Events

A Photographic Journey: The River Herring of Plymouth Town Brook

September 25, 2021

On September 25th, CLEAR team members Keith Ellenbogen, Dan Adams, Brian Helmuth, John Coley, David Gould, and their students from Northeastern University and SUNY FIT put on a free, immersive public art installation under the Market Street bridge along Town Brook in Plymouth, MA. The exhibit included a video presentation of the extraordinary migration of river herring that occurs each spring in Plymouth, and in rivers and streams from Florida to Maine.

River herring spend most of their life cycle in the marine environment, returning every 4-5 years to their natal rivers to spawn. Historically, river herring populations reached into the hundreds of millions, but populations have declined due to habitat loss associated with the construction of dams and roads, and overfishing. Their return to coastal rivers each spring supported–and continues to support–some of the oldest fisheries in the United States, including cod, haddock and striped bass.

Event Set-up

CLEAR team member Dan Adams helping to drape a tarp over the mouth of the Market Street Bridge

CLEAR team member David Gould helping to set up the art installation

CLEAR team members Brian Helmuth and Keith Ellenbogen look on as giant projectors are set up under the Market Street Bridge

The Event

Northeastern University students survey visitors to the exhibit before and after they pass under the bridge

Visitors watching video of the annual herring migration projected on the underside of the bridge

SUNY FIT student Stephanie Flores-Avina interviewing visitors on their impressions of the art installation

A short clip of the annual river herring migration projected on the underside of the Market Street bridge and shot by underwater photographer and videographer Keith Ellenbogen 

A short interview with two visitors to the exhibit 

Paper Out in Ecological Engineering

Ashley Cryan, a former graduate student in Brian Helmuth’s lab at Northeastern University just had her paper published in Ecological Engineering! The study, a collaborative effort between Ashley and the CLEAR team’s Francis Choi, Brian Helmuth, and Dan Adams, explores how the surface temperatures of shoreline armoring structures such as seawalls, bulkheads and revetments, impact the abundance and distribution of algal and invertebrate species living on them. The team found that surface temperatures on shoreline armoring structures can far exceed the physiological limits of some organisms depending on the orientation of the structure to the sun and its material properties. This highlights the importance of designing structures that can preserve biodiversity, especially in the face of increasing temperature extremes. 

Read the paper here

Solve It! For Kids Podcast

May 25, 2021

On May 25, 2021, Brian Helmuth and Keith Ellenbogen, two members of the CLEAR team, appeared on Solve It! For Kids, a science podcast that gives kids a peek into the world of scientists, engineers and experts. In this episode, Brian and Keith chat with Jennifer Swanson and and Jeff Gonyea, two co-hosts of the podcast, about their work documenting the annual migration of tens of thousands of herring from the open ocean, through Plymouth Harbor, and narrow rivers into lakes where they breed and spawn every spring. The videos that Keith captures underwater are then projected onto buildings and bridges in towns and cities across Massachusetts where they have been used to draw the public into conversations about our connection to the natural world.  

Episode 54: How Can Photography Inspire Conservation?

Nature Connects Webinar

March 24, 2021

On March 24, 2021, Keith and Brian presented on Nature Connects, a webinar series hosted by The Nature Conservancy Massachusetts that highlights the work of scientists and environmental experts working to tackle climate change, and protect land and water. In this webinar, Keith and Brian talk about the importance of using art as a mechanism to increase understanding of, and elicit positive stewardship for the environment. 

Nature Connects Webinar: How Photography Inspires Conservation 

UN World Oceans Day 2020

June 22, 2020

On June 22, 2020, the CLEAR team, moderated by the Museum of Science Boston, participated in a UN World Oceans Day 2020 online event: Urban Ecology: Bringing New Lenses on the Sea. The panel explored local and global human connections on marine ecosystems from the perspective of architecture, photography, psychology, and marine science. How does the human connection with the arts influence public perception, communication, and ultimately, policy for our oceans?

Proud member of the 2020 Friends of World Oceans Day (FOWOD) Group 

Watch the event again

Sara Benson

Sara Benson

Moderator

Museum of Science Boston

Forum Education Associate

Dan Adams

Dan Adams

Panelist

Northeastern University College of Arts, Media and Design

Director and Associate Professor of the School of Architecture

Keith Ellenbogen

Keith Ellenbogen

Panelist

Fashion Institute of Technology

Assistant Professor of Photography

Photographer/Storyteller

 

John Coley

John Coley

Panelist

Northeastern University College of Science

Associate Professor of Psychology

Brian Helmuth

Brian Helmuth

Panelist

Northeastern University College of Science

Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences and School of Public Policy/Urban Affairs

Francis Choi

Francis Choi

Panelist

Northeastern University Marine Science Center

Senior Lab Manager

Finn Payne

Finn Payne

Panelist

Northeastern University College of Science

Undergraduate Intern

Harley Hayes

Harley Hayes

Panelist

Northeastern University College of Science

Undergraduate Intern

THE EXPLORERS CLUB WORLD OCEANS WEEK 2020

June 4, 2020

On June 4, 2020, Keith Ellenbogen and Brian Helmuth represented the CLEAR team and participated in the Explorers Club World Oceans Week 2020:   A Splash of Art virtual event. They were accompanied by Tre’ Packard (Moderator), Ann Passar (Explorers Club), Mandy Joye (Ph.D., Biogeochemist & Microbial Ecologist, Regents’ Professor & Athletic Association Professor in Arts and Sciences in the Department of Marine Sciences in the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences), Beau Stanton (Visual Artist), Valentino Vetori (Founder of Arcadia Earth), Derya Akkaynak (Ph.D., Mechanical Engineer & Oceanographer, Developer of Sea-thru algorithm) and Jenna O’Conner (Explorers Club).

Watch Keith and Brian’s clip