All science and art students spend a summer at the University of New Mexico Sevilleta Field Station, where they participate in journal club, seminars, and other summer REU activities. Art REU students are encouraged to participate in field work and data collection with REU students in the sciences. Final projects are presented during an on-site symposium at end of summer. Projects are also shared on the the Sevilleta REU website.

Program Status: Ongoing

Siena McKim, 2018 Art REU Student

Human-insect Intervention

The benefits insects may provide to humans are more easily considered in some species than others, and can be associated with public perception of that species’ value. The aim of this project was to encourage a shift in the human perception of insects, and more broadly, to bring awareness to the complexity of the natural world.

Page of the final insect book from Human-insect Intervention, by Siena McKim, 2018 Sevilleta Reseach Experience for Undergraduates Art Student

Page of the final insect book from Human-insect Intervention, by Siena McKim, 2018 Sevilleta Reseach Experience for Undergraduates Art Student
Credit: Siena McKim

Two different methods were used: 1) an illustrated book describing the ecological roles and value of insects, and 2) two large sculptures (parasitoid fly and long-horned bee) to invite viewers to touch and appreciate the detail of an organism that may be overlooked in person. By challenging negative stereotypes associated with many insects, this project encourages people to see the well-being of insects as inseparable from the well-being of humans.

Project Status: Completed