Citizen Scientists Contribute Biomimicry Research to Ask Nature

Biomimicry Oregon, a Regional Network based in Portland, published a groundbreaking report outlining nature-inspired stormwater management strategies for their region. “Nature’s Strategies for Managing Stormwater in the Willamette Valley,” describes how the group looked to local organisms and systems to find out how nature collects, stores, absorbs, attenuates, and transports water.

Following its publication, the network convened 45 stormwater designers, researchers, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to share a few of the strategies employed by local organisms to manage rainwater flow. Workshop participants ideated 30 novel ways to manage stormwater based on these lessons from nature, and the entire process was documented in a “Genius of Place Process Report.”

The initiative was so successful that it catalyzed a follow-up effort, The Biomimicry Oregon Educators’ Collaborative. This allowed Biomimicry Oregon to spread the Genius of Place research to Oregon STEM educators and students with the effort “Genius of Place: Empowering K-8 grade students as stormwater designers, problem solvers and community conveners, emulating nature’s genius.” The project also serves as a model and has since been replicated and built upon by other Regional Networks, including Biomimicry Puget Sound.

Concept Illustration © Strikeforce Design


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