By Christine Elder
I feel blessed to combine my life-long loves of nature and art with children. For over twenty years, I’ve put my training as a biologist, experience as an educator, and right brain as an artist in the service of turning kids on to nature through art, and conversely, to art through nature. I believe that the arts and sciences can be gateways to each other, as one discipline can entice students to become fascinated (or at least comfortable!) with the other.
Through the years, I’ve worked as an environmental educator with both children and adults for organizations including the U.S. Forest Service, The Nature Conservancy, and The Monterey Bay Aquarium, and led nature drawing workshops & field trips for natural history museums, conservation organizations, biological research labs, art centers and schools-from kindergarten to college!
During the school year, I’m often asked to collaborate with middle schools, where I develop and teach custom programs that integrate arts and sciences curricula. I enjoy the challenge of creating educational and fun programs that incorporate the State educational standards. In the summer, I teach my popular workshop series Drawing From Nature at my studio.
When I’m not teaching, I run a biological illustration and graphic design business – SciLuminArt – that I founded and operate from my downtown studio in the Sierra foothills hamlet of Grass Valley, California. My most recent project was designing and illustrating Joshua Tree National Park’s new Junior Ranger book, that I found to be my most rewarding project to date.
During Environmental Education week, I look forward to hearing from you – educators, artists and scientists alike – to chat about ways to best integrate the disciplines of arts & sciences in the service of not only educating our children about nature’s processes, but becoming inspired by its beauty and thus working to preserve it for future generations. As the saying goes “We only save what we love, and love what we know.”
I invite you to visit my website at www.ChristineElder.com where you’ll find free educational materials I’ve developed and information about my upcoming classes.Question for EE Week Readers:
Do you have questions for Christine? Please click on the Ask Christine Elder tab above to post your question.