They organized their own panel discussions and field trips. And they set up a series of demonstrations that encouraged visitors to contemplate and explore the promise of green infrastructure — from window decals that allowed people to design their own projects with stickers and markers to plant-filled kiddie pools designed to attract pollinating bees.
“It felt a little like kindergarten, which was great because it got everyone’s creative juices flowing,” said Rushyan Yen
’15 M.E.M. M.Arch., who coordinated the event as program manager. “The vision was to get the ESA members to think beyond their research and science and to think in terms of how to apply it…. And because we were in the middle of the conference, people would stumble across our space and become part of the conversation.”
“It really stimulated a lot of unexpected interactions between top ecologists and top designers.”
The project, called the Earth Stewardship Initiative
, was coordinated by Felson, Jill S. Baron
of the U.S. Geological Survey and Colorado State University, and Neal Williams
, an associate professor at the University of California-Davis.
Together, they recruited a team of 15 fellows and 20 research students from universities across the country — including five from Yale — to design the installations and participate in a weeklong ecology-driven, land-planning project.