Biomimicry Oregon was invited to table in Corvallis with OSU Sea Grant, at the 25th Annual DaVinci Days. This Art & Science festival sponsored by City of Corvallis, Benton County and Oregon State University, brought community members together to explore and celebrate innovation & creativity July 19 – 21, 2013.
The Grand Kinetic Challenge events, Electrathon race and robotics display joined with Discover OSU to feature the work of researchers and students of OSU. In addition, a film festival, speaker series, music and art ensured a fun family event with something for everyone.
Biomimicry Oregon featured our Genius of Place Stormwater project and Backyard Habitat partnership with West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District. Most people who stopped had never heard of biomimicry, but quickly engaged in exploring connections to their worlds.
Being side by side with the invasive species specialists from OSU’s Hatfield Marine Center and researchers from the College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, fostered some illuminating intra-booth conversations. In addition, researchers from other Discover OSU booths stopped by to share their bio-inspired research in disciplines including Biological and Ecological Engineering,, Marine Conservation Management, Microbiology, Botany & Plant Pathology & Mechanical Engineering. Community members and many students also expressed enthusiasm for our two projects and interest in applying to their watersheds.
Dr. Jane Lubchenco, recently returned to OSU after a 4 year stint as NOAA Administrator, opened the festival with a talk entitled, “The Silly to the Sublime: Stories about Science in D.C”. Her talk highlighted the need to make science relevant by communicating sound science and ‘connecting the dots’ in ways that everyone can understand. It was gratifying how many people recognized Biomimicry Oregon as a ‘dot connecting’ organization and resonated with our vision of “inspiring innovation in Oregon by emulating nature’s genius.”
Interest was high enough to generate discussion for a follow-up gathering once Fall term is underway. We are grateful to Dr. Sam Chan, Sea Grant Extension for including Biomimicry Oregon in OSU’s outreach during DaVinci Days.