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Nicole Stott  Artist, Astronaut, Aquanaut, Mom

I have been blessed with the opportunity to experience the beauty of our planet from the depths of our oceans to the heights of outer space.  I have marveled at the particular perspective that each of these vantage points provide.  The immersion of the sea and the separation of space, strangely left me feeling even more connected to my home planet and the people I share it with.   I was also left with a sense of our significance.  From just the standpoint of size it might be easy to use the word insignificant with respect to our place in this immense universe, but the immersion and separation of sea and space that I have experienced left me in awe and humbled by the perfect positioning of our planet with respect to the Sun and its ability to provide us with all we need to survive --- if that's not significant, I don't know what is.

The Sky, the Only One Sky we have, is the fragile interface between sea and space. The Sky is like our planet's space suit --- it is the blanket of protection that wraps around all of us and contains our entire life support system.  As Earthlings this is at the core of what we all have in common.  As an artist I am working to share my spaceflight and underwater experiences in a unique and meaningful way through my artwork. I believe that sharing these perspectives has the power to help us all acknowledge and act upon the shared responsibility we all have as Earthlings to care for each other and our planet.  As a mother, for the sake of the future of our children, I count on all of us doing our part to protect our Sky and the precious resources it holds in place for our survival.

 

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Daniel Horton Northwestern University Climate Scientist

 

My appreciation for the wild blue yonder began at a young age. Learning to sail, to navigate the wind and the sea, became a passion of mine as well as a source of comfort to me in difficult times. I reveled in the freedom the wind provided, the ingenuity of conveyance, and the relative silence of sailing. Today, as a former meteorologist and researching climate scientist I’ve developed a much more nuanced and clinical appreciation for the sky, along with a desire to better understand how it works and how it responds to human influences. This medium of life’s experiences – The Sky – deserves our communal appreciation, objective inquiry, and collective protection.

 

 

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Ben Whitehouse  Artist and Executive Director

I have always been very interested in how we experience our environment and I have spent a lot of time looking at our beautiful sky. (Perhaps you have too?) I love to watch the way the light changes and the way the clouds move and change their shapes. Sometimes things seem to move slowly up there but at other times the changes are so dramatic I wonder if anyone would believe what I just saw.  Our sky has to be one of the greatest shows on earth and I can honestly say that in all my years of looking at it I have never seen the exact same sky twice.  How could I?  Nature knows nothing of repetition.  

Yet perhaps even more amazing is the idea that this thin wisp of an atmosphere wraps completely around our planet which means the sky I see is just a part of the same sky you see. The sky connects us all as one global family.  We breathe it together as one common breath.  This is a very important idea.  It teaches us how much we all rely on it's healthy functioning.  It teaches us that we are all responsible for its care and protection and it teaches us what we do to the sky in London or Beijing directly impacts the sky in Antarctica and the Pacific Islands. The time is now for us all to come together as that one global family to do everything we can to keep our sky healthy and functioning well for ourselves and for future generations. Because we only have one sky.