100 Emerging Creatives from Top Research Institutions Tackle Water Issues

  • January 31, 2017
  • By Amy Tackitt     
Interdisciplinary Teams Convene at the University of Florida February 8-11 to Explore Water Education and Conservation through Art and Science


More than 100 students from 28 research universities will arrive on February 8 for the a2ru emerging creatives student summit to problem solve as interdisciplinary teams around the topic of water. Participants in the summit at the University of Florida will discuss issues like how to keep aquifers pure, the availability of water, public responsibility for clean water and public awareness of water issues.

This is the fourth of a2ru’s emerging creative student summits, which are designed to have emerging scholars, engineers, artists and scientists get a head start on interdisciplinary problem solving with experts from across the country. Previous summits engaged on issues of creative placemaking, interdisciplinary research and practice and social justice.

Students will have access to industry experts and faculty mentors during the summit from February 8-11, 2017. Presenters include physicist and climatologist Robert Davies from the Utah Climate Center and Utah State University, videographer and installation artist Janet Biggs, biologist Jack Putz from the University of Florida, and renowned painter Margaret Ross Tolbert, among many others.

With the setting of the University of Florida Water Institute, student will address topics concerning water, including access to clean water, water infrastructure/pipelines, responsibility for clean water, and water as energy.

More than 100 students will organize into 20 interdisciplinary cohorts of 5 from such diverse areas of study such as:

  • Aerospace Engineering, Engineering Leadership Development and Information, Science & Technology
  • Architecture and Landscape Architecture
  • Architecture, Construction Management
  • Art + Technology
  • Art and Design
  • Art and Visual Culture Education
  • Art Education
  • Art History
  • Arts & Cultural Management
  • Biological Engineering (Concentration: Land and Water Resources Engineering); Minor: Sustainability in the Built Environment
  • Biological Sciences
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
  • Ceramics
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemistry
  • Civil Engineering
  • Communications
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Composition & Computer Technologies
  • Computer Science, Interdisciplinary Concentration in Religion
  • Curriculum and Instruction, Education for Sustainability
  • Dance
  • Dance Education, Business Law
  • Earth Science, Art & Design
  • Ecology/Horticulture
  • Engineering Psychology, Metalworking and Mixed Media
  • Environmental design
  • Environmental engineering,
  • Environmental Studies, Communications
  • Ethnomusicology
  • Film
  • Finance/Management Information Systems
  • Forest Research and Conservation
  • Forest Resources and Conservation
  • Graphic Design
  • Geology
  • Hydrology
  • Illustration and Design
  • Industrial Design
  • Innovation
  • Interdisciplinary Ecology, Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences
  • Interdisciplinary Scholar, Theatre
  • International Affairs, French
  • International Development
  • International Relations, Interdisciplinary Religion
  • Latin American Studies
  • Major Art Studio Graphic Design, minor in Music Tech
  • Marine Science
  • Materials Science and Engineering, Engineering Leadership Development
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Museum Studies
  • Music Business
  • Music Composition
  • Music Education
  • Music History and Literature (Musicology)
  • Music Performance
  • Painting/Drawing
  • Photography and Graphic Design
  • Political Science, Environmental Studies
  • Pre-Industrial Design
  • Recording Arts
  • Scientific Illustration
  • Sculpture
  • Sociology
  • Software development
  • Studio Art, Museum Studies
  • Sustainability and the Built Environment, Business Administration, Innovation, Entrepreneurship
  • Sustainable Environments
  • Textiles, Merchandising, and Interiors
  • Theatre
  • Theatre and Performance Studies
  • Theatre Arts and Studio Arts
  • Urban Planning
  • Visual Art Studies
  • Visual Arts
  • Vocal Performance

Students will represent the following a2ru member universities:

  • Arizona State University
  • Iowa State University
  • James Madison University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Michigan State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Texas Tech University
  • Tufts University
  • University of Alabama
  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Cincinnati
  • University of Colorado Boulder
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of Florida
  • University of Georgia
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • University of North Texas
  • University of Virginia
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Virginia Tech
  • Washington University in St. Louis

“The summit is an investment from a2ru’s member universities to champion and foster opportunities for the most creative and effective solutions to issues to complex global problems.” Dr. Eric J. Barron, president at Penn State University said. “Solving these issues requires creative processes and collaboration across boundaries.”

Participants will compete for grants to continue any promising collaborations started at the summit. The chosen project will be seeded through 2018 through the alliance’s Challenge Grants program.

Join the conversation online by using #a2ruH2o. For more information about the event, please visit the a2ru website.


Note: This event has been financed in part by a Tourist Development Tax Grant from the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners in conjunction with the Alachua County Tourist Development Council.

The Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities (a2ru) is a partnership of over thirty institutions committed to ensuring the greatest possible institutional support for the full spectrum of arts and arts-integrative research, curricula, programs, and creative practice for the benefit of all students and faculty at research universities and the communities they serve.

The University of Florida College of the Arts, previously known as the College of Fine Arts, is one of the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The College of the Arts offers baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its three institutionally-accredited schools — the School of Art + Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre + Dance. The college is home to the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for Arts and Public Policy, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, University Galleries and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. More than 100 faculty members and approximately 1,200 students work together daily to engage, inspire and create. The college hosts more than 300 performances, exhibitions and events each year. Faculty and students also exhibit and perform at other local, national and international venues. To learn more, visit www.arts.ufl.edu.