2024 AICAD/ NOAA Fisheries Art + Science Fellow Selected

A photograph of Nellie Geraghty laughing with a cow behind her resting it's head on her shoulder

Nellie Geraghty

The Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design and NOAA Fisheries have announced the placement of Nellie Geraghty into the fifth AICAD/NOAA Fisheries Art + Science Fellowship.

Nellie Geraghty draws from her lived experience as a farm hand and a commitment to environmental justice through education. Her work transposes stories gathered from field research into intricate visual narratives. Using scientific illustration, printmaking, painting, 35mm film, and analog animation techniques, she tries to confront the realities of food production and the human-driven environmental crisis we find ourselves in. Bridging community outreach, education and environmental sciences, her work speaks to the earth’s precious beauty by visually invoking the interconnectedness of all things. Nellie received her BA in Visual Art from SUNY Empire State, and her MFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design.

The AICAD/NOAA Fisheries Art + Science Fellowship provides a hands-on opportunity for a recent graduate to apply their art and design education to ecological and social concerns and address them by connecting communities around challenging resource issues. Nellie will complete a 6-week residency with NOAA Fisheries during summer 2024, and then will research, produce, and distribute creative work through February 2025

Engaging Overlooked Communities

The 2024 Fellowship will focus on engaging residents, landowners, water users, and other user groups in the Columbia River basin in supporting the reintroduction of salmon to their historical habitat in the Upper Columbia River, as led by the Upper Columbia River Tribes.

That goal aligns with a national Equity and Environmental Justice Strategy that NOAA Fisheries adopted in 2023. The strategy seeks to ensure that West Coast communities have equal access to the sustainable fisheries, safe seafood, and healthy ecosystems NOAA Fisheries strives for.

The selection committee was comprised of artists and NOAA Fisheries professionals, including:

Dawn Keene: Dawn is the president of Studio Change, a company offering sustainability consulting services. Prior to Studio Change, Dawn has served as president of Keene Design, Inc., an award-winning Atlanta-based firm specializing in graphic design for over a decade. Keene’s previous affiliations have included High-Performance Healthy Schools Committee for USGBC Atlanta (United States Green Building Council), serving as the membership chair and on the sustainability committee for AIGA Atlanta (American Institute of Graphic Arts AIGA.)

Dr. Blane Bellerud: Blane has been working as a fisheries biologist for over 40 years, he has been with NOAA since 2001. He has always been interested in art and has contributed illustrations to numerous NOAA publications and other products.

Hugh Pocock: Born in New Zealand and raised in the United States, England and New Zealand, Hugh’s work seeks as a location the points of transaction between culture and natural phenomena. The history and metaphor of the human relationship to natural resources, space, time, consumerism, art, and language are among the issues Pocock investigates in his sculptures, installations and videos.

Jean M. Castillo: Jean has been a hydraulic/fish passage engineer with the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region for over five years. She has worked in various levels and capacities, assisting with technical reviews on several weir, screen, intake, gate, barrier and dam removal projects along with finding scientific based solutions for projects. Throughout this time, Jean has worked on various studies including physical metrics and behavioural studies of Sturgeon passage needs and climate change guidance for salmonid fish passage.

Lalena Amiotte: Lalena is the Regional Tribal Coordinator with the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region. She is a point of contact for tribes and the WCR on tribal matters, and supports regional staff and leadership in strengthening their own tribal relationships. Ms. Amiotte is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. Ms. Amiotte serves as a professional member of the American Indians in Science & Engineering Society and enjoys working with tribal youth Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs.

Stephanie Littlebird Fogel: Stephanie is a Kalapuyan visual artist, professional writer, and curator. Drawing connections between our collective past and imminent future, Fogel mixes her own tribal traditions with contemporary materials and subject matter. She is a graduate of the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland (2015), and is a 2020 Caldera Artist in Residence, 2019 Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) project grant awardee, a two-time Art + Sci Initiative recipient, and has collaborated with the Oregon Bee Project, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the United States Postal Service. Stephanie was the 2020 AICAD/NOAA Fisheries Art+Science Fellow.

NOAA Fisheries is the federal agency responsible for conservation of the nation’s living marine resources and their habitats. On the West Coast, NOAA Fisheries focuses on recovering endangered salmon and steelhead species, protecting marine mammals and sea turtles, and sustainably managing ocean fisheries. Through our activities in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and California, we work with numerous agencies, state and tribal co-managers, organizations, and citizens to promote science-based activities that sustain living marine resources.

AICAD – the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design – is a non-profit consortium of the leading arts and design schools in the US and Canada. Founded in 1991, the mission is to help strengthen the member colleges individually and collectively, and to inform the public about these colleges and the value of studying arts and design. AICAD member institutions educate more than 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students each year, plus many thousands more in summer and continuing education programs.