, nature reserves allow individuals to take part in a natural process and actively record the process which they observe.
In my home, the Imperial County there lies a nature reserve, the Salton Sea. It has become an infamous “sea” for multiple reasons. It’s high toxicity, it’s high temperatures, it’s natural geysers, its migratory birds, its championing by Sonny Bono, and its exploitation by geothermal energy plants.
Sonny Bono of Sonny and Cher fame championed the preservation of the Salton sea in the late 80s/early 90s during his political run. Salton Sea would go on to be named as a national park in honor of Sonny Bono. At the time Mr. Bono was involved in the preservation of the Salton Sea, geothermal plants noticed high geyser activity in the area and at the same time were hoping to take over the Salton Sea with their ventures.
Again, nature and the awareness of nature breeds new research, technologies and engineering ventures such as the geothermal plants at the Salton Sea, but as Sonny Bono did, it is important to remember that nature will be easily depleted if not actively preserved. Just as we are clearing away the forest of the Amazon, humans actively destroy that which they surround for lack of a better, for carelessness.
The Salton Sea is a beautiful area which ecologists and naturists can visit and observe the migratory patterns of birds as well as record the various flora and fauna that cohabit the reserve. Just as well, the natural geysers in the area are a good area of research for sustainable energies. However, if depleted by the geothermal plants or even if just altered, the research can be misled by outside influences. It is important to in all the research that is done to involve oneself in actively preserving the ecology as it is most important in conserving the biology.
More info on the Salton sea
as well as Geothermal development : http://www.slc.ca.gov/division_pages/mrm/Program_Project_and_Updates/Geothermal%20Program/Geothermal%20PDFs/07%20-%20The%20Geysers%20and%20Salton%20Sea%20Fields.pdf
as well as a 30 min documentary on the Salton Sea and its future:
-Pedro Jesus Diaz