April 2017 CommNatural Newsletter: Migration, multimedia sketching & more

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Happy April, dear readers!

The weather is getting warmer and warmer. In addition to obvious shifts in the garden, migratory critters are coming back to the high plains.

My favorite are the turkey vultures that roots on campus. On warm breezy afternoons, they cruise low over the cottonwoods around our neighborhood.

In recognition of the vultures, bluebirds back out at our favorite hiking spot, and all the plants leafing out, this month’s newsletter looks at some familiar things from some fresh angles.

Keep reading. This month’s newsletter focuses on a mixed media sketching/pring-making technique, the launch of an image-use best practices blog series, and lots of news and events.

Happy sketching,

April Table of Contents

  • Insight: How and why migrations speak to us
  • Sketching Tip/Artful Classrooms: Solvent transfers (a printmaking technique)
  • Artful Science: Ethics of using reference/source images for art making and science communication
  • News & Events:
    • Drawn to Science plenary talk at American Fisheries Society’s western division annual conference scheduled for 5/23
    • Drawing for Science Communication symposium talk at American Fisheries Society’s western division annual conference also scheduled for 5/23. See the conference program for details.
    • Get your portable sketching kit, plus spring greeting cards and gifts from me! 🙂
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Tips for ethical and legal use of images in science presentations and other science communication (Using Images-A Best Practices Primer, Part 1)

When you are looking for great images to communicate about science, the internet is a treasure trove. But it is easy to overstep legal and ethical boundaries.

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Where your images come from, and how you get them, matters. (Sketching jackrabbit specimens, ©2017)

This article is the first in a series aimed at helping you enhance your #scicomm and #sciart by avoiding #visualplagiarism. It will do so by laying out some best practices for dealing with images (which are, by their nature) visual intellectual property protected by copyrights.

NOTE: I am not a lawyer, and no part of this article or series should be construed as legal advice. 

Please chime in, in the comments or by contacting me, if you have suggestions for how to enhance this article or the series.


DEFINITIONS & TIPS FOR ETHICAL AND LEGAL IMAGE USE

Images are a crucial element of compelling science communication.

After all, something like 50% of our brains are keyed in to visual stimuli. And, more than ever, compelling images are easy to find on the internet. That makes the internet a powerful #VisualSciComm tool.

However, like most tools, how you use the internet to source images can have serious implications — in this case for your outreach, reputation, and efficacy. Continue reading Tips for ethical and legal use of images in science presentations and other science communication (Using Images-A Best Practices Primer, Part 1)

March 2017 CommNatural Newsletter: Making connections between art & other disciplines

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Happy spring, dear readers!

The spring equinox was just a few days ago, and my tulips noticed. While they’re not in full bloom yet, they are several inches tall!

My thesis is due at the end of this week, so I spent most of last month writing, revising, or going on health breaks (hiking with the pup). So, the March 2017 newsletter takes a look at projects I’ve just published, along with some other people’s work.

Happy sketching,

March Table of Contents

  • Insight: Photo-realistic drawing expectations can get in your way.
  • Sketching Tip: Handy portable drawing materials
  • Artful Science: Learning by drawing
  • Artful Classrooms: Students explore connections between art and energy issues
  • News & Events:
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Jan/Feb 2017 CommNatural Newsletter: Snow sketching, winter vocabulary & more

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Happy not-quite-spring, dear readers!
Although we’re a long way from actual spring, the weather in my neck of the woods has been decidedly warm lately.

That means, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside, roving the prairie with my pup, and, to be honest, writing more than drawing. Even so, the January/February 2017 newsletter focuses on winter (or what’s left of it), things you can do indoors, etc.

Happy sketching,

Jan/Feb Table of Contents

  • Sketching Tip: Sketching Snow
  • Artful Science: Tips for integrating drawing into university biology courses
  • Artful Classrooms: Winter Vocabulary
  • News & Events:
    • Webinar: Tips for working with an illustrator; 2/22
    • Poem published in Montana anthology
    • I’ve been elected chair-elect for ESA SciComm Section!
    • Get your spring greeting cards and gifts from me! 🙂
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Suggestions for integrating drawing into university-level biology courses

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In October 2018, I published a commentary in Nature which synthesizes many of the key points in the guide below. You can view that open-access commentary here.




 

 

Click to download PDF version.

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I’m collaborating with the coordinator of a series of undergraduate Animal Biology labs this semester.

She is interested in integrating drawing more fully and effectively into the work that instructors and students do in those labs. The rest of this post provides context on what we’re aiming for, as well as a lot of resources I’m sharing with her. Continue reading Suggestions for integrating drawing into university-level biology courses