Mapping Meaning: 2014

The third Mapping Meaning focused on the development of an abcBLITZ.

The term “BioBlitz” was first coined in 1996 by U.S. National Park Service naturalist Susan Rudy and is used to describe an intense period of biological surveying. Generally occurring over a 24-hour period, a BioBlitz aims to record as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi, and other organisms as possible within a designated area.

Mapping Meaning 2014 utilized the concept of a BioBlitz as a model for thinking about what it means to holistically “experience”, “assess”, “know” and “teach” place. The group expanded this model to create an abcBLITZ, where abc stands for arts, biology and culture, as well as the metaphorical building blocks of “life/language.” In essence, the abcBLITZ is a focused way to think about interdisciplinary pedagogy — recognizing not only the importance of biodiversity but also the cultural and artistic histories central to any holistic understanding of a place. 

Overarching questions:

  • How do we create alternative models that are imaginative enough to be open and easily adapted to local environments?
  • If "land is the text” how do we read our surrounding and create meaning around a place that is multidimensional? How do we translate that meaning so it is transformative, rather than simply enlightening? 

2014 Workshop Schedule