Why you don't need a college degree to learn about nature.

Naturalists are generalists. We love to learn a whole lot about a whole lot of different topics. I went to school to get a degree in biology so that I could know why things are the way they are in nature and I thought this was my ONLY option when it came to learning such a broad and complex topic.

Turns out that even biologists don't have ALL the answers. There is still so much that is unknown in the scientific world and that is where your journey begins. What if I told you that you do not have to go to school and get an expensive degree to learn about what you love?

Do you have to go to school to learn about nature or is it possible to learn by exploring nature in the "real world"?

Let's say I want to learn about a complex topic like plant ecology. Where do I begin? That sounds like a very specialized topic but in reality we encounter ecology of plants every day. Where did the flour in your kitchen come from? Why was it grown there? What other kinds of plants grow there? Why? Do you see?

All it takes is a little start to peak your interest in wanting to learn more about the ecology of plants. What I'm saying is I don't think you should have to do what I did which is to seek out higher education to learn something that is accessible to anyone who is wondering.

So how do we learn about complex topics without a textbook? It's going to take time, attention and a whole lot of curiosity. Curiosity is going to be your friend on your journey to explore nature with the intent to learn about it. No one has a monopoly on learning or on learning how to learn. My intention is to teach you how to learn the things you want to learn about in ecology, natural history and illustration for yourself. By empowering you to teach yourself, there is no limitation to what you could discover about the world.

A creative naturalist is someone who learns through direct observation by recording their own words and drawing their own illustrations. What I hope to do with this website is to provide you with the resources you need to teach yourself how to learn about nature by guiding you along just like my professors did in school.

Once you have a guideline to follow, you'll be able to expand your knowledge to however far you want to go with it. We'll talk about principles and how to find them, context, practices, and then get more specific with tutorials, techniques, and vocabulary.

Topics will be broken down into categories just like you see in academic textbooks but without all the jargon. I want this to be accessible to anyone, especially budding naturalists and the nature-curious. Artists will gain a better understanding of their subjects and naturalists will gain art skills and everyone wins by broadening their horizons.

I want more people to be nature generalists than specialists. This way more art, writing, inventions and conversations can happen around this incredible topic that we encounter daily. Everything you need to learn is within you!