Side by Side: Coexisting in The Built Environment is a community art and science event hosted by Molly McDermott and Aaron Treher on September 15, 2018. The event grew from an interdisciplinary collaboration between artists and biologists at the University of Colorado Boulder interested in celebrating shared space with wildlife, focused on barn swallows - a declining songbird species that nests exclusively in human-made spaces. The event is a collaborative project hosted by Becca Safran, Molly McDermott, and Aaron Treher. Becca facilitates the Safran lab at CU Boulder and holds a PhD from Cornell University, 2005. Molly works under Becca and is a current PhD student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department at the University of Colorado.
Side by Side will include a series of presentations from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM focused around barn swallow research, Colorado and worldwide. Presenters will include Becca Safran, Molly McDermott, Aaron Treher, and several other researchers from the Safran Lab. Following presentations, from 2:30 PM to 5:00 PM, guests will be invited to join the presenters in light lunch, kids activities, a tour of nesting sites at the Cargill Ranch and The Observation Station. The Cargill ranch has been a research site for the Safran lab and barn swallow research for over five years. Richard has generously agreed to allow our team to use his ranch for Side by Side and to house The Observation Station.
The Observation Station grew out of a collaboration between Aaron and Molly. The Observation Station is a platform for research and observation of the way in which barn swallows live alongside people. During the event, The Observation Station will feature a sound installation by Molly and Brittney Hofer, designed to attract and allow for observation of barn swallows. Side by Side and the Observation Station is made possible by NEST Studio for the Arts, The Art and Rural Environments Field School, The Sculpture and Post-Studio Practice Area, and Inside the Greenhouse.