NSF-funded Project to Bridge Science and Art in Arctic

Written by Lorenzo Perez

From the College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences:

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to Arts & Sciences faculty from the Departments of Environmental Sciences and Music who are collaborating with colleagues in the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture to develop a new Arctic Research Platform at UVA.

Drawing together an interdisciplinary team with overlapping areas of expertise in science, music and design, “Bridging Science, Art and Community in the New Arctic” proposes to leverage the unique perspectives of these disciplines to broaden their impact and outreach within communities in the rapidly changing Arctic region. The UVA-Arctic team features Howard Epstein (Environmental Sciences), Matthew Burtner (Music) and the directors of the School of Architecture’s Arctic Design Group, Matthew Jull (Architecture) and Leena Cho (Landscape Architecture).

Burtner, chair of the McIntire Department of Music, said it is rare for the arts to be central in an NSF proposal. In his own work as a composer and eco-acoustician, Burtner has incorporated the recorded sounds of glaciers to create critically acclaimed musical compositions that aim to raise awareness of climate change and glacial melt.

“The endorsement from NSF helps validate our hunch that music technology and creative research can contribute to scientific inquiry and climate change science, particularly through expansion of the broader impacts of science,” Burtner said.

The full article may be viewed here.


McIntire Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176

Email: music@virginia.edu