Look closely – beautiful images are everywhere. The natural world is composed of captivating life forms, while the physical world is filled with compelling non-living structures. Student photographers have captured memorable images of both the natural and physical worlds of science in the First Annual College of Science and Mathematics Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Photo Competition.
Their remarkable photographs are currently on display in the Center for Environmental and Life Sciences (CELS) atrium. Competition winners were announced at the opening reception of the photography exhibition in the CELS atrium on October 18.
“There’s often a falsely focused line separating art and science that can, ironically, be blurred through visual images,” says College of Science and Mathematics Dean Robert Prezant. With their wonderful photographs in this competition, our students have clearly demonstrated the importance of photography in revealing not only the beauty of the image itself, but also the beauty of science in the natural and physical worlds.”
Students were invited to submit color and black-and-white images that reveal the beauty and mystery of science in several categories. Category winners each received a $50 gift certificate for the popular Center for Environmental and Life Sciences Rift Zone eatery, while a Grand Prize winner received a $100 Rift Zone certificate.
Works were judged on aesthetic and photographic quality, science focus and impact on the viewer by a panel that included Randall FitzGerald, associate director of Montclair State University’s New Jersey School of Conservation; Mike Peters, Montclair State director of Photographic Services; Ashwin Vaidya, mathematics professor; and Laying Wu, director of the University’s Microscopy and Microanalysis Research Laboratory.
Matthew Rigby was the Grand Prize winner, for his winning Natural World Photography Macro category submission of a grazing Yellowstone elk pictured after a rainstorm. This was the most popular category, receiving 25 images of whole organisms in nature.
Daniel Ciarletta’s magnified shot of a sand grain recovered from a borehole on the Antarctic Shelf received the Physical World Micro category award. Non-natural, STEM-related structures – whether inside or outside of the laboratory – were the focus of the Physical World Macro category. Rigby was the winner in this category as well with his photo of the George Washington Bridge at night.
Twelve submissions were chosen to illustrate a future College of Science and Mathematics calendar. In addition to Rigby and Ciarletta, students Juliana De Vito, Alexa Marques, Joseph D’Agostino, Anthony Bevacqua, Taylor McFarland, Baraa Moraktan, Liliana Calderon, Serafima Kurepa and Daniel Langrock each received a $25 Rift Zone gift certificate.