The NATURE Lab opening celebration with The Sanctuary for Independent Media was live streamed on June 27th. The event was led by Kathy High, the coordinator of NATURE lab, and Branda Miller, the Arts and Education coordinator at the Sanctuary. The opening was celebrated by emcee Dr. Jennifer Willet, Dr. Catherine Febria, Marta de Menezes, Paul Vanouse, Joel Ong, Beth Tuck, and Victoria Vesna. FEMeeting members hosted a simultaneous Sister Labs virtual watch party with the FEMeeting community via zoom.
The NATURE Lab is one of six initiatives housed in the Sanctuary’s Environmental Education Center in Troy, New York. The Sanctuary’s mission is to use art, science, and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of artistic expression. The NATURE Lab works in collaboration with the Community Science Lab and People’s Health initiatives. Their goal is to support the quality of life in North Central Troy, one of the most environmentally devastated areas of New York.
In collaboration with the Water Justice Lab and Riverkeeper, the NATURE Lab's first project is to test the water quality of the Hudson River for Enterococcus bacteria. Their second project is the Soil Justice Lab, where community members will be taught how to test for lead contamination using DIY kits.
We also had the opportunity to view the lab space and watch an inspiring video created by the Water Justice Lab youth. The image above shows a water sample from the Hudson. The containers that glow are water samples contaminated with bacteria. With environmental justice, it is essential to acknowledge the inequity and racism that has been prevalent for many generations. The youth has played a significant role in environmental advocacy through testing water quality and educating the public about water justice.
In preparation for the event, emcee Jennifer Willet collected two water samples: one from the Detroit River and one from the Hudson. She then merged them to celebrate the union of both labs.
The Nature Lab opening event was the second of three events within the SISTER LABS Virtual Opening Watch Party Series, hosted by FEMeeting.
FEMeeting is a group of women-identified scientists, artists, and researchers, brought together by their desire to develop and promote more direct collaboration between individuals who identify themselves as Women, independently of their sex. FEMeeting’s main purpose is to disseminate projects that are being carried out by women in order to contribute (a) to the development of research methodologies in art and science and (b) to the development of collaboration strategies that can increase knowledge sharing and bring communities together.
For information on the SISTER LABS Virtual Opening Watch Party Series see the FEMeeting website here : femeeting.com/femeeting-2021-sister-labs/
To watch the virtual opening of NATURE Lab link to: NATURE Lab Virtual Opening
To learn more about NATURE Lab link to: https://www.mediasanctuary.org/initiatives/nature-lab/
1) NATURE Lab opening poster with Kathy High and Branda Miller, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 2021.
2) FEMeeting Sister Lab Virtual Watch Parties opening poster, 2021.
3-4) Screenshot of NATURE Lab opening, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 2021.
4) Screenshot of NATURE Lab opening, DIY kits, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 2021.
5) Screenshot of NATURE Lab opening with emcee Dr. Jennifer Willet, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 2021.
6) FEMeeting Sister Lab Virtual Watch Parties opening poster, The Sanctuary for Independent Media, 2021.