Sea Grant staffer is part of a $2.8 million NSF project

Deidre Peroff, Wisconsin Sea Grant’s social scientist outreach specialist, is part of a new project designed to foster community-engaged learning and environmental stewardship in Milwaukee. The $2.8-million undertaking, funded by the National Science Foundation, is led by Ryan Holifield, associate professor of geography at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

The project will integrate art with STEM experiences (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), along with geography, water management and social science. The goal is to develop collaborations among artists, scientists and communities to bring informal sustainability science learning to Milwaukee.

Named “WaterMarks,” the four-year effort will include activities such as neighborhood walks led by artists, scientists or community members where participants are encouraged to consider the characteristics, histories and ecosystems in their neighborhoods. The walks will be expanded upon through workshops that will explore water-related environmental challenges and proposed solutions. Art projects and a website are other ways learning will be encouraged.

An artist’s redition of what one of the “WaterMarks” public art installations would look like. Image credit: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Peroff will serve as a researcher, collecting and analyzing data, writing reports – and she will also facilitate public engagement in the project.

Collaborators include City as Living Laboratory and the COSI Center for Research and Evaluation. Contact Peroff for more information.