Ullman to present seminar on art, science

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UC Davis Professor Diane Ullman will present a seminar on bridging art and science. This is a tomato sculpture she crafted. Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey

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By KATHY KEATLEY GARVEY/UC Davis

Professor Diane Ullman of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and a resident of Winters will speak on “Winds of Change: Bridging Art and Science” at a seminar hosted by the UC Davis Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology on Wednesday, April 25, in Meyer Hall.

The seminar will take place from 3:45-5 p.m. in the Foster Room, Room 1138.

Ullman, co-founder and co-director of the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program, will describe the building blocks, innovations and outcomes of the program that she and nationally known ceramicist Donna Billick of Davis formed in 2006.

Ullman and Billick created the art/science fusion concept in 1997 with an undergraduate course, “Art, Science and the World of Insects,” that became the centerpiece and inspiration for the UC Davis Art/Science Fusion Program.

Since then, the program “has been a hot bed of innovation, bridging art and science with diverse undergraduate courses, exhibitions, performances and colloquia with collaboration among design faculty, science faculty, museum educators, professors, artists and UC Davis students,” Ullman related.

Ullman, both a noted entomologist and artist, will relate how the program was developed, why the connections between art and science can be transformational to teaching in both formal and informal settings, and how community inspirations and educational infrastructure are needed to succeed.

“As the winds of change moved across the landscape, bridges between visual and performing arts, design, science and technology were built and programs around this concept have arisen worldwide,” Ullman noted.

The settings and circumstances growing from this intellectual borderland yielded many unexpected outcomes that Ullman will share in her presentation.

Ullman, who holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from the University of Arizona, Tucson, and a doctorate in entomology from UC Davis, joined the UC Davis entomology faculty in 1991, after serving on the faculty of the University of Hawaii.

She chaired the UC Davis Department of Entomology from 2004-05, and then served as associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, from 2005 to 2014.

Ullman focuses her research on insect/virus/plant interactions and the development of management strategies for insect-transmitted plant pathogens. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in entomology and the Science and Society Program.

A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Entomological Society of America (ESA), Ullman received the 2014 Excellence in Teaching Award from ESA and the UC Davis Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community in 2007.

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