Field Drawing in Natural Sciences with Bethann Garramon Merkle


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“Drawn to natural history: Enhancing field courses with drawing and field journal instruction” with Bethann Garramon Merkle.

Field drawing has long been used as a method of documentation and observation in the natural sciences. However, more technologically advanced documentation tools, perceived dichotomies between artistic and scientific capabilities, and low artistic confidence in both students and instructors have resulted in declining interest and usage of field drawing as a skill. Can the value of field drawing be revived? How can these mental barriers be challenged and overcome? Bethann’s been working hard to find out.

Tune in to learn:

  • What barriers keep students and instructors from embracing art in the natural sciences
  • How backwards design can help instructors better incorporate art into their courses
  • How to find and use a “sit spot”
  • Some techniques to reframe art and its purpose for students and instructors

If you would like more information about this topic, this episode’s paper is available here:

This paper is always freely available.

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CEU Quiz:

Bethann’s website:

Ecologically True Story:

Natural Sciences Education journal:

John Muir Laws drawing resources:

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