CIRCA Catalyst

PG_13.09.30-9536Dance, Music, Visual Arts, Theatre
Monday, November 11 | 12 Noon
CIRCA Catalyst
With presenters Dr. Chris  Swan and Lynn Cazabon
Dresher Center Conference Room (216 Performing Arts and Humanities Building)

CIRCA Catalyst is an ongoing series promoting conversations around transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research that fuses the performing and visual arts with other fields of inquiry and scholarship. Catalyst is presented by CIRCA, UMBC’s Center for Innovation, Research and Creativity in the Arts.

Dr. Chris Swan maintains a research and outreach collaboration with the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.  He will discuss his research on urban plant biodiversity, greening science, and informal education in the Corrections setting. The work is placed in the broader concept of urban sustainability in the Baltimore region.

Associate Professor Lynn Cazabon will discuss her in-progress project “Portrait Garden,” which has entailed working closely with the volunteer inmates at the Maryland Correctional Institute for Women that Professor Swan and his PhD student Anna Johnson trained to assist with their research. Portrait Garden is multi-part portrait of these inmates consisting of the creation of perennial gardens on the prison grounds, photographic images of the plants, and audio interviews with each woman about her past and present experiences with gardening.

A catered lunch, with vegetarian options, will be provided by CIRCA.

Presenter Bios:

Chris Swan is a biologist with a specific interest in community ecology.  He studies the processes that maintain biodiversity in space and time.  Early in his career as a graduate student at the University of Maryland, and until a few years ago, he focused mainly on rivers and streams.  Recently, Dr. Swan has broadened his attention to include pond and wetland ecosystems, as well as plants in urban environments.  He maintains a busy lab with 2 PhD students, 3 Master’s students, and an undergraduate researcher.  Dr. Swan teaches mid- to upper-level courses in ecology. See more at

Lynn Cazabon is an artist who works in a number of different media and teaches courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels in the Department of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries for the past 20 years and has been featured in numerous books and exhibition catalogs. Over the past 3 years, her work has directly intersected with scientific themes including a dynamic visualization of space debris tracking data, and extensive documentation of wild plants in urban environments. Learn more at

Image by Lynn Cazabon.

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