I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent Science op-ed that was a personal attack against a well-known and successful science communicator and neuroscientist active on Instagram and other communication and engagement platforms. Among other things, I see this issue as relating to insecurities, negative social conditioning, and lack of support that folks often face when pursuing careers in the arts, or even considering trying out an art form. Continue reading I don’t usually post selfies, but that’s about to change. OR, some things #scientistswhoselfie and #sketchyourscience have in common.
Last year, a book I illustrated was published! The book, Then There Were None: The Demise of Desert Bighorn Sheep in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness, by Paul Krausman, details the demise of the desert bighorn sheep populations in the mountains around Tuscon, Arizona. It is both a conservation history and a warning for current conservationists.
I was delighted to recently bump into a review of it that also mentioned my illustrations.
You can order the book from the publisher, New Mexico University Press, here.
A few weeks ago, a friend wrote and asked me: “What natural history illustrators/artist-scientists would you want to use to inspire youth/adults to love nature, art, and science?”
- Cathy Johnson
- Jenny Keller – contributor to Field Notes on Science and Nature (see below)
- Bernd Heinrich – see also this piece with commentary re all his books/sketches
- John Muir Laws
- Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) – see also this piece from The Atlantic
- Beatrix Potter
- Leonardo Da Vinci
- Genevieve Jones – “America’s Other Audubon”
- Claire Emery
And, here are a couple of books that can get you rolling with even more ideas & inspiring SciArtists:
- Field Notes on Science and Nature -essays with field note examples from about 10 different people who do field work and use field journals/notebooks.
- The Heyday of Natural History – great investigation of how the pursuit of natural history became a popular past time and then developed into specialized science
- I want to read this one: Of Green Leaf, Bird, and Flower: Artists’ Books and the Natural World.
Not all sketching plans go according to plan, and then words can play a critical role.
In May 2016, I took a trip to East Africa, working on the first international phase of my ecology storybook project: “The Ecologically True Story of the Tortoise and the Hare.” I did a lot of prep for my trip to East Africa. But of course, all kinds of situations arise which planning can’t anticipate. Continue reading Sketching Tip: Using words for all they are worth
For example, in the past couple of years, I’ve learned:
- about traditional ecological knowledge relating to caribou genetics (link)
- several fish species build nests (link; my take)
- citizen science is helping Wyoming biologists track amphibian populations (link)
- bees have germs, and these germs can be studied (link)
- dogs are a big concern when trying to reintroduce bighorn sheep near cities in the Southwest (link)
- you can make pants for frogs (link; my take)
- there are many different ways to measure biodiversity (link)
It’s been pretty neat to learn about all these things, and I’m excited to think there’s no telling what I’ll learn about next!