Home Sample1 » Home Sample1 – Payson Stevens
Understanding and presenting/interpreting art and science has been the path of my intellectual, artistic, and spiritual growth. To be in Nature and experience the depth of beauty and structure, the patterns and functions, is a never-ending source of scientific and aesthetic wonder. If there is anything in this world that needs to be sustainable, then it is beauty.


This website is a “digital autobiography” archiving 50 years of my work in different disciplines. It offers a mix of science and art projects that have been a lifetime focus and ultimately express a love and engagement with the Natural World and the Earth System. It is not so much a “this and that” listing of “accomplishments,” but rather an interactive exploration of specific projects that are currently not available elsewhere.

Some of this material is presented in the Science Communication module and the InterNetwork, Inc. section and has important historical relevance in the study of the earth from space. The InterNetwork Media, Inc. section has pioneering work done in the early years (1980-90s) of the digital New Media transformation (e.g., educational CD-ROMs, digital presentations). Together they represent the convergent revolutionary aspects of technology, remote sensing of the Earth, and global/instantaneous communication that started the Digital Internet Age and all the potent issues that challenge humans to create a sustainable, planetary biodiversity or witness greater social, economic, and political chaos.

The eight modules (a few of which are linked to existing/older websites), offer different aspects of my multi-layered life in science and art. During my youth and academic training, pursuing my left and/or right brain was an on-going conflict, which included family and societal pressures/forces. Fortunately, the Counter Culture Movement/revolution of the 1960s was also part of the zeitgeist and helped support the unconventional path that many of my generation forged. The idea that a life could engage more than the 1950s “gray flannel suit/commuter/office life” of our fathers and the “leave it to Beaver/stay at home” life of our mothers was an important liberation that helped usher in many important movements: civil rights, women’s rights, environmental protection, gender/gay rights, human potential movement, anti-nuke/anti-war protests, and non-traditional/Eastern spiritual exploration.

Two of the more important projects of my career, shown here, focused on applying my scientific and media/design skills to conserve/preserve the environment. Both entailed my managing/spearheading small professional teams to protect specific ecosystems with detailed analysis, combining scientific assessment, focused writing, strong arguments, and effective visuals. The technical analysis and critique to the US Department of Interior Lease Sale No 48 Environmental Impact Report successfully prevented oil development off the coast of Southern California, and included my testifying before a US Administrative Law Judge (1978, Oceans OCS Leasing Process). The other project (a six year effort) was writing (by a small group of Indian and international volunteers) the 240-page application, and follow up support, for the successful inscription of the Great Himalayan National Park as a UNESCO World Heritage Site (2014, GHNP WHS Executive Summary). This important recognition, of an existing protected Indian national park, further ensures safeguarding the only area of the Western Himalayas with its unique biodiversity and natural splendor.

The path towards greater individual freedoms and increasing democratic norms was challenging 50 years ago. Many doors opened that are/were taken for granted, but the uncertainty that these enormous disruptive cultural and technological shifts brought also created culture wars that continue to pit global progressive versus reactionary/conservative tribes against each other. It’s an on-going struggle that has defined Homo sapiens brief history for the last 50,000 years. The graph of democratic and social progress, even with the historical up and down blips, show an ever-upward trend towards greater individual freedoms. If the diverse work shown here helps to encourage and inspire younger generations that the “road less taken” is a viable and exciting alternative, then this site has fulfilled an important task.

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