MT Outdoors published 2 of my water monitoring photographs!

The photos Montana Outdoors published in their July-August issue are some of my favorites.

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My photographs are of children collecting water samples on the Rocky Mountain Front.

In fact, I sent (and reminded) the arts editor of the set of photographs which include these two…several times over the past year or so. Click here to view the photographs and read the article. Continue reading “MT Outdoors published 2 of my water monitoring photographs!”

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.

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A few months ago, I discovered, 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”

Drawn to the West: Squirrelly Notions

Cross-posted on
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There weren’t any squirrels in the town where I grew up.

I didn’t know to remark on that fact when I was young.

It wasn’t until I moved away from home that I discovered two apparent truisms regarding urban squirrels:

  1. Squirrels can be boldly urbane, in their own chattery twitchy way.  
  2. Squirrels occur en masse in every town and city I have since inhabited.
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Despite this, or perhaps as a result, I haven’t thought or written much about squirrels. That pleasant oblivion ended abruptly last summer. In 2014, my typical gardening frenzy was necessarily pared down to a few pots of tomatoes, peppers, and herbs on a borrowed balcony.

Continue reading “Drawn to the West: Squirrelly Notions”

A quick look at insects during National Pollinator Week

Cross-posted on

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”

June 2015 newsletter: Birds on the brain!

Lately, I’ve been writing about birds, drawing birds, tending to the six that are now my responsibility (chickens!), and watching birds. So this month’s newsletter is (almost) all about birds.

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Click here to subscribe – future editions full of ideas, inspiration, and references will come straight to your inbox.

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This Month’s Table of Contents:

  • Sketching tip: 4 bird sketching tips (the shapes a bird is “made of”)
  • Artful Science: 2 great #sciart bird books – America’s Other Audubon and The Unfeathered Bird
  • Artful Classrooms: Bird drawing tips from a top bird artist, John Muir Laws
  • Sketchbook Snapshot: Toads, gardens & a puppy
  • News & Events

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NOTE: The CommNatural newsletter is distinct from my blog. The newsletter focuses on drawing in SciArt, while the blog deals with a range of SciComm topics. So click here to view the newsletter archive and click here to subscribe. Curious what’s the difference? Here’s a straight forward breakdown.