Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

39 Trails: Research in the Peruvian Amazon

March 24 - July 22, 2012 | Gallery 318, South

This exhibition, which is co-sponsored by KU’s Biodiversity Institute, will be the platform for sharing the creative projects made by a group of KU researchers who travelled to the Peruvian Amazon last summer. The team included seven undergraduate students and one graduate student under the direction of KU curator/professors Caroline Chaboo (Entomology) and Steve Goddard (Spencer Museum of Art). Everyone involved relied heavily on a small map of the base of their activity, the Cicra Biological Field Station. The map detailed thirty-nine trails, underscoring the human presence in the rain forest, as well as the difficulty of navigating it.

Three of the undergraduate students were part of a pilot program: The Rudkin Undergraduate Scholarships For International Interdisciplinary Research Experiences. This new scholarship strives to give the students an arena for integrating disciplines and synthesizing knowledge across the sciences, arts and humanities in a global setting.

In addition to sharing the creative work by the three Rudkin Scholars, the goal of the exhibition is to include contributions from all members of the cohesive research team to give a fuller account of the different ways the rain forest experience touched everyone involved.

Each member of the team will have a small plexiglass case to use as they wish in summarizing their experiences. In addition to the items in these cases and the written and pictorial creative work of the Rudkin Scholars, the exhibition will include printed leaves, photographs, insect specimens, and possibly a means to listen to audio recordings made at the CICRA biological research station where the group spent ten days in focused work.