Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Interdisciplinary EUP

First Advisor

Lynne Heasley

Second Advisor

John Spitsbergen

Third Advisor

Andrew Joyce


For my thesis project titled "Forest Communication and Communicating About Forests: Using Art, Music, and Filmmaking to Explore Ecological Paradigm Shifts," I wanted to display the importance of the inclusion of artistic means to communicate and connect concepts. This project is a film that was designed around the concept of “creative scientific communication” and “scientific story telling” of ecological processes and forest dynamics to highlight the expansion of “STEM” (science, technology, engineering, and math) to “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, art, and math). My goal was to explore connecting different disciplines of study to present the material in a way that creates emotional connectivity, excitement, and understanding of educational topics by making the material more accessible, relevant to everyday life, and compelling for my target audience than just a research paper. The film incorporates hand drawn animation, stop-motion animation, music, narration, poetry, and other visuals. The film was created for a target audience of young people who may be A.P science students in High school to undergraduate students, and for anyone interested in ecological concepts that may not have an extensive science education background.

My approach and process of this project was a valuable culmination of the skills I have acquired through my many phases of education, as a student coming to Western with an art background to changing my focus to science and Environmental and sustainability studies, and skills as an artist. The making of this animated film required the development of new skills using the very same educational tools that I wish to feature in the presentation of the material itself. Using several artistic means as instruments of presentation required that I gain a grasp of use several new applications in Adobe for illustration, Adobe animation programs, a stop motion animation program, and film editing program. The original musical and sound components of the film were made with digital music making applications and recording programs.

The three critical lessons within the film are:

1) The scientific paradigm shift that comes from seeing the forest differently.

2) The importance of reconnecting personally and experientially with nature in a time of environmental disconnect in society.

3) The critical insights from Indigenous researchers. Including the concept of “Two-eyed seeing.” Uniting Western science and Indigenous knowledge.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

Restricted to Campus until