Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises & Hares in Tanzania

“There’s so much of everything! All of it inextricably tangled together […] To describe is to select – and to select only a microscopic sample from this overwhelming profusion.”

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So wrote travel journalist Michael Frayan in Travels with a Typewriter, one of several books I read during my month-long research trip to East Africa. Frayan distills into two sentences the opportunity, challenges, and complexity of traveling to conduct research, particularly in a new field site.

As I mentioned in my previous update, this was my first trip to Africa. In addition to a mélange of language, landscapes, and villages/cities, the region struck me with its boggling biodiversity, and a host of socio-political situations that resist categorization or outsider resolution. I spent much of the trip mulling over my own reactions to what is ordinary life there, and pondering how to honestly incorporate it in my project without oversimplifying, romanticizing, or otherwise inadvertently appropriating.

Continue reading Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises & Hares in Tanzania

May 2016 newsletter: Choosing between words & sketches?

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Click image to view full newsletter.*

May Table of Contents

  • Sketching Tip: Words worth (when sketching isn’t an option)
  • Artful Science: SciArt in Words (poetic SciArt inspiration)
  • Artful Classrooms: Active Learning strategies applied to sketching
  • Sketchbook Snapshot: East Africa highlights
  • News & Events:
    – Illustrated greeting cards for staying in touch this summer
    – Co-teaching at two educator professional development institutes
    – Teaching award

*There are a couple of typos in this newsletter; please disregard as best you can, as the newsletters cannot be revised after sending.

Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises and Hares in the Kenyan Highlands

This is my first trip to Kenya, and to Africa more generally. So far, it has been a fascinating blend of rural and urban, English and Swahili (and with it a reminder that learning a language isn’t a one-month project), and wildlife, plants, and landscapes utterly unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

I’ve come to the Kenyan Highlands in exactly the right season. It’s the rainy season, and out of ten days so far, yesterday was the only day without rain. This consistent rainfall makes all the difference for my chances of seeing tortoises. They tend to only be visible this time of year. Continue reading Sketchbook Snapshot: Tortoises and Hares in the Kenyan Highlands

April 2016 newsletter: “Drawing enhances memory” + summer reading ideas

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Click image to view full newsletter.

April Table of Contents

  • Sketching Tip: Plan ahead
  • Artful Science: Research article-drawing improves memory
  • Artful Classrooms: Tips for facilitating sketching in the classroom
  • Sketchbook Snapshot: Prepping for East Africa
  • News & Events:
    – Order fulfillment suspended April 29-May 31
    – Co-teaching at two educator professional development institutes
    – Writing projects online + summer workshops

What do science writing and sketching have to do with each other? Wyoming EPSCoR asked me…

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I was recently interviewed for the Wyoming EPSCoR program’s blog.

In addition to a number of questions specific to the nature of sketching workshops I teach, Jess White from EPSCoR asked a thought-provoking question about how drawing contributes to my writing. It was a question I’d never consciously considered before, and I was delighted to be compelled to do so.

Little of that aspect of the interview made it into the final article, which is how interviews often go – there’s only room for so much, and no matter how interesting a tangent may be, it may not sync well with the dominant theme of the article.

So, here’s the “how sketching influences my writing” out-take.

Continue reading What do science writing and sketching have to do with each other? Wyoming EPSCoR asked me…