Founded in 2008 by the Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) in Fairbanks, Alaska, the In a Time of Change (ITOC) program facilitates and produces transdisciplinary events and exhibits focused on social-ecological themes, including climate change, wildfire, predator control, and the role of microbes in environmental health.  ITOC recognizes that the arts, humanities, and sciences bring different yet synergistic perspectives and approaches to the natural world. Collaborations between the arts, humanities and sciences can engage people at the intellectual, intuitive and emotional levels, and can strengthen humans’ understanding of and appreciation for the environments and ecosystems in which they live. At the global scale, increasing human population is driving climate change and resource depletion, resulting in acute local problems and issues at the social-ecological interface. Addressing the grand challenges of our time will require a synthesis of multiple perspectives, including the sciences, arts, and humanities. All of these disciplines share common aims of revealing, communicating and responding to truths about the world. They also have the potential to engage the public more successfully than can traditional scientific communication methods. Synthesizing these diverse perspectives stands to yield much greater success in solving complex problems and promoting outreach and education than separate disciplines working in relative isolation.

ITOC is directed by University of Alaska Fairbanks professor Mary Beth Leigh. For more information, contact her at mbleigh@alaska.edu.

To discover more about arts and humanities activities across the LTER Network, visit the LTER Arts & Sciences and Ecological Reflections websites.