This year, our core program includes seven plenary speakers!

Minding Your Own Business (plenary talk)

Minding your own business. © 2015 Jennifer E. Fairman, CMI, FAMI.

Jennifer E. Fairman
Minding Your Own Business

Jennifer will give a presentation regarding how to set up a business from a freelance artist's perspective. She will discuss and take questions from the audience on a variety of topics including considerations for starting out, marketing and advertising, finances and bookkeeping, taxes, finding professional services, organizing, incorporating, understanding basic artists’ rights, and much more.

Understanding Health/Science Literacy for Visual Communicators (plenary talk)

Using a metered-dose inhaler with a spacer. Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. © 2015 Wendy Hiller Gee, Krames StayWell.

Wendy Hiller Gee
Understanding Health/Science Literacy for Visual Communicators

Understanding the environment of health and science literacy in North America is vital to creating effective visuals, especially for certain populations. Join Wendy to gain some background on health/science literacy, share some thoughts about visual literacy, and learn how illustrations support clear communication in health and science. She'll talk about strategies to involve end-users in content development, and about current best practices in content development for low-health-literacy audiences. Last but not least, Wendy will share some real examples from the patient education world.

Illustrating the Machinery of Life: Principles and Practice (plenary talk)

Ebola virus. Watercolor and ink on paper. © 2014 David S. Goodsell, RCSB Protein Data Bank.

David S. Goodsell
Illustrating the Machinery of Life: Principles and Practice

Visualization of the nanoscale world presents an interesting challenge: how do you create images of objects that are far smaller than the wavelength of light? Scientists and artists have developed several metaphors to address this challenge, each capturing a relevant aspect of the molecule, but omitting other aspects. David will present an approach for the creation of images that span the scale from nanometers to micrometers, depicting subjects ranging from the atomic structure of biomolecules to the molecular ultrastructure of cells. The goal of this work is to create a consistent visual scheme for use over the entire scale range, based on experimental data from different spatial resolutions.

Painting on Walls: The Art and Illustrations by Jane Kim (plenary talk)

Hoatzin detail. © 2015 Jane Kim, Courtesy of Ink Dwell.

Jane Kim

Painting on Walls: The Art and Illustrations by Jane Kim

Jane Kim, founder of Ink Dwell studio, will take you through her process of creating large-format work. Using a variety of materials while merging disciplines of fine art and science illustration, she creates her murals and installations as a celebration and interpretation of the natural world and as a vehicle designed to challenge how we interact with it. Whether the work is in a museum, restaurant, outside or inside, each piece seeks to function as a tool that improves public understanding and experience with nature.

Jane will share her artistic journey from painting outdoors in the mountains of California's Eastern Sierra to creating paper mosaics depicting the depths of the Atlantic Ocean. She'll also discuss her two-and-a-half year effort to create the Wall of Birds mural at The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the project's broader reach.

This Is Your Brain on Paper: The Art and Science of Keeping a Nature Journal (plenary talk)

Black-throated sparrow (Amphispiza bilineata). Graphite, watercolor, and gouache. © 2014 John Muir Laws.

John Muir Laws
This Is Your Brain on Paper:
The Art and Science of Keeping a Nature Journal

Open the door to rich discovery, better memory, and more fun in nature. What if you could change one simple thing and make yourself a more astute observer, curious explorer, creative thinker, deliberate investigator, and better naturalist? You can: it is keeping a notebook to record your discoveries and questions, and to help you plan and document your investigations.

A journal is a ubiquitous part of a naturalist’s gear, more important than binoculars or a microscope. No tool has a more profound effect on your ability to see and think. It is much more than a sketchbook. It is a place to map out your observations and inquiry process as you document, explore, or reflect. There are many ways you can use a journal: you can draw, diagram, map, model, list, and write. Each approach changes the way you see and think. A new approach is a new lens on the world. Strategically combining these methods virtually guarantees new discoveries and will delight your mind.It is also useful to have simple heuristics to focus your observation technique and scientific investigation process. The "scientific method" we all learned in school is a misinterpretation of scientific process and not what most scientists do. Reframe your approach to scientific methodology to inform your own fieldwork and investigation. Learn ways to expand the scope of your practice and open new doors to discovering the world. You will leave with a rich kit of tools to focus your observations, organize your thoughts, enhance recall of critical details, stimulate creativity, and expand the possibilities for your adventures and discoveries.

Albatrosses: Ecology and Conservation of Pacific Ocean Wanderers (plenary talk)

Laysan albatross pair reunites after months at sea. © 2013 Breck Tyler.

Breck Tyler
Albatrosses: Ecology and Conservation of Pacific Ocean Wanderers

Albatrosses are premier mariners, spending years at sea and traveling thousands of miles across ocean basins. They are supremely adapted for efficient, long distance flight but they also have complex behaviors on land. Returning only to nest, adult birds reunite with lifelong mates (50+ years) while youngsters engage in elaborate courtship dancing. Midway Atoll, a tiny island in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, is one of the world’s largest albatross colonies, hosting more than a million birds. Sharing experiences from 25 years at Midway, Breck will talk about the ecology and conservation of these magnificent creatures.

Terryl Anne Whitlatch The Science of Creature Design

Leaping Teezorr. Copic Sketchmarker. © 2013 Terryl A. Whitlatch, courtesy Imagination International, Inc.

Terryl Anne Whitlatch
The Science of Creature Design

Terryl will give a summary of her distinguished career—past, present, and where it may go in the future—in the vocation of creature design for the entertainment industry and scientific fields.