Month: August 2011

UCSB Research Biologist Combines Art and Science in New Book on Fishes of the Pacific Coast

Monday, August 22, 2011

Longnose Skate, Shortspine Thornyhead, Roughjaw Frogfish, Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker – these are a but a few of the more than 1,500 species of fish that make their home in the waters along the Pacific Coast, from Alaska to the tip of Baja California.


They are also among the 490 included in a new compendium of fish facts and fancy by Milton Love, a research biologist with UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute.

As an encyclopedia of fish, “Certainly More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast – A Postmodern Experience” (Really Big Press, 2011) is comprehensive. Each entry includes the fish’s etymology and colloquial names; vital statistics, such as length, weight, and geographic range; salient characteristics, such as body color and shape; and reproduction and life history. However, with 650 pages of vibrant photographs, still-life reproductions, and cartoons, the book can be more appropriately considered a literary work of art.

“The idea behind it was to create art,” Love said. “My definition of art is anything that is created such that the observer or the reader will think a different thought or have a different emotion. So art can be sculpture, a painting, a performance, or, as in this particular case, a book.”

In addition to the aforementioned fish facts, the book includes a host of historical and biographical data related to fish, including tributes to naturalist Alexander Collie, ichthyologist William Lockington, artist and naturalist John William Lewin, and many others. It also features fish tales, fun facts, limericks, poems, and quotes from William Shakespeare (a line from “Richard III” highlights the section on Pacific Hagfish, which Love describes as “the most proudly disgusting creatures on Earth”). Also included are excerpts from books, such as J.N. Cobb’s 1919 edition of “Canning of Fishery Products,” and even a reproduction of an elegiac poem written by the Swedish astronomer Anders Celsius in honor of Peter Artedi, for whom Artedius fenestralis – commonly known as the Padded Sculpin – was named.

“I wanted to create a book that works on several levels,” Love explained. “Obviously, at its most basic level, the book talks about the fishes of the Pacific coast. But it’s written in a way that is conversational – and humorous. It is accessible not just to a scientist, but to anyone who is fairly literate.”

Love, who joined the faculty at UCSB in 1995, is a specialist in the life history and ecology of economically important marine fishes. He has authored more than 100 technical and general articles, as well as several books, including “The Rockfishes of the Northeast Pacific,” “Probably More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast,” “Fishes: A Field and Laboratory Manual on Their Structure, Identification, and Natural History,” and “Readings in Ichthyology.”

Currently, Love is involved in research on the role that California oil and gas platforms play as fish habitat. He and his team survey fish populations around most of the 27 platforms off the California coast, most of which are in federal waters, and situated on sea floors in depths ranging from less than 50 feet to roughly 1,200 feet. Love’s research over the past 25 years has shown that large fish populations reside around most platforms, and that rockfishes tend to comprise the majority of these. The midwaters of many platforms act as nursery grounds for young fishes, he noted, while the platform bottoms are often home to high densities of larger fishes.

Makers Show & Tell Meetup. Santa Cruz. CA

New Facility for Santa Cruz

July 15, 2011

Makers Show and Tell Meetup
Friday, August 12, 2011 at 6 p.m.
Cruzio and Ecology Action Green Building
877 Cedar Street
Santa Cruz, CA

Chris Yonge, CEO MakersFactory Introducing ‘MakersFactory’ Show and Tell at 6:00 PM

MakersFactory LLC is a new Santa Cruz resource for those converting bits to atoms and ideas to production. Members and students will have access to 3D printers, laser cutters, digitizers, and a custom robotics/fabrication workplace, in the center of town. MakersFactory is an intergenerational and transdisciplinary center for learning, co-creating and teaching 3D modeling, design, animation, electronics, Arduino programming, and open source technology.

Topic:  Origin Laser Tools – a Santa Cruz, CA, high-tech startup

Tim Livin, CEO, Origin Laser Tools and Tina  Seppalainen, VP, Operations, both Founders of OLT

Tim Litvin and Tiina Seppäläinen will describe their journey to create Origin Laser Tools (OLT), a start-up they founded last year in Santa Cruz, to manufacture timeless laser tools for professional builders. OLT’s  products embody American craftsmanship and technological wizardry coupled with enduring eco-design. Over 90% of the components are manufactured locally in Santa Cruz. Mechanical parts are CNC-milled by a local machine shop, and a local circuit board manufacturer fabricates and assembles the custom electronics – even the hand-checkered wooden grips are the product of a local craftsman.

Tim, the CEO and Lead Engineer, has spent 20 years designing and developing new optical devices for the R&D, industrial and consumer sectors, and is named on ten patents. He was the lead designer of the  rugged LeveLite LaserPro® series. Tiina, the VP of Operations, has over twenty years of experience in building teams and successfully leading multi-million dollar projects to improve organizations’ performance and operational excellence.

Topic–Fabrication Design in Education and Business

Ralph C. Royer, Founder of RCR Fabrication & Design Inc.

How does a design project – a custom designed staircase or piece of furniture, for example – move from being an idea into reality? Ralph Royer, of RCR Fabrication in Santa Cruz, explains the existing process and how it can be improved. He also talks about the use of open source and free software, which reduce the cost and learning required to define a shape so that it can be machined or fabricated.

RCR has extensive experience in building custom architectural and engineering components. RCR’s shop in Santa Cruz includes CNC machines, manual lathes, manual milling, NC press break, and cold working of various metals, stone and cast work. They also have one of the only water jet cutting systems in the area. Ralph Royer has taught welding for fourteen years at Cabrillo College and is a member of the State Contractors Test review board.

Topic–Using all forms of Digital Prototyping, including 3D printing

David Moriconi, President & CEO, IDE Inc.

IDE we uses all forms of (digital) prototyping (3D printing, Selective Laser Sintering, Silicone Tooling and Urethane Casting, and CNC milling) to iterate design concepts and full production intent prototypes.

IDE is a privately held California Corporation founded in 1985 by David Moriconi and the late Peter Sehnal. Mr. Moriconi has served as IDE’s President and CEO since its founding. Mr. Moriconi and his design team have developed over 300 successful products marketed world-wide. Mr. Moriconi has 29 U.S. patents and his work has received numerous national and international product design awards. His work, methodologies and views have been included in such publications as Design News, Machine Design, Plastics Design Forum, PC Magazine, New Business Opportunities, IDSA’s Design Perspectives and IDSA’s Innovation.

Topic — Mechatronics, an interdisciplinary project based education

Gabriel Hugh Elkaim, Associate Professor, Computer Engineering, UC Santa Cruz

Mechatronics, a contraction of Mechanical and Electronics, is the interdisciplinary study that covers the intersection between mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. In designing systems that have interacting mechanical, electrical, and software components, care must be take to ensure that all of the parts come together and “play well” with each other. Often the art of design is to get a thousand small details right simultaneously. How do you teach this to engineering students?

Gabriel Hugh Elkaim is Associate Professor of Computer Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. He received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University in 1990, and his Master’s and PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1995 and 2002, respectively. He designed, developed, and implemented a robotic wing-sailed catamaran for his PhD thesis, winning the William Ballhaus prize for best Aero/Astro PhD thesis in 2002. He joined the faculty at UCSC in 2003, and has been central to the effort to bring about the Robotics Engineering Degree

OpenLab Maker Workshops

OpenLab is hosting its first Makers Workshop OpenHouse!

What could you make if you had access to space, a large variety of equipment, machines, materials and personal instruction?
We will be opening the arts labs and shops so students and faculty can gain expert personal exposure to various machines, tools and media.
The OpenLab facilities are perfect for inventors, makers, artists, scientists, and entrepreneurs. The OpenHouse workshop will provide an introduction to these OpenLab work spaces. A wide variety of machines and tools including a vacuum form machine, MIG welders, lathes, band saws, drill presses, hand tools, mold making equipment and much more will be demonstrated by OpenLab staff. This workshop will provide technical skills that will allow OpenLab members and friends to make new and exciting things for research possibilities.


Leonardo Art/Science Evening Rendezvous of August 2011

The LASERs are a national program of evening gatherings that bring artists and scientists together for informal presentations and conversation with an audience. See the program for the whole series.

Leonardo ISAST and Stanford Continuing Studies invite you to a meeting of the Leonardo Art/Science community. See below for location and agenda.

The event is free and open to everybody. Feel free to invite relevant acquaintances.

Please RSVP to . Admission is limited.

Like previous evenings, the agenda includes some presentations of art/science projects, news from the audience, and time for casual socializing/networking.

In order to facilitate the networking, feel free to send me the URL of a webpage that describes your work or the organization you work for. I will publish a list on this webpage before the day of the event so that everybody can check what everybody else is doing. (Not mandatory, just suggested).

See also…

  • Stanford events calendar
  • DASERs
  • Art, Technology, Culture Colloquia
  • Bay Area Science Festival
  • ScienceSchmoozer
  • Previous Art/Science Evenings

    When: 3 August 2011Where: Stanford University
    Building/Room: Geology Corner (Bldg 320), Room 105


    • 6:45pm-7:00pm: Socializing/networking.

    • 7:00-7:25:
    • Ken Eklund (Game Designer) on “Massively Seeking Susan: Connecting Strangers Through Gameplay” Don’t believe those who dismiss it as some sort of game: Zorop is real, and so is the Great Zoropathetic Warp, the fabric of human connection woven whenever strangers find something in common. Is it possible that just by visualizing simple human connections we can make the world a better place?
    • 7:25-7:50:
    • Jonathan Trent (NASA) on “Space-time traveling in the here and now: How did we get here and what’s next?” A broad perspective on our place in the history of the biosphere and the future of civilization with an emphasis on energy
    • 7:50-8:05: BREAK. Before or after the break, anyone in the audience currently working within the intersections of art and science will have 30 seconds to share their work. Please present your work as a teaser so that those who are interested can seek you out during social time following the event.
    • 8:05-8:30:
    • Robert Edgar (Art Institute) on “The Simultaneous Opposites Engine” Programs that let the artist jump through videos and reconstruct them in real time, playing the video and its audio like improvising with a musical instrument.
    • 8:30-8:55:
    • Cindy Stokes (Photographer) on “Dynamic Form” Photographs and comments on some of the universal principles involved in the image structures. Formations in the macroscopic world resemble the structure and pattern of cells and tissues revealed by a microscope.

    • 8:55: Piero Scaruffi on the next Leonardo Art/Science evening I will simply preview the line-up of speakers for the next Leonardo evening.

    • 9:00pm-9:30pm: Discussions, more socializing You can mingle with the speakers and the audience



    • Robert Edgar is a digital media producer presently living in the Bay area. Robert creates and employs software engines to examine mediated artifacts forged at his zone of proximal development. His engines include Memory Theatre One (1985), Living Cinema (1988), Sand, or How Computers Dream of Truth in Cinema (1992), Memory Theatre Two (2003), and Simultaneous Opposites (presently under development). He holds an MFA from Syracuse University College of Visual and Performing Arts, presently works at Stanford University, and teaches at the Art Institute of Sunnyvale.
    • Ken Eklund is a game designer and a thought leader in the area of serious games and collaborative gameplay for the social good. He is the creator of World Without Oil, a landmark massively collaborative alternate reality game, and currently team lead on EVOKE, “a ten-week crash course on changing the world.” Ken has long been interested in the positive social effects of games and open-ended, creative play. Ken and his partner on ZOROP, Annette Mees, both seek ways to use technology to create new narrative forms and experiences – he approaches it as a game designer, she is a director of immersive theater in London. Both believe “participation through play can make stories more personal, meaningful and adventuresome.” Zer01 Artist in Residence.
    • Piero Scaruffi is a cognitive scientist who has lectured in three continents and published several books on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, the latest one being “The Nature of Consciousness” (2006). He pioneered Internet applications in the early 1980s and the use of the World-Wide Web for cultural purposes in the mid 1990s. His poetry has been awarded several national prizes in Italy and the USA. His latest book of poems and meditations is “Synthesis” (2009). As a music historian, he has published ten books, the latest ones being “A History of Rock and Dance Music” (2009) and “A History of Jazz Music” (2007). An avid traveler, he has visited 135 countries of the world. His latest book is A History of Silicon Valley, coauthored with Arun Rao, and his first ebook was “A Brief History of Knowledge” (2011), available on Kindle.
    • Cindy Stokes is a photographer and systems biology consultant living and working in the Bay Area. She focuses closely on the curious details of the world, having fun with structural and spatial complexity and ambiguity in her abstracts and still-lifes.
    • Jonathan Trent is the lead scientist on Project OMEGA (Offshore Membrane Enclosures for Growing Algae)-a system to produce microalgae for biofuels, food, and fertilizer, while treating wastewater, sequestering carbon, and promoting environmentally sustainable aquaculture. Jonathan has conducted research in microbiology and molecular biology at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, the University of Paris (Orsay) in France, and at the Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale Medical School in the USA. He moved to Argonne National Laboratory to study environmental bioremediation, before going to NASA Ames Research Center, where he is currently working. At NASA he has contributed in the fields of Astrobiology and Bio-Nanotechnology and, in 2007, he founded GREEN (Global Research into Energy and the Environment at NASA), which ultimately led to Project OMEGA. In addition to his position at NASA, Jonathan is an Adjunct Professor in the Engineering Department at UC Santa Cruz and a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences.