Public Lab hosted a virtual event on Environmental Storytelling - Stories from the Field on April 14, 2022 (see notes here), facilitated by @fongvania, the Air Quality Research Curation Fellow. This event introduced the role of storytelling in community science and environmental advocacy, and three guest speakers presented examples of projects that integrate the power of narrative and with community environmental science. Topics explored in this event included storytelling's relationship with quantitative data, storytelling as a form of data, narrative as a means for sensemaking, and the social nature of research and data collection.
We were joined by folx affiliated with a variety of organizations, including museums, community advocacy groups, research groups, and nonprofits. @fongvania provided a short primer on the elements of stories and the psychology of storytelling before handing the stage to our three guest speakers. The event closed with audience Q&A.
- Dr. Bethany Wiggin presented on Futures Beyond Refining, a campus-community partnership that used stories and oral histories to address environmental data poverty in South Philadelphia, the site of a catastrophic explosion of a petroleum refinery.
Presentation: Futures Beyond Refining
- Hanna Mesraty (@lichenscitisci) showcased the Lichens CitiSci project, a Forest Service initiative that engages citizens to collect lichens to support air quality monitoring, which enables them to build an embodied connection with these marvelous life forms and directly contribute to research.
- Maru García presented on Pb (Prospering backyards) and illuminated the power of art, science, and community to expose and address a severe case of lead contamination in Los Angeles.
Presentation: Pb. Lead in South East LA