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Thinking Like A Naturalist (five day workshop)

July 17, 2016 - July 22, 2016


“You have to learn it from the hills and the ants and the weeds and things like that. They do the teaching around here.” Byrd Baylor

Rise early to catch the dawn chorus. Crouch low to watch an ant slip underground. Question the clear night sky. Read the stories of river rocks. Stumble on questions and fall into answers. In one week, learn to see more, be more curious, and have more fun in nature than ever before. Through journaling techniques, scientific inquiry, and field study we will unlock the methods that naturalists use to explore the world and train our minds to be more curious. We’ll step beyond just looking; our observations and will lead to discovery in every tree, bird, cloud, or insect. Field journaling, field science methods, , and exploration will provide the foundation of our work and will enable us to see more, remember what we saw, and make meaning of our experiences. We will add to our naturalist toolkits through simple drawing techniques and writing exercises. Evenings spent reflecting on the words and wisdom of inspiring naturalists will help us to create a community of wonderers and wanderers. Enter ready to be amazed and leave ready to dive into the world and watch it open before you.

Plan to arrive at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus on Sunday. We will get acquainted that evening, but the class will begin at 7:30 AM on Monday. The week’s activities will be flexible to take advantage of some of the best viewing opportunities but in general each day will be spent in the field, with time to relax at lunch, and returning to the field campus by dinner. Throughout the week we will learn tricks and techniques to help sketch birds, flowers and more both in the field and in evening workshops. Walks will be generally short but could range up to 3 miles over moderately rough terrain. The class will end in the afternoon of Friday.

Course instructors: John Muir Laws and Emily Lygren

Registration opens January 31 and the class fills quickly. I hope to see you there.


July 17, 2016
July 22, 2016
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J.R. Blair


San Francisco State Sierra Nevada Field Campus
35400 Hwy 49
Sattley, CA 96124 United States
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6 thoughts on “Thinking Like A Naturalist (five day workshop)

  1. Anne Herscher says:

    PLEASE! Hope you will have the “Thinking Like a Naturalist” event next year also. I cannot do it this summer (recuperating from shingles!)but will write it down for next summer. I live on the east coast, but it sounds perfect. Also, I appreciate that it is affordable, so this something for everyone, not a fancy, unaffordable event.

  2. Jenny Self says:

    I’m interested in taking this course, but a bit confused on accommodations? Please let me know what is available, is it like a camp?


    Jenny Self

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