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Launch of UFBiolink

September 7, 2017 @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

We would like to announce the launch of UFBiolink, a campus-wide program funded by a Catalyst Grant from the UF Creative Campus Initiative to create linkages across campus on the theme of biodiversity.  We will host the kick-off of Biolink on Sept 7 from 4:00 -5:00 in Smathers Library, Room 100.  All are welcome to attend to learn more about the program and to explore ways to link to it for courses both this fall and next spring.  We will have a brief overview of the project, followed by questions, and we will then leave time for people to mingle and talk to one another.

Biolink will promote cross-disciplinary teaching and establish a dynamic and accessible project archive to share student and other work inspired by biodiversity. Understanding that all organisms are related by common descent and represented by a “Great Tree of Life” dates to Charles Darwin, and this Tree is a metaphor for the importance of biodiversity—a unifying theme across art, biology, genetics, history, and religion. Using the Tree of Life theme, Biolink will connect diverse teaching, training, and creative efforts across campus, encouraging collaboration and transdisciplinary research. Building on existing resources, and facilitated by outside and local speakers who will provide a mix of lectures and one-on-one conversations, Biolink encompasses related components that will generate new activities to inspire and archive creative work.

Instructors will utilize relevant resources, such as related exhibitions at the Harn and the Florida Museum, and facilitate interdisciplinary course lectures and sharing of student products.  A project website will facilitate connectivity among researchers, classes, students, projects, and outreach and will be a repository for contributed materials related to biodiversity, including art-works, posters, and visualization projects.

Biolink activities will promote cross-disciplinary exchange about biodiversity and the Tree of Life, with both local and global implementations and impacts. Specific goals are:

  1. To generate dialog about the Tree of Life and biodiversity from the diverse perspectives of the sciences, arts, humanities, engineering, medicine, and beyond;
  2.   To encourage creative thinking within and across disciplines;
  3. To set the campus context for the Innovation Academy’s 2018 program on biodiversity;
  4. To extend local dialog to global scales via communication about research and via art, writing, and other creative outlets;
  5. To promote responsible action, from observation, appreciation, and conservation of local biodiversity to understanding and influencing national and global policy;
  6. To connect biodiversity-related initiatives on campus and develop partnerships for ongoing endeavors.

These broad goals will be met through integrated campus-wide teaching and a dynamic and accessible project archive to share student and other work inspired by biodiversity.

Please join us on Sept 7 for a preview and discussion.

Dr. Pamela Soltis, Director, UF Biodiversity Institute

(on behalf of the UFBiolink Organizational Committee:  Doug Soltis, Shari Ellis, Matt Gitzendanner, Eric Segal, Pam Soltis, Bethany Taylor, and Julie Waters)


September 7, 2017
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM