Certificate in Science Communication, University of California, Santa Cruz
Professional training in biological illustration.  Spring 2002.
Masters of Science in Wildlife Biology, University of Montana, Missoula
Thesis topic: Song development by free-living yearling male Lazuli Buntings Passerina amoena. Graduated Spring 1995.
Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource Studies, University of California,  Berkeley
Emphasis: natural history and environmental education. Graduated with high honors, Fall 1989.


How to Teach Nature Journaling A thorough guide for teachers, parents, and informal educators with the keys to effective use of nature journaling to enrich nature connection and critical thinking.
The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling An exhaustive resource or nature drawing techniques and observational strategies for field naturalists.
The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds The complete guide to bird sketching and illustration, published with the National Audubon Society. Spring 2012
The Laws Pocket Guide Set to the San Francisco Bay Area Four waterproof and tearproof foldout guides that display the plant and animal species commonly found in bay area habitats. Winter 2009
The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada Comprehensive field guide to over 1,700 species of plants and animals found in the Sierra Nevada.  The guide uses an innovative and field-tested key to allow armature naturalists to easily identify everything from lichen on rocks to the stars overhead. Spring 2007
A Field Guide to the Insects and Pathogens of California Oaks Illustrated USDA guide to oak ecology. Fall 2006.

Sierra Birds: A Hiker’s Guide Fully illustrated field guide to over 200 species of birds that are found in the Sierra Nevada.  The guide uses an innovative and field-tested key to allow beginner birders to easily identify birds that they have never seen before. Spring 2004

Bay Nature Magazine, Naturalist’s Notebook Quarterly, full-page illustrated feature in this quarterly natural history journal. Winter 2001-present.

An Introduction to the Ecology of the San Francisco Estuary Illustrator and consultant Illustrated first and second editions of popular guide to the ecology of the San Francisco Bay and delta. 1990, 2000.


2024 Awarded the Conservationist of the Year by the John Muir Association.

2021 Selected as number eight in Feedspot’s catalogue of the top 30 drawing blogs.

2020 Bay Nature magazine’s Local Hero Award for work in environmental education.

2016 TedX presenter.

2013 Nature’s Inspiration Honoree, Committee for Green Foothills

December 2011 ArtPlante featured artist

2011 Educator of the Year, California Institute for Biodiversity

2011 Artist for International Migratory Bird Day

2010 Together Green Conservation Leadership Fellow. The Together Green fellowship, sponsored by the National Audubon Society, is awarded to environmental leaders around the country with a passion for conservation, the desire to learn and grow, and a commitment to making a difference. Read details about my project.

2010 Outstanding Learning Disabled Achiever. Honored by the Lab School of Washington D.C., in recognition for my contributions and achievements and as an example for children with learning disabilities. Watch acceptance speech.

2009 Terwilliger Environmental Award. WildCare’s Terwilliger Environmental Award recognizes the work of outstanding Bay Area environmental educators and naturalists. Named for nationally renowned environmental educator Elizabeth Terwilliger (1909-2006), better known to generations as Mrs. T, this award honors those who follow in her adventurous footsteps with their own enlivened, inquisitive and thoughtful explorations in the field. The award recipient is an educator who is actively involved in teaching the public to appreciate and protect the natural environment, who has made a significant difference and real impact on the Bay Area, and who: inspires children and adults to love nature by making the study of nature interesting, fun and exciting; demonstrates a commitment to responsible action and a sustainable world; shows consistent interest and determination in both the length and variety of his/her environmental activities; leads with new insights and methods for environmental education.

Eagle Scout Boy Scouts of America, Troop 14, San Francisco, CA

Professional Experience

Nature Journaling. Lead and organized workshops and field trips, nurturing an international community of Nature Journalers and motivating acts of stewardship. Services include managing the Nature Journal Club Facebook Group, the How to Teach Nature Journaling Facebook Group, the How to Teach Nature Journaling Website (free online resources), and hosting the international Wild Wonder Conferene. Leading workshops around the United States including free monthly classes at 7 locations around the San Francisco Bay Area (pre-Covid) and three free online workshops every week (post-Covid). See the schedule.
Freelance Illustrator. Specializing in nature and wildlife illustration. Past clients include National Geographic, California Academy of Sciences, Bay Nature, Marin County Outdoor School, Nature Conservancy, Save San Francisco Bay Association, Estuary Project, Berkeley Marina Education Program, Montana Outdoors, and USFS.   View sample projects. 1990-present. Pro-bono clients include the National Park Service (Yosemite birdsYosemite flowers). California State Parks, Mono Lake Committee, Friends of the Inyo, San Francisco Nature Education, City of Auburn School Park Preserve, and others.

City College of San Francisco. Part-time Faculty Teaching Natural History Field Observation and Illustration. Spring 2005-present.

California Academy of Sciences

Research Associate Author and illustrator Sierra Birds: A Hiker’s Guide and The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. Coordinating field testing and associated environmental education programming. Winter 2002-Winter 2006.

Manager of Field Studies Developed field-based biodiversity curriculum at Mountain Lake and integrated scientific field studies into existing educational programming. Winter 1998- Fall 2001.

Environmental Educator Developed and taught science curriculum to inner-city youth. Lead Instructor for the Camp Academy, a science education curriculum at the Academy, Pepperwood Ranch, Bodega Bay Marine Station, Pigeon Point, Trinity Alps, and the Desolation Wilderness: trained docents and interns and developed and led adult and Junior Academy classes. Summer 1996- Winter 1998.

Adult Education Instructor Organized and led science programs including five-day backpacking trips to study Native American culture and natural history. Spring 1988- Summer 1996.

University of California, Santa Cruz Teaching Assistant. Developed and taught classes in basic zoology and bird and mammal anatomy. Provided instruction for students in Field Sketching class, Fall 2001, Spring 2002.

Muwekma Ohlone Park Consultant. Conducted interviews with community stakeholders and interest groups and prepared report to inform the development of educational resources at an urban open space preserve.  Conducted biological inventory of intertidal and terrestrial species.  Winter-Spring 2001.

Marin County Outdoor School

Curriculum Development Consultant Reviewed curriculum and surveyed teachers and naturalists to coordinate outdoor school curriculum with state and district frameworks. Spring-Summer 1996.

Naturalist and Instructor Developed and taught environmental education curriculum to 5th through 8th-grade students. Supervised and trained naturalist interns, designed and illustrated student journal for use by all staff members. Designed school logo and tee shirt. Spring 1990- Fall 1992.

Alaska Wildlands Studies Instructor. Taught classes in ecology, biology, and illustration as part of a college-accredited curriculum. Summer 1995.

University of Montana

Graduate Student Instructor. Developed and taught field and laboratory sections in ecology, basic biology, and diversity of life. Evaluated student performance, and assigned grades. Fall 1993-Spring 1995.

Researcher. Directed three-member field research team in bird behavior study near Missoula, MT. Summer 1993-1994.

California Nature Conservancy. Instructor-Led day trips to Conservancy preserves. Co-led four-day field trips to Conservancy reserve to study Native American culture and natural history. 1990-92.

Teton Science School. Head Teacher Jr. Science School. Developed and taught environmental education curriculum for students eight to twelve years old. Supervised assistant teacher and intern. Summer 1988-1990.

East Bay Regional Parks. Interpretive Student Aide Tilden Regional Park. Developed and taught programs in the Nature Center, provided information to park visitors, and maintained facilities. Fall 1987-Spring 1988.

Boy Scouts of America

Director of Nature Department Camp Royaneh. Developed and taught nature education program, and supervised staff of four. Planned, wrote and illustrated a nature trail guidebook. Summer 1986-1987.

Nature Staff Camp Royaneh. Developed and taught nature education program. Summer 1984-1985.

Community Volunteerism & Board Positions

Visual Art Judge, Center for Environmental Literacy, River of Words international poetry and art contest (2013-present)

Advisory Board,  Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning, Expertise, and Sharing (BEETLES), Lawrence Hall of Science, (2012-present)

Board, Golden Gate Audubon Society (2012-2016)

California Founders Advisory Committee, National Wildlife Federation (2011-present)

Sierra Nevada Alliance Environmental Education Committee Coordinating Environmental education efforts throughout the Sierra. (2008-present)

California Native Plant Society Education Committee Developing education strategy for CNPS. (2009-present)

Sierra College Press Editorial Advisory Board ((2009-present)

San Francisco Nature Education Chair of Advisory Board, Non-Profit environmental education program that brings hands-on San Francisco youth and the community including field trips and the Bird Calling Contest (2000- 2009)

Boy Scouts of America Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 14, Calvary Presbyterian Church (1996-2009)

Natural Areas Program Citizens Advisory Committee San Francisco Board of Supervisors appointed position to provide community input into developing the management plan for the City’s Natural Areas Program.

Art and Illustration

Specializing in wildlife and nature field sketching and drawing. Organized and led classes in field sketching for science education (Spring 1991-present) and the California Academy of Sciences Field Sketching Group (Fall 1998- 1991). Exhibited at: The Bone Room, Berkeley CA Winter 2011; The Commonwealth Club of California 2010, California Hotspots exhibit at the California Academy of Sciences 2006; “Illustrating Nature” exhibition at the Santa Cruz county Museum of Natural History 2000; “Birds in Art” exhibition at the North American Ornithological Conference in Missoula, MT, 1994; “California Species,” a juried show at the Oakland Museum 1989; and the “Art for Earth Day” exhibit at U.C. Berkeley 1990.