Sketching Tip: Sketching your notes at conferences, meetings & in class

Toad 5x5
Notes from a training I did in preparation to volunteer for an amphibian monitoring citizen science project in Wyoming.

These tips are excerpted from an earlier article I wrote highlighting many ways that sketchnotes are being used by scientists. The following tips, though, are broadly applicable for many kinds of note-taking situations. Continue reading “Sketching Tip: Sketching your notes at conferences, meetings & in class”

Suggestions for integrating drawing into university-level biology courses

This post has been updated (2021) to point to two more recent publications in which I detail the drawing-science integration approach I recommend and study.

Screenshot of article mentioned in the text of the blog post. A screen-reader-friendly version of the text is available by clicking the image or the hyperlink in the text.

In October 2018, I published a commentary in Nature which introduces key ideas I share with every instructor I coach on integrating drawing into field and lab courses. You can view that open-access commentary here.

In spring 2020, I published a peer-reviewed article in Natural Sciences Education which provides detailed context, resources, assignment and grading examples, and more. It is a robust overview of the framework I use when coaching instructors. You can read a synopsis here, listen to a podcast episode about the paper here, and view the full-length, open-access publication here.

If you would like to participate in the associated research project, please contact me directly. Additional faculty are welcome!

If you cannot access the publications, feel free to contact me directly – I am happy to send you a PDF of them.

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.


Everyone can learn to sketch. Even you.

And there are plenty of reasons why you should seriously consider trying it like I advocated on 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, 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”