This spring, the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies hosts the Interdisciplinary, Experimental Environmental Education and Research series, which invites campus artists, humanities scholars, and researchers in the sciences and social sciences to imagine the many ways that our campus and connected spaces might serve as a living laboratory for environmental research. The series, co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, includes visits from facilities and research leaders at other campuses who have developed transformative, place-based research collaborations that include students, staff, and faculty. Kathleen Socolofsky, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Director of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, will present "The UCD Arboretum and Public Garden as Interdisciplinary, Learning Laboratory—Connecting the Campus and Community Through Experiential Teaching, Learning, and Research on and in the Environment" on Friday, April 5, alongside Bethany Wiggin, professor and Founding Director of the Program in Environmental Humanities and the My Climate Story and Ecotopian Toolkit projects at the University of Pennsylvania, who will present ""Humanists at Work in the World: Campus-Community Partnerships for Environmental Justice."
The series culminates in an April 12 Design Workshop for Environmental Studies Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration led by Lesley-Ann Noel, professor of design at North Carolina State University and author of Design Social Change: Take Action, Work Toward Equity, and Challenge the Status Quo. The workshop will prepare teams of 1–5 artists, scholars, and researchers interested in designing environmental research projects that use the University of Iowa campus and surrounding community as a “living lab” for environmental research. Applications for the workshop are due February 27.