Project Snapshot: Ecological Principles & Children’s Books

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While working on my project on ecological concepts in picture books, I’ve come across some fascinating research about using picture books to teach science.

Here are a couple points that are particularly interesting:

  • Talking animals can confuse children’s understanding of why/how animals do things. (Ganea et al 2014)
  • Children don’t differentiate between fact and fiction unless guided to do so. Books presented by adults are viewed as equally authoritative, and fantasy books can lead to children developing faulty explanations for themselves. (Owens 2003; behind a paywall – contact author for reprint)

 

 

Could #sketchyourscience be key to increasing appreciation of SciArt among ecologists?

Cross-posted on ESA SciComm Section blog

I’m a co-founder of the Ecological Society of America’s new Science Communication Section (#ESASciComm), so I am in a great position to infuse #sciart into #scicomm at ESA. I’ve done so with pleasure in scicomm workshops the past two years.

This year, at ESA’s annual conference/meeting (#ESA100) our section had a booth at which we encouraged folks to sketch their science.

We were blown away by how many people enthusiastically did so.

Continue reading Could #sketchyourscience be key to increasing appreciation of SciArt among ecologists?

Drawn to…conferences? How sketching can enhance your science conference experience

A version of this article is cross-posted on the ESA SciComm Section’s site.

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Everyone can learn to sketch. Even you.

And there are plenty of reasons why you should seriously consider trying it like I advocated for on www.crastina.se last month.

Researchers have demonstrated that drawing (even without training) can:

There is even evidence that collaboration between scientists and artists may result in better science. Continue reading Drawn to…conferences? How sketching can enhance your science conference experience

An op-ed: Why scientists (even non-artists) should draw

Lots of data indicate drawing skills are:
a) good for scientists, b) good for science,
and c) something anyone can learn.

Crastina_sketching scientists_screenshot (07.2015)

A few months ago, I discovered www.crastina.se, which describes itself as “A networking platform for the exchange of knowledge, skills, experience and opinion regarding both scientific peer-to-peer communication and science dissemination.”

I learned about Crastina when its founder Olle Bergman invited me to write an op-ed. He asked me to write about my deep conviction that drawing skills should be part of the modern scientist’s toolkit, not just a bygone ability for which we are faintly nostalgic. Continue reading An op-ed: Why scientists (even non-artists) should draw

A quick look at insects during National Pollinator Week

Cross-posted on www.drawntothewest.com

For the past decade, I’ve taken special delight in looking at, and drawing, insects.

It all started with a three-year artist residency at the Watershed Education Network, where I developed a place-based journal/sketching component for their stream ecology field trips, drew about 30 aquatic macroinvertebrate (small water-dwelling insects) illustrations for a wetland guide book, and helped develop a new logo and merchandise line. Continue reading A quick look at insects during National Pollinator Week