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“Thinking Like a Naturalist: Reclaiming the Art of Natural History”                               

Learn how to be a naturalist. Our day begins with an introductory class: Thinking like a Naturalist, where we explore how to increase your observational skills, memory, curiosity, and creative thinking.  The second session will be a continuation of the morning session.

Saturday, April 30, 2022
10 am-12 pm (Introduction)
1:00pm-3:00pm (Intermediate)
Ralston Classroom, Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Cost:   $25 per person per session        $40 for both sessions

Price includes:  Entrance into the park; sketch pad and pencil


  • a journal and your favorite drawing/writing supplies – a nature journal and pencil will be provided.
  • lunch if participating in both sessions and water
  • seasonally appropriate clothing
  • binoculars and magnifying glass (optional)

Naturalist and illustrator John Muir Laws will demonstrate simple and fun techniques you can incorporate into your own recreational nature study or to share with others. A perfect experience for teachers, home school parents, and anyone interested in taking their birding and nature study to the next level.

John (Jack) Muir Laws is a principal leader and innovator of the worldwide nature journaling movement. Jack is a scientist, educator, and author, who helps people forge a deeper and more personal connection with nature through keeping illustrated nature journals and understanding science. His work intersects science, art, and mindfulness. Trained as a wildlife biologist and an associate of the California Academy of Sciences, he observes the world with rigorous attention. He looks for mysteries, plays with ideas, and seeks connections in all he sees. Attention, observation, curiosity, and creative thinking are not gifts, but skills that grow with training and deliberate practice. As an educator and author, Jack teaches techniques and supports routines that develop these skills to make them a part of everyday life.

He was given the 2020 Bay Nature Local Hero award for his work in environmental education. In 2009, he received the Terwilliger Environmental Award for outstanding service in Environmental Education. He is a 2010 TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow with the National Audubon Society. He was the 2011 artist for International Migratory Bird Day. He has written and illustrated books about art and natural history including The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling (2016), The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds (2012), Sierra Birds: a Hiker’s Guide (2004), The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada (2007), and The Laws Pocket Guide Set to the San Francisco Bay Area (2009). He is a regular contributor to Bay Nature magazine with his “Naturalists Notebook” column. He is the primary author and editor of the curriculum: Opening the World through Nature Journaling. This free teaching guide is kid-tested and teacher-approved and integrates science, language arts, and visual arts through keeping a nature journal. He is the founder and host of the Bay Area Nature Journal Club, monthly free nature sketching workshops, field trips, and events, connecting people with nature through art.

$40 pp for both classes.   $25 pp for each class

Call 209-795-1196 with any questions.

Space is limited so don’t wait to register.

Click here to download flyer




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