Seniors Strut Their Stuff!
Senior Visual Arts Capstone Exhibition and Student Show
Monday May 2 thru Friday May 20
NHTI Library Gallery
An exhibit of works by NHTI's graduating Visual Arts Senior Majors, and other NHTI visual arts students.
Sculpture by Jonathan Clemens
"In an attempt to understand what is an accurate representation of 'self' and how it can be honestly expressed to others, I utilized several different mediums and techniques to sculpt a series of self-portrait busts."
Ceramics by Teresa Swindell
"I make pottery by throwing it on the wheel and altering it later. In doing so, I seek to allow hands wrapping around the subly altered form to feel as though it could have been created by the natural forces of wind and water, evoking memories of natural surfaces."
Drawings by Gabriella Morales
"My compositions explore the balance between
organic linear forms and geometric shapes."
"Ascension" by Holly MacDonald
"This abstract expressionist series utilizes action painting techniques ... I used pre-applied textures and forms in some pieces to enhance certain symbolic elements. Each piece was governed by its own unique set of colors that I preselected, but the application of the paint was intuitive and spontaneous, reacting to the present moment."
Save The Rabbits!
Environmental Science Senior Capstone Project:
The New England Cottontail (NEC) is the only cottontail species native to New England. It is a relatively small rabbit which typically lives for only 2-3 years in the wild. However, it is able to reproduce in the first year of its life, and can have 2-3 litters of young per year.
Despite its fertility, Gelinas (left) explained at his Capstone Project presentation last Thursday April 28, New England Cottontail numbers have declined drastically in the past half-century. In 1960, the species ranged over an estimated 34,750 square miles of the northeast. By 1960, its range was reduced to just over 4,700 square miles. Just five known populations of the rabbit remain – in Cape Cod, Rhode Island, western Connecticut, southern Maine, and a small part of southern New Hampshire – numbering perhaps 10,000 animals, barely 1% of the population thought to have inhabited the region a century ago.
The New England Cottontail faces many threats including predation, severe winter weather, and competition from an introduced species, the larger and more aggressive Eastern Cottontail. But as with many declining species, its biggest problem is habitat loss. NECs are “habitat specialists,” according to Gelinas, heavily dependent on “early successional forest” – young trees, shrubs and dense thickets – to evade predators and provide suitable forage. “If you can walk through it,” says Gelinas, “it isn’t thick enough” to provide good habitat for a New England Cottontail.
A hundred years ago, when New England was mostly farming country, there was plenty of this sort of habitat available. Now we have either developed most of the open land or allowed it to grow up into mature forest, leaving little of the young, shrubby sort of growth required by the NEC.
The regional management plan for the New England Cottontail calls for creating more suitable habitat for the species (mostly through voluntary agreements with private landowners) through aggressive timber management, prescribed burns, etc. There is also a captive breeding program at the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI.
As part of his project, Gelinas became involved with a US Fish & Wildlife / NH Fish & Game project to acclimate rabbits from the Roger Williams program to a new home in New Hampshire. Rather than being released directly into the wild, the young NECs are first placed in an “acclimation pen” on Patience Island in the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. In this large but contained environment, free from predators, they learn to find native food, shelter, etc, while still remaining safe from the greatest threats of truly wild living.
One of Gelinas’ interests was tracking how long the rabbits survive in the wild vs. how long they are kept in the acclimation pen, to see if there is any advantage to letting them adjust for longer periods of time. He had four years of data to work with, though for the first two years only a few rabbits were released, so he feels he would need more data to draw any definitive conclusions. Nonetheless, his tentative conclusion is that 25 days of acclimation is about optimum. After that, more time in the pen does not seem to increase the rabbits’ survival chances in the wild.
The good news is that most of the rabbits given at least 25 days to acclimatize lived over 100 days in the wild, and quite a few lived for over a year. More than enough time for them to breed ... well, like rabbits!
May 6, 2016