How do climate scientists share their research and data with the wider public in a way that non-specialists can understand? How do different communication strategies engage diverse audiences? How might art contribute to this urgent work? This panel discussion is held in conjunction with the spring Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery exhibition, Anastasia Samoylova: FloodZone, and features the artist in conversation with scientists and media historians specializing in science communication.

Participants include Autumn Powell, a UMBC graduate student majoring in geography and environmental systems; Anastasia Somoylova, an artist whose works are on display in the gallery; Lavar Thomas, special assistant within Environmental Protection Agency”s administration office; and Tracy Tinga, assistant professor in the media and communications studies department. The panel will be moderated by Sarah L. Hansen, ’15 M.S., communications manager for UMBC.

Autumn Powell is a graduate student at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County, majoring in Geography and Environmental Systems. Inspired by her transition from the Navajo Nation in Arizona to Maryland, she has undertaken a thesis project documenting the lived experiences of Tribal Peoples in Maryland. Motivated by the absence of Indigenous voices in academic and professional discussions, she advocates for the recognition of Indigenous narratives through her work. With a focus on the “Still Here” statement, she aims to challenge Eurocentric perspectives and amplify Indigenous voices.

Anastasia Samoylova is a Russian-born American artist who moves between observational photography and studio practice. Her work explores notions of environmentalism, consumerism and the picturesque. Recent exhibition venues include The Metropolitan Museum of Art, C/O Berlin, Fundación MAPFRE, George Eastman Museum, Chrysler Museum of Art, The Photographers’ Gallery, London, and Kunst Haus Wien. In 2022 Samoylova was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. Her work is in the collections of the Perez Art Museum, Miami; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago. Published monographs include FloodZone 2019, Floridas 2022, and Image Cities 2023.

Lavar Thomas currently serves as a Special Assistant within EPA’s Administrator’s Office, where he covers on the Office of Environmental Justice and External Civil Rights, the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, and the Office of General Counsel. With a strong background in environmental justice and community involvement, Lavar brings a wealth of expertise to his role. He previously served as an Environmental Justice Coordinator at the Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation, and as a Community Involvement Coordinator in Region 3. Lavar is also a Returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in Rwanda from 2014-2016 and a former Legislative Aide to the Massachusetts Legislature. Lavar holds a BA in Political Science from Clark University and a MS in International Business from the University of Delaware.

Tracy Tinga serves as an Assistant Professor in the Media & Communication Studies Department. She obtained her Ph.D. in Media and Communication from Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media & Communication. Her research areas center on media and globalization, environmental communication, popular culture, and communication for development and social change, particularly within the context of African countries.

Admission is free.

The presentation of this public program is supported by an arts program grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional support comes from the Libby Kuhn Endowment Fund, as well as individual contributors.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Media and Communication Studies.

Image: Anastasia Samoylova, Fountain, 2017. From FloodZone. Inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist © Anastasia Samoylova

Learn more
Add to Calendar 20240422 America/New_York 1000 Hilltop Circle Baltimore MD 21250 Climate Change, Science Communication, and the Arts: An Earth Day Panel Discussion featuring Anastasia Samoylova