Payson R. Stevens has had two parallel tracks in his professional career: in the field of science/science communication and in art and design. He was President and Creative Director of InterNetwork Inc. (1979-99) and well as InterNetwork Media Inc. (1993-2004), both award-winning science/consulting groups with clients in government, industry, and academia. Originally trained in molecular biology at the City University of New York and in oceanography at the University of California, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Stevens also studied at the Arts Students League and the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has been involved with traditional and new media as an artist, designer, writer, and filmmaker for 40 years. His technical expertise played a key role in protecting the offshore environment of Southern California from oil development (Lease Sale 48, 1978) and the Tirthan River Valley watershed from hydroelectric dams in the Ecozone of the Great Himalayan National Park (Himachal Pradesh, India, 2006).
Stevens was Stevens was lead author of Embracing Earth: New Views of Our Changing Planet (Chronicle Books, 1992), which appeared in four foreign-language editions. He was also contributing author and artist/designer to the award-winning college textbooks, Geology Today (CRM, 1973) and Biology Today (CRM, 1971). His film credits include a CINE Golden Eagle Award (1980) for a national PBS broadcast script on Antarctica and documentaries on rural Himalayan Indian culture and environment. From 1981 to 1995, Stevens and his company helped develop a series of sponsored Earth-science reports, brochures, posters, and multimedia projects for the major US science agencies (e.g., NASA, NOAA, USGS). These won numerous awards for design and writing in annual competitions (e.g., Society for Technical Communication, Graphis International Poster Annual). In 1993, the US Geological Survey awarded InterNetwork the John Wesley Powell Award, the highest civilian recognition for furthering earth science awareness.
Stevens helped pioneer the field of interactive multimedia starting in 1987. He produced and directed ten acclaimed educational CD-ROM titles on Earth science and environmental subjects, two of which debuted at the Smithsonian Institution's Ocean Planet Exhibition (1995). In 1994, InterNetwork received the Presidential Design Award for Excellence from Bill Clinton for the CD-ROM science-journal prototype, Arctic Data InterActive. Stevens is also an accomplished public speaker having presented at numerous conferences and on television on the environment, technology, and design (e.g., TED 2 & 3, US Senate, Apple Developer Conf. Keynote, Doors of Perception Conf./Amsterdam, AIGA).
Since 2000, he has advised on environmental, sustainable livelihood and ecotourism issues for the Great Himalayan National Park .greathimalayannationalpark.com). Stevens is a founding member and Board Advisor of My Himachal (www.myhimachal.org), a US non-profit an Indian NGO. Formed in 2006, it is dedicated to uplift the lives of rural Himachal Pradesh villagers and protect the environment. Stevens received the Hands Across the Border Award from Project Concern International in 2008 and 2010 for work in India.
Concomitant with his science/communication work, he has continued to do fine art in both traditional and computer-generated formats since 1970. From 1966-68 he was a member of the acclaimed Bread & Puppet street theater group in New York City. His electrographic art was in many group shows in the 1970s and was published in the first book on this art form, Copy Art (Marek Publishers, 1978). His computer art was exhibited and featured on the SIGGRAPH 83 Art Show Poster and other group shows. It was published in the book, Computer Images: State of the Art (Stewart, Tabori, and Chang, 1983) and is found in corporate and private collections. His artwork focuses on energy flow in the natural world, resulting from extensive time spent in Nature, including California Mountains and deserts, Baja Mexico, the Southwest, Alaska, Antarctica, and the Indian Himalayas. Artwork is abstract/semi-abstract and also reflects visualizing aspects of his meditative practice. Subject matter of works on paper is figurative and representational. Stevens' artwork and Himalayan life has been profiled on Indian National TV (2008).
Recent Indian solo exhibits include: The American Center/US Embassy, New Delhi (2009), Government Museum, Chandigarh, (2007), and the Nicholas Roerich Museum Gallery, Naggar (2006). A 35-year retrospective of artwork and science was held at Southwestern College Art Gallery (2010). Stevens divides his time equally between painting/drawing in his studios in Del Mar, California and in a remote part of the Himalayas in the Kullu Valley, India where he lives with his wife, the writer Kamla K. Kapur ( www.Kamlakkapur.com )