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How to think like an ecologist

December 9, 2021 @ 10:00 am 11:30 am PST

Visualizing ecosystems and systems thinking.

Join John Muir Laws and special guest Iain Campbell for a discussion and exploration of ecological thinking and visualization. Explore why interpreting habitats with animals included is far more important than just botanical classifications. How does using climate graphs really make you understand how the forests function and relate to each other. Examine the problems with representing habitat when habitat photos alone don’t convey the feel of the forest. How to use a graph to show latitude and precipitation to show if habitats are more influenced by temperature or precipitation. Discover how triangle graphs show the relative influence of water, drought, or fire. These ideas will help you think about natural systems and give you system visualization ideas for your own journaling.

Meet our Guest: Iain Campbell grew up in the Australian bush and went to University in Sydney and Canberra. After a short stint as a research regolith geochemist at the CSIRO in Australia, he headed to Africa and South America to map tropical landscapes and explore for gold. His lifelong birding passion soon caught up with him, so he switched careers to build Tandayapa Bird Lodge in Ecuador and form Tropical Birding Tours with his mates Keith and Nick. Besides searching for, and photographing rare birds and animals, he became fascinated by forest regeneration and the holistic relationships between landscape, vegetation, and wildlife. When not running and organizing nature tours around the world, he writes wildlife field guides, ecology and biogeography books, as well as consulting on ecotourism projects. Order his new book Habitats of the World: A field guide for Birders, Naturalists, and Ecologists.

All ages and experience levels are welcome. No registration is necessary.

Suggested donation: $20. Your donation helps support me and my family. Your generosity is deeply appreciated and it makes an immediate difference in my ability to continue to offer these programs. Your donation is tax-deductible. Click here to donate. If you are not able to donate at this time, no problem–please continue to enjoy the classes and find another way to pay it forward in your community with acts of kindness and service. Thank you!

If you are new to Zoom or are having trouble with the meeting controls, please see these notes and suggestions on Zoom Tips for Online Classes with John Muir Laws to help you get more out of the online workshop. When possible I will also make a recording of the workshop and post it on my blog. I look forward to seeing you there!


  • Your Journal and favorite drawing materials. Taking notes while you watch and participate will help you remember the new techniques and incorporate them into your journaling.
  • Your sense of humor!
$20 Suggested Donation

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