Cooler weather means more opportunities for Sun Devils to take their learning outside
Editor’s note: This story is being highlighted in ASU Now’s year in review. Read more top stories from 2020.
Arizona State University is entering that golden time of year when the desert at last turns its back on a relentless summer, and months of excellent weather stretch ahead.
And with the risk of coronavirus transmission lowerRisk is lowered but not eliminated. Wear face coverings in all of ASU's outdoor spaces and practice physical distancing. outdoors than inside, some professors are finding ASU's beautiful outdoor spaces a great option.
"I moved my class outside because the weather is beautiful," said Associate Professor Brian DeMaris, who has held his opera repertoire class outside the Music Building. "And all my colleagues at other institutions are going inside or going home."
Watch below how DeMaris' and other Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts performance classes took to the fresh air to reconnect. (And yes, those are trumpet masks.)
Video by Deanna Dent and Joshua Belveal/ASU
To make it easier for more of the ASU community enjoy its outdoor spaces, the university added 272 tables, 1,088 chairs and 113 benches across its four Valley campuses during the fall 2020 semester.
And in Tempe, there are four new "outdoor rooms" — shade structures with seating, power, lighting and Wi-Fi. They are located west of the Memorial Union, where Interdisciplinary A and B meet; southeast of Schwada Classroom Office Building; west of Mesquite Hall; and on Palm Walk, next to the Bateman Physical Sciences Center. Starting in the spring semester, professors will be able to reserve them.
“Whether it’s a study session on the library’s patio or a class in one of our new Wi-Fi-equipped outdoor rooms, ASU’s welcoming outdoor spaces allow professors and students to reconnect in person while reducing COVID-19 risk,” said Mark Searle, executive vice president and university provost. “We’re encouraging faculty to find creative ways to utilize all of ASU’s spaces in their classwork. Let’s enjoy our beautiful campuses.”
ASU's campuses offer an array of outdoor settings, from quiet moments tucked among the high-rises downtown Phoenix ...Photo by Jenny Dupuis/ASU
... to the surprisingly verdant desert beauty on display in this prepandemic photo of the Polytechnic campus ...
... to the color-changing "Air Apparent" Skyspace by James Turrell on the Tempe campus ...
... to the stately serenity of the West campus, modeled after the cloisters of Oxford and Cambridge. Each building has a courtyard, and every courtyard has a unique water feature.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU
To help ASU's community enjoy its spaces, the university added four outdoor rooms in Tempe that feature seating, shade, fans, Wi-Fi and abundant outlets. Pictured is the first one to be constructed, between the Memorial Union and the Interdisciplinary A and B buildings. Professors can use the rooms for classes, and starting in the spring semester, they will be reservable.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU
Grace Spotts takes a break between classes outside the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus midday on Oct. 20. She is in her third year studying biomedical sciences and psychological sciences. To encourage more people to use ASU's outdoor areas for study and socializing, the university added 272 tables, 1,088 chairs and 113 benches across its four Valley campuses this fall.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU
Some classes are already venturing outside to take advantage of cooler weather. Here, Associate Professor Joe Burgstaller (right) leads his students during the trumpet studio group lesson in front of ASU Gammage on an early Friday morning in late October. Players use instrument bell covers as they play and space 18 feet apart to be as safe as possible when playing together.Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU
Associate Professor Brian DeMaris plays as his students practice their works in his opera repertoire class on Oct. 22 in the loading dock of the Music Building on the Tempe campus. (Why the loading dock? Because moving a piano across a lawn is a challenge.) A third of the class participated through ASU Sync on Zoom.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU
Second-year opera performance graduate student Darius Taylor performs a heartfelt "Bella Siccome un Angelo" by Gaetano Donizetti as his classmates watch in person and via Zoom on Oct. 22.Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU
ASU faculty, are you taking your classes outdoors? Please contact the ASU Now team at email@example.com and let us know about your plans.
Top photo: Second-year opera performance graduate student Michael Nanney practices "Ah! Mes Amis" by Gaetano Donizetti as more than half the 12 members of Associate Professor Brian DeMaris’ opera repertoire class meet Oct. 22 to practice outside the Music Building on the Tempe campus. The rest of the class participated through ASU Sync on Zoom. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU