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Boise State Biology major finds the music in his field work

Jacob Scott in marching band uniform, taking picture with parent

Jacob Scott, a Biology major with an Ecology, Evolution and Behavior emphasis and a Music Minor, proves that inspiration can strike at any moment and in the most remarkable ways.

While analyzing and researching the impact of targeted grazing of sheep and invasive plant species on the Sawtooth National Forest as part of a larger program project led by Dr. Kelly Hopping, Assistant Professor in Human-Environment Systems, Scott became inspired by the landscape and physical act of intensive scientific field work. As an active flutist and member of the Blue Thunder Marching Band piccolo section, exploring this idea through music came naturally.

To help aid with this creative research endeavor, Scott applied and received a 2023 Higher Education Research Council (HERC) Scholarship from the Idaho State Board of Education. In his application, Scott included the following creative statement:

“The sole purpose of this piece is to further collaborative projects, bridging the gap between the arts and sciences while bringing awareness to the underfunding of creative departments across the country and increasing community engagement and education of both research and art. It is my hope that this five-movement piece will transport the audience to Deer Creek, nestled in the Sawtooth National Forest, where they will hear, feel, and see what it takes to conduct field work.”

Assisting and advising Scott during the composition process of his solo flute five-movement piece is Dr. Nicole Molumby, Professor of Flute and Program Director for the Graduate Interdisciplinary Studies Program (pictured above with Scott). Molumby had this to say about Scott’s project and progress:

“Jacob oozes musicality. He is writing an original composition where he creates for the listener a soundscape of the Idaho wilderness, herds of sheep, plant life and the rhythm of his daily work as a field ecologist. He is creating a very personal artistic expression of this scientific research for all to experience.”

To read more about Dr. Hopping and Scott’s field work, please visit their project site at Targeted grazing by sheep to control invasive species and reduce wildfire risk.

Scott is on track to complete and premiere his piece in the Spring of 2024. More information on that premiere and performance to come.