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Jamus Drury '08 - Senior Project
a Creative Exploration in Science Photographs and Prose
from an internship on Tern Island
Hawaiian Islands National Monument>
During the summer of 2008, at the George B. Dorr Museum of Natural History, birds fly into the sunlight; nuzzle each other in a nest, protect one another, and sit framed in the glory of the setting sun.
Jamus Drury '08 has captured these creatures in an exhibit called "The Aesthetics of Science: A photographic journey to Tern Island, in the remote Hawaiian Islands National Monument."
The photographs offer an intimate view of albatross, frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, white terns and more, all sheltered on this remote preserve in the Hawaiian Islands.
Drury, who grew up on Green's Island, off of Vinalhaven, served as a volunteer intern with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service on Tern Island from December 2006 through March 2007. Much of his time was spent looking into the reproductive success of several of the species nesting on the island. Off-hours, he took photographs and kept a journal of his encounters with his majestic avian neighbors. He has spent thi0o year transforming his reflections into a senior project that features a book-length manuscript, as well as the photographs.
The exhibit features his images, with brief excerpts from a text he has written about his experiences with these birds. Like the photos, the text captures a connection that is deeply personal - the very human reflections of a trained scientist:
I glance up to see something so beautiful that I lose my breath, something so perfect I must sit down and enjoy its beauty. In the orange glow of this Christmas sunset I see two Laysan Albatross cuddling. As a scientist I almost can't bear to use this term, yet there is nothing else that can describe what I am seeing. These two birds are in love, they are sitting breast touching breast nuzzling each other. Calmly and carefully preening each other's neck and back and cheek. Slowly and sensually scratching the underside of the others beak and throat. Yet most importantly they are just sitting, being together.
Drury's exhibit will be hanging at the Dorr Museum throughout the summer of 2008.