In spring 2020, an innovative three-way collaboration took place between ClimateYou, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and two City Tech classes. It was a success. City Tech students in Professor Robin Michals’ Communication Design Photography Class and those in Professor Reginald Blake’s Natural Disaster Class joined together to explore evidence of climate change at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. This unique, cross-discipline collaboration paired photography students with student writers, each reflecting and sharing his or her personal observations of how the changing climate affects nature.
Students were expertly guided by Kate Fermoile, BBG Director of Exhibitions and Barbara Kurland, BBG Director of Learning and Partnerships. Many students had never been to the venerable 52-acre garden with over 12,000 different plants. At the glassed-in Tropical Pavilion students made the connection between the enclosure’s warm, humid ambience and how the greenhouse gases released into the earth’s atmosphere have heated the planet. Since it was early spring at the BBG students also documented the early arrival of leaf buds, cherry blossoms and magnolias due to a warmer climate.
A public exhibit of photographs and essays was planned for the end of the semester but was postponed due to the COVID pandemic. However, the ClimateYou website features the City Tech students’ photographs and essays for the public to view online.