Image as Data, Image As Art: Exploring Photography as a Field Method

Environmental researchers who identify as social scientists often embrace interdisciplinary approaches. Traditionally this means engagement with the bio-physical sciences. And so, you’ll see partnerships of researchers and research methods to understand the “human dimensions” of ecological change in a particular place. This presentation expands the circle to include environmental humanities and the fine arts. Using examples from my Great Lakes research, the audience will consider the possibilities (and some pitfalls) of photography as a field method. Together we will examine images for the unique ways they facilitate landscape analysis, historical inquiry, and environmental narrative. Finally, we’ll consider our diverse contributions to knowing Great Lakes landscapes and waterscapes, and negotiating their future.

Subject Matter Level: 
Friday, January 15, 2016 - 7:30pm to 8:30pm
Lynne Heasley
Western Michigan University
Lynne Heasley is an environmental historian at Western Michigan University, and author of A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005). She is currently writing a collection of essays on Great Lakes history, policy, and ecology, and co-editing a volume on bi-national waters along the U.S.-Canada border. From science to the environmental humanities, Dr. Heasley places herself within a growing community of scholars, policy-makers, writers, artists, and activists focused on the enormous but vulnerable Great Lakes-St. Lawrence waterway.