If you drive by or stroll along the lakefront on the Evanston campus on a regular basis, you might have noticed that the color of Lake Michigan has been changing the past few years. While most of the time the water is a familiar slate blue-gray or brown-green color, there are days when it turns a Caribbean blue, almost turquoise.
For nearly five decades, fog artist Fujiko Nakaya ’57 has presented her ethereal, shape-shifting installations of pure water vapor in an effort to connect humans to nature.
Nyree Zerega, who studies evolution, genetic diversity, origins and pollination biology of plants, finds inspiration in her colleagues — people who are passionate about getting outdoors to learn about ecosystems around the world.
It was the majestic oak trees near the shore of Lake Michigan that caught Orrington Lunt’s eye on his first visit to the land that today is Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. “The thought first struck me that here was where the high and dry ground began,” Lunt, one of the University’s founders, later wrote.
You can add climate change to the list of threats that might harm certain species of bees. A study done by Northwestern and the Chicago Botanic Garden found that warmer temperatures may drive local extinction of mason bees in naturally warm climates.
What Inspires Me
Yarrow Axford, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences “Teaching is a really remarkable source of inspiration. I teach classes not just for Earth scientists but also for students in McCormick and Medill, even the law school.
My Northwestern Direction
The old masters painted with pigments derived from a variety of minerals, metals and plant-based dyes. I paint with iron oxide extracted from toxic sludge that seeps out of Appalachian coal mines and pollutes Ohio rivers.