Microbial Worlds


Impermafrost by Gail Priday

I really liked Gail’s art pieces I thought they were simple but that they also really captured the essence of microbial worlds and the idea that microbes are everywhere. I liked that she took concepts that we see a lot in Alaska, like permafrost, and applied that into her work. I think what mostly captured me by her work, was her use of colors, which I thought was done very well and in a simplistic way, I think it really captures the diversity of microbes.

I definitely think she captured the idea of permafrost, and the vast majority of microbes that are frozen in the permafrost, but because of global warming they are now starting to become exposed, and how that affects the global climate.


Beach Plastic by Margo Klass

I thought Margo Klass’s peace on plastic waste was very interesting and a good way of giving people a visual of how the increased need for plastic, is also responsible for the accumulation of it, and how it has become a global concern. Margo collected plastic waste form beaches in Oregon for three years and made this art piece to try and draw attention to the problem (plastic pollution). In her statement, she also talked about how scientist form China and the US recently discovered that polystyrene and Styrofoam can be biodegraded by mealworms.

From my perspective, I think her art piece is successful in what she is trying to do, raise awareness for plastic accumulation in the environment. I think that the information provided makes the whole piece come together.


EMERGENCE: The Warming Climate is Waking Up Sleeping Microbes by Nancy Hausle-Johnson

I think Nancy’s piece connects well with the lecture we had on ecology and the carbon cycle, but also to lectures on microbial diversity. When permafrost melts many of the microbes that have been lying dormant suddenly emerge and become a part of the bigger ecosystem. These microbes also become available to bigger organisms meaning that they get brought back into the carbon cycle.

Nancy’s piece features microbes that are emerging due to the melting of permafrost, and how at different stages of thawing influenced the diversity of microbes they saw.


What sort of piece might you have created?

I’m not sure what I would work with, but I do enjoy taking pictures and the idea of how microbes can help us work against global warming and climate change. Therefore I think it would have to have something to do with that.