SciQuilt – Episode Zero

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September 8, 2019 by Dr. G

It seems as if my latest quilt should have been the very first one I created for my collection of science quilts. But it wasn’t until I attended a podcasting conference (see my posts on Podcast Movement 2019) that I didn’t think about creating what podcasters call an “Episode Zero”, the very first episode of a podcast series before it officially kicks off that describes what the podcast is about, a chance to meet the moderators, etc.

Here is my Episode Zero, or Quilt Zero – titled Science Storytelling with Quilts.

The quilt is with three fabric panels. The first panel represents various fields of science. Although all of my quilts to date connect with Earth science, I may explore creating quilts relating to other STEM fields in the future. The second panel is a shelf and stack of books to represent storytelling.

The third panel is a pattern called White House Steps. The colors represent the blue and white colors that are the official colors in the White House logo. The crackled pattern on the fabric represents the pathway to speak to and connect with our leaders in the White House and Congress, both at the federal and state level – that pathway is not a smooth or easy one to navigate. The pattern for White House Steps came from “110 Quilted Potholders” by Linda Causee and Rita Weiss (Leisure Arts, 2013).

The backing fabric is a collection of clock faces that represent time. It is time for scientists to find additional and effective ways to share science. It is time for more science stories to be told, and for more audiences to listen. It is time to learn and be informed, so that we can take action to address some of the great and pressing challenges we face on Planet Earth – challenges that can be solved by science and society.

All quilt materials were purchased at JoAnn. The first fabric is Novelty Cotton Fabric-School Supplies in Space, and the second fabric is Novelty Cotton Fabric-Classic Novels. The third panel is made of two Keepsake Calico Cotton Fabrics -Dark Blue Watercolor Crackle and White Watercolor Crackle. The blue border around the three panels is a FQ Fabric Quarter named Gltr On Blue FQ #16035719. The quilt batting used is Fairfield Toasty Cotton (100% natural cotton, lightweight). The binding is Wrights Double Fold Bias Tape Quilt Binding #706-050. The quilt is 35 inches wide by 13.5 inches tall. This is the 41st quilt I have completed and the 7th science-themed quilt.

This is my story of science stories through quilting – an opportunity to share science narratives in an accessible format. My hope is that with simple designs and thoughtful fabric selection, quilts can provide a new medium to engage new and existing audiences in science learning and sharing. And I hope we do this in time…

 

 

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But I have to share one more post from the #OSM20 fieldtrip to @birchaquarium and @scripps_ocean. And I don't know why this didn't click with me before I went on the trip, but Scripps Institution of Oceanography was the home of Charles Keeling (you know... the "Keeling Curve" guy). He was mentioned briefly during our time on campus, but I wanted more! So I ran over to his building to snap some photos, including photos in front of the historic markers. After visiting the Mauna Loa Laboratory back in 2014 (throwback photo included), it was great to come complete circle on the journey of CO2 measurements! #historicmarker #ACSmarker #Keeling
The last stop on the #OSM20 @scripps_ocean tour was the marine vertebrate collection. This collection focuses on fish-only, as the whale bones were given to NOAA once the Marine Mammal Protection Act went into effect. The collection was founded in 1944 and focuses mostly on eastern Pacific marine fish. We learned many cool, random fish facts! For example, this collection has over 2 million individual fish specimens that represents more than 6,000 fish species. Yet there have been 35,000 fish species identified in the world, with 500 new fish species identified each year. We saw the deepest fish ever caught - a type of snail fish from the Mariana Trench (~7,966 m deep). We also saw lots of fish in jars - a whale shark, goblin shark, viper fish, angler fish, and blob fish!
Next stop at #OSM20 @scripps_ocean was the Hubbs Research Aquarium - which is true to its name, as it clearly resembles a research laboratory! So many cool experiments are being done here by Scripps faculty. The work on the white sea bass was interesting, looking at the otoliths (inner ear bone) and what impact changing ocean pH will have on them for equilibrium and their growth? As this fish is used alot in the aquaculture industry, this work has great releavance. The sea urchin work on the white, purple (no photo), and red varieties was also fascinating. For example, how do human chemicals that wash into the ocean impact the growth and defense mechanisms of these sea creatures? In some cases, the reaction can be seen under a microscope. And the albino shark was just really cool to see...
Being a part of the #OSM20 fieldtrip allowed us special access to the @scripps_ocean Scripps Pier. This 1,000 foot-long pier increases six feet in height as you walk out from the shore, so water can filtered and be pumped back to the laboratories in the black seawater flume that runs along its length. The pier is designed to lower their smaller research vessels and divers, but it also takes important water measurements (looking down the opening where literally a bucket is lowered to collect a sample) and air measurements through weather stations and the pink pole at the end of the pier. These temperature measurements are critical for climate change mapping. What a view of sandstone faces, surfers, and oh yes - we saw dolphins, too!
Next stop on the #OSM20 fieldtrip was to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. We had a box lunch (with a box of water!) and a fascinating summary of the history of Scripps presented by Kirk Gardner. We heard about Revelle, Keeling, and more! @scripps_ocean
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