McMullen, S.C. & Winkler, F. Environmentalist (2012) 32: 311. doi:10.1007/s10669-011-9355-4
This paper argues that interdisciplinary collaboration between the sciences, the arts/humanities and engineering will provide innovative responses to important changes in our natural environment. Specifically, it will introduce “Images of Nature”, a case study on creative collaboration and a multi-level research project at Purdue University, headed by Prof. Shannon McMullen and Prof. Fabian Winkler. By bringing together scientists, engineers and artists, “Images of Nature” aims to convey the significance of new understandings of nature in images and tangible artifacts (e.g., data visualization, functional devices, generative and kinetic installations) for the public. It is our hope that this project will be the starting point for a flexible network connecting science, engineering and the arts on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus to enrich STEM education and provide a local model for STE(A)M (STEM disciplines plus Art), which emphasizes creativity and innovation; critical thinking and problem solving; flexibility and adaptability; cross-disciplinary communication and collaboration in the context of our changing natural environment.