Program Description

Gain valuable experience applying what you learn in the classroom to real world situations and inspire change.

PNCA’s Art + Science Initiative is a platform supporting work at the intersection of art, design, science, and culture. The Initiative brings scientists, academics, and community leaders to campus for lectures and workshops. And it sends PNCA student artists and designers out into the world through paid residencies, art commissions, presentations, and grants to support for community projects in collaboration with multiple external scientific partners.

Through these experiences, students learn to investigate, communicate, and make work in response to complex ecological issues. Students participate in field work with scientists, and engage in creatively researching and learning about the concerns; traveling across the region to experience first-hand the watershed, landscapes and meet with the communities involved.

Artists have always assumed a role as cultural commentators, critically engaging, activating, and bridging ideas and communities. Artists create the symbols that become the iconography of environmental movements, shaping the hearts and minds of the public, and they create space for discourse around critical cultural concerns both in gallery settings but also in public spaces and in print and digital media.This interdisciplinary programming funds artists in expanding their practice to engage diverse fields of inquiry, synthesize complex scientific information, and reach audiences in humorous, creative and novel ways through professional practice opportunities.

This is exactly the pivot point where art and science evolve and turn into change.

William Stelle, Regional Director for NOAA Fisheries Northwest Region

Art + Science Projects


Getting involved

Ongoing projects include the Science in Studio, Art + Science Student Fellowship & Artist in Residence and Art + Science STEAM Student Educators.

Check out the blog for details of the Art + Science Initiative programming, including additional projects to apply for and information on the host of great speakers and workshops that invite artists to participate in the conversation around social, ecological and equity issues.

Science in Studio

Each fall, a select student or collaborative team work closely with NOAA Fisheries staff and scientists to address a specific concern around the aquatic resources and landscape use in our shared environment. Students propose work to inspire change and awareness of the issue, and collaborate closely with PNCA faculty and NOAA staff to realize this work over the course of the spring semester. The Science in Studio Award awards $1000 as well as additional materials costs (up to $500) to successful proposals. Students present their work to the PNCA community on completion of the work.

​Art + Science STEAM Student Educators

Each spring four students are selected as the Art+Science STEAM Student Educators who develop and teach arts integrated summer programming curriculum on themes from biomimicry to the solar eclipse in collaboration with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry at at the Coastal Discovery Center in Newport, Oregon.

Responding to the growing recognition of the role art and design can play in education across all fields, our students are transforming traditional STEM curriculum to STEAM, inspiring middle and high school students to explore the natural world through art and science.

Art + Science Student Fellowship & Artist in Residence

In the spring students have an opportunity to apply for the Art+Science Fellowship. The Art + Science Fellow is embedded in a paid residency, working on-site alongside the NOAA scientific community during the summer and returns for the academic year to coordinate Art + Science events at PNCA. The Art + Science Fellow is required to document and make work in response to their experiences, and give an Artist Talk to the PNCA community and public at large. The Fellowship is awarded $1200 plus expenses.



In 2013, NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region and the Pacific Northwest College of Art embarked on an unlikely partnership. The federal agency and Portland, Oregon-based arts college joined forces to advance a shared vision: bridging environmental science and conservation with contemporary art practices to create social change. This interdisciplinary collaboration aims to expand regional and national dialogue around the relationship between art and science while directly supporting NOAA’s mission to protect and preserve living marine resources and their habitats throughout Washington, Oregon, California, and Idaho. This partnership seeded the establishment of PNCA’s Art + Science Initiative, which is funded through a five-year, $40,000 grant from NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region and supports two anchor programs that run yearly: The Science in Studio Award and the Art + Science Student Fellowship & Artist-in-Residence where students work closely with NOAA Fisheries representatives and partner organizations to increase public awareness of watershed and community resource issues.

In addition, the Art + Science Initiative partners with a variety of scientific agencies and environmental non profits to support student engagement in diverse ecological themes and projects. To date, partner organizations include the Oregon Department of Agriculture, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Aquarium Of The Pacific, West Willamette Restoration Partnership, 1000 Friends of Oregon, Oregon Environmental Council.


Emily Bosanquet

Director, Art & Science Initiative
Assistant Professor in Liberal Arts (Science), MFA Print Media

MESM 2002 University of California, Santa Barbara (Environmental Science and Management)
BS 2000 University of Edinburgh (Geology) (Honors)

Emily Bosanquet is an interdisciplinary scientist interested in describing the connections between natural phenomena, social and cultural dynamics, and the political, legal, and economic institutions that organize our lives. Bosanquet teaches at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) where her current research interest is in supporting cross disciplinary dialogue between artistic practices and scientific methodologies within a pedagogical framework in order to address social and ecological concerns.

Bosanquet has worked as a geologist and environmental scientist in Australia, South East Asia and the United States, and studied at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland and the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bosanquet has developed and currently teaches a variety of undergraduate science curriculum, as well as classes in critical pedagogy in the MFA Print Media program. Bosanquet is the PNCArepresentative to the Partnership for Academic Leadership in Sustainability, and the principal investigator for a five-year grant with NOAA Fisheries and the founder of the Art + Science Initiative at PNCA.

Find out more

Find out more about all of the projects and programs of the Art & Science Initiative at PNCA.

Emily Bosanquet
Director, Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences
and Liberal Arts