“The watershed is the first and last nation whose boundaries, though subtly shifting, are unarguable.”

Gary Snyder, A Place in Space (2008)


WATERshed is a trans-disciplinary effort that connects the work of student artists and student scientists in exploration of the Puyallup River Watershed.

The University of Washington-Tacoma is located within the watershed of the Puyallup River, which drains into Commencement Bay and to Puget Sound. Vaughn Bell’s Eco-Art class TARTS 402 has begun an on-going exploration of the local watershed through walks, mapping, journaling and other art practices. This project was developed out of collaborative research between Vaughn Bell, Antonio José García Cano (a Fulbright Fellow from Spain), and UW-Tacoma students.

WATERshed involves an exploration of our local watershed at the macro and micro scales. Students explore, research, and reveal the larger Puyallup Watershed through field trips, mapping exercises, journaling, drawing and discussions. Simultaneously, students examine the local conditions of wáter flow on a site inmediately adjacent to the Art Building on campus and propose and create artworks for site to address environmental conditions. Student work, documents and reflections become part of on-going exhibition and archive on campus.

Many students’ work is documented here, some of the work is by an individual and some by collaborations. Here are all the names of the student artist-scientists who have contributed thus far:


Shane Augustin, Jordan Ahlbrant, Tracie Barry, Stevie Collins, Natalie France, Brittney Johnson, Jessica Kelsey, Zachary Kolp, Chaobo Li, Siling Liu, Kenzi Madland, Johanna McHenry, Travis Neal, Jessica Ray, Rachel Roewer, Thu Vu, Joy Wang


Winter Quarter: Najad Ali, Brandon Allen, Meseret Ambaw, Brittany Barnhouse, Allie Campbell, Lenisa Epenesa, Patricia Gilliland, Lea Hermanspann, Kathryn Lupfer, Zachary Mcdonell, Joshua Moore, Duc Nguyen, Nathan Plants, Andrew Powell, Joanna Roberts, Charles Sy. 

Spring Quarter: Tailor Belcher, Jacqueline Busby, Amanda Campos, Stephanie Ying Deng, Verenice Garcia, Riley Haizlip, Mato Hongo, Timothy Lane, Tesa Madrid, Damanpreet Riar, Christopher Roberson, Luboran Tang, Micah Tucker, Becci Welsh, Kyra Williams, Awen Yuan, Melissa Zakem