A Photographic Journey with the River Herring of Plymouth Town Brook

Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm


Town of Plymouth, Marine & Environmental Affairs

     CLEAR Lab at Northeastern University

Plymouth Center for the Arts

Join us under the Market Street Bridge along Town Brook  Every 15mins between 12noon and 4pm, and 7:30pm after program at the Art Center

At this immersive public art installation, you will experience the power and beauty of tens of thousands densely packed alewife and blueback river herring as they migrate from the open ocean through shallow rivers of Town Brook into lakes where they spawn and reproduce.

Renowned Underwater Photographer Keith Ellenbogen,   CLEAR lab of Northeastern University team members Dan Adams,   Brian Helmuth, John Coley and David Gould from Town of Plymouth will be at the presentations to inform, entertain and answer questions.

September 25, 5:30pm (doors open at 5pm – admission free - open to the public).

Join us at Plymouth Center for the Arts for a beautiful photographic presentation and engaging discussion with Underwater Photographer Keith Ellenbogen and CLEAR Lab team members Dan Adams,  Brian Helmuth, John Coley, David Gould.

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The extraordinary marine wildlife migration occurs each Spring right here in the Plymouth Town Brook – when tens of thousands densely packed river herring migrate from the open ocean, through Plymouth Harbor and shallow rivers and into lakes where they spawn and reproduce. The Town of Plymouth is at the forefront of urban river restoration and conservation initiatives that are in part responsible for restoring populations of this iconic species through removal of dams, many built in the 17th century. 

The Herring Run in Plymouth exemplifies the idea that humans and nature are inextricably linked, forming coupled social-ecological systems. Members of the CLEAR Lab at Northeastern University will showcase dramatic photos and videos of this migration and discuss the Plymouth project in terms of environmental and ecological science, photography, human cognition, and urban design. Ultimately, our discussion will highlight the importance of multi-disciplinary approaches for understanding and restoring social-ecological systems, as exemplified by the success of Town Brook in Plymouth. We feel art will help us connect with the citizens of Plymouth and surrounding communities to achieve more awareness and education going forward…and entertain and inspire along the way.


Northeastern University CLEAR Lab — Mission Statement

A collaboration between Northeastern University and Fashion Institute of Technology, the Cognitive Laboratory of Environment and Arts Research (CLEAR) focuses on the topic areas of Arts, Creativity, Cognition, and Learning. This lab stems from an interdisciplinary question that crosses the disciplines and expertise areas of CLEAR researchers and allied communities groups — How can interaction with, and participation in the arts serve as a mechanism to increase understanding of, and elicit positive stewardship for the environment? — Our hypothesis is that arts participation focused on urban ecosystems can increase cognition and stewardship. We aim to use advanced techniques from cognitive psychology to assess the relative impacts of varied forms of engagement through the arts. Co-PI CLEAR Lab team members: Dan Adams, John Coley, Keith Ellenbogen, Brian Helmuth. 


Moderator: Peg Page: President, Plymouth Center for the Arts

Keith Ellenbogen, is an acclaimed underwater wildlife photographer, Associate Professor of Photography at SUNY/Fashion Institute of Technology and a Visiting Artist at MIT Sea Grant.  Keith’s work focuses on utilizing cutting-edge lens-based media technologies to create visual images and stories that inspire positive social and environmental change. (www.keithellenbogen.com)

Dan Adams, Associate Professor and Director of the School of Architecture, develops designs for public engagement with, and access to, urban infrastructural contexts. These have included large scale light and video projection installations, art events and festivals, exhibitions about infrastructural and industrial systems, industrial waterfront landscapes, landscapes located under elevated highways, urban green infrastructure. (http://www.landing-studio.com/)

John Coley is Professor of Psychology at Northeastern University. Coley’s research–funded by over $3 million in grants from NSF–addresses basic questions in cognitive science about how people organize and use their knowledge about the world. Coley is committed to applying cognitive science to domains like education, environmentalism, and social relations, and has a history of interdisciplinary collaborations. (https://corelab.sites.northeastern.edu)

Brian Helmuth, Professor of Marine & Environmental Sciences and Public Policy, directs a research program focused on predicting the likely ecological impacts of climate change on coastal ecosystems, and on the development of visualizations and other mechanisms that facilitate the co-development of adaptation strategies by coastal stakeholders. (https://cos.northeastern.edu/people/brian-helmuth/)

David Gould, David Gould is the Director of the Town of Plymouth Department of Marine and Environmental Affairs (DMEA). He has been with the Town of Plymouth for twenty years working on programs and projects ranging from endangered shorebird management, aquaculture, dredging, dam removals and wetlands restoration projects. Gould has received national and international recognition for the restoration work on Town Brook.

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