Coral reefs are colonies of millions of polyps, forming brilliant shapes and colors as they come together. The goal of the Roanoke Valley Reef is to have hundreds of people contribute pieces that will be assembled into brilliant shapes and colors. The handcrafting ecosystem that the project has formed can nourish a variety of people in a variety of ways. Collaborations of artists and scientists, of academics and community, of old people and young people have unexpected and wonderful results. The more people join the project, the more chances there are for innovative discoveries. We hope to form a cultural reef whose bonds are long-lasting and beneficial.
“If I can help pique my students’ interest in research and scientific careers, I feel that I have done my job as a professor to promote an extended education,” Dr. Balasubramanian says.