Search form

Animation Students Help to Promote Awareness of Nature

The Art Institute of Washington, a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta, is developing and producing 2D and 3D student-driven animation projects that will educate and promote public awareness of the Patuxent Research Refuge, a nature facility in Maryland.

A couple of faculty and alumni are also driving the projects. Kishore Vijay leads both the projects with the assistance of fellow faculty member, Yanan Wu. Students enrolled in the Animation Team Studio classes have teamed up to develop and produce two different products. First team will focus on a two-dimensional PSA to promoting public visits to the Refuge and the second team will focus on creating a three-dimensional piece that would be used as a featurette in the visitor center.

It is so exciting to work with the college and the students are so very talented, says Nell Baldacchino, education/outreach team leader at Patuxent Research Refuge, How wonderful it is to see them create these 2D and 3D characters of all our critters we enjoy at the Refuge.

Enabling students to work with real-world projects, said Kay Christy, Media Arts & Animation program chair, gives students the opportunity to communicate firsthand with clients like Patuxent Research Refuge; and, allows our students to develop skills beyond the classroom.

Students are creating original signature characters, storyboards, images, audio the computer labs and studios at The Art Institute. The faculty is paring the course skills competency with the development of each project. Completion is scheduled for the end of March 2006

The following students are dedicated to this project: Justin Goultrey, Jens Green, Amanda Hardee, Shannon Henderson, Joshua Lohr, Melody Martin, Jonathan May, Richard Neuendorf, Balvina Osegueda, John Perren, Scott Peterson, Todd Ries, Aaron Seigo, John Stone, Melissa Young, Zachary Zajdel and Bethany MacKay (alumna.

The Patuxent Research Refuge is one of more than 540 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Established in 1936 by executive order of president Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Patuxent Research Refuge is the N only National Wildlife Refuge established in the U.S. to support wildlife research. Today most of the research on the refuge is conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) through the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. The Refuge present size is 12,750 acres with lands surrounding the Patuxent and Little Patuxent Rivers between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

The Art Institute of Washington is located at 1820 N. Fort Myer Drive in the heart of Rosslyn and offers bachelors and associates degrees in Advertising, Culinary Arts, Digital Media Production, Game Art & Design, Graphic, Interactive Media Design, Interior Design and Media Art & Animation.

The Art Institute of Washington ( is a branch of The Art Institute of Atlanta and is one of The Art Institutes (, with 32 education institutions located throughout North America, providing an important source of design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts professionals. The parent company of The Art Institutes, Education Management Corp. ( is among the largest providers of private post-secondary education in North America, based on student enrollment and revenue. EDMC has provided career-oriented education for more than 40 years.