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WHOI Scientist Collaborates with Falmouth High School Art Students

May 21, 2014

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) biologist Dr. Rebecca Gast and Falmouth (Mass.) High School art teacher Jane Baker have teamed up to bring the excitement of polar research to Falmouth art students.

Gast met with Baker’s Art Two and Advanced Studio Art students to share not only her knowledge of researching in Antarctica but her experiences working there. Based on Gast’s presentation, FHS art students created pieces of artwork that reflected the scientific work and also incorporated other characteristics of the polar region such as its dramatic lighting and frozen environment. The collection of their works, both watercolors and linoleum block prints, is called “Portraits of Antarctica” and will be on display in the lobby of WHOI’s Redfield Laboratory, 45 Water St., now through June 6.  The public is welcome to view the exhibit during business hours (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

This is the second time Gast and Baker have paired up to bring science and art together.  Gast visited FHS Art Two students last year to discuss her research using Antarctic ice core samples to study the microorganisms beneath the polar ice.  The students used her images to create large-scale watercolor “portraits” of these organisms that were shown last year at the Falmouth Science Fair.

Gast’s funding from the National Science Foundation Division of Polar Programs to participate in the project and Baker received funding from Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank for the materials used by the students. There will be an artists’ and scientists’ reception on Friday, May 30, from 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. in the Redfield Lobby.

For more information on any of the works displayed please contact Dr. Gast at or if visiting the exhibit please leave a note in the guest book.  All proceeds from the sale of artwork will go directly back to the student artist.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is a private, non-profit organization on Cape Cod, Mass., dedicated to marine research, engineering, and higher education. Established in 1930 on a recommendation from the National Academy of Sciences, its primary mission is to understand the ocean and its interaction with the Earth as a whole, and to communicate a basic understanding of the ocean’s role in the changing global environment. For more information, please visit