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Exploration Art and Journal Adventures

As a professor of science communication, I have helped artists add ecological observation to their plein-air experiences. I have encouraged scientists to express their “aha” moments, especially when “aha” becomes “holy shit!” And I have helped fellow adventurers see beyond the scenery of nature into the character, life, and intrigue of wild places.


It all starts with observation and drawing what you see. Everyone, you might think, knows how to draw. As little kids, we are fearless artists. But fear creeps in, and too many grown-ups feel panicked when they are asked to draw what they see, uncertain how to interpret the image in front of their eyes.


I have helped kids and their teachers, parents, and grandparents unlock ecological treasures with as simple a tool as a pencil and notebook. Drawing creates a literal record of what catches your eye, a direct route from seeing to thinking, an excuse to slow down, notice what is around you, and make something of it. By connecting eye and hand in close observation, unexpected details emerge.


Artists’ sketchbooks and scientists’ field notebooks are filled with observations on their way to becoming revelations. Join us in the field.

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