“Nature journaling” is a fairy straightforward concept: we journal about nature. It’s undoubtedly been called by other titles before, such as: keeping a naturalist’s notebook, keeping a field journal, keeping a scientist’s databook, keeping a botanical diary, etc. It’s about observation, information, questions, connections. It’s been done for as long as we’ve been able to make marks.

The exact words, “nature journaling”, are fairly new. These words can certainly include scientific study, botanical illustration, poetry, math, and more – and in fact, the nature of nature journaling is meant to allow for YOU to decide what appeals to you most in your ultimate goal of connecting more with nature. That’s the fun part of nature journaling – while the goal is the same, it might LOOK and MANIFEST differently for two different people. And that’s OK!

I am told that the incredible Clare Walker Leslie first made this term known and common through her many books she has written on nature journaling since 1980. My friend and mentor John Muir Laws has certainly expanded on Clare’s work and made the practice of nature journaling possible for a global community. But the first person who introduced me to the term was my friend and college housemate, Marley Peifer.

(more about my nature journaling coming soon!)

My Roles Within the Nature Journaling Community:

Community coordinator? Curator? Assistant? I’m not sure what my official title is. Perhaps someday I’ll come up with one for myself. In no particular order, here are some of my responsibilities within the Nature Journal Community…

  • I cohost for John Muir Laws during his weekly Wednesday Nature Journal Educator’s Forum sessions, weekly Thursday Nature Journal Workshop sessions, and Wild Wonder fundraiser classes.
  • I make community announcements in each of John Muir Laws’ classes to raise awareness about other instructors and classes in the nature journal community.
  • I lead the Nature Journal Educator’s Forum when John Muir Laws is out of town.
  • I edit all of John Muir Laws’ videos from his Wednesday and Thursday sessions and then post them for him on his YouTube channel and on his website.
  • I edit John Muir Laws’ dates on the Wild Wonder Community Calendar, as well as dates for some of the other educators, if necessary.
  • I lead the twice-weekly Pencil Miles & Chill informal community gatherings, on Thursdays and Saturdays.
  • I teach the “Plant Families in Our Foods” online classes for botanocurious nature journalers.
  • I collect and organize resources for nature journalers to access, including the Nature Journalers’ Book Share Joy List and the Resources for Nature Journaling Educators List.
  • I organize and run the Wild Wonder Pencil Miles & Chill social hour sessions each year.
  • I am on-call as a workshop presenter for the Wild Wonder Educator’s Program.
  • I moderate on the Nature Journal Club Facebook group and the Wonderland.
  • I am the newest member of the International Nature Journaling Week leadership team.
  • I interview stewards in the Nature Journal Community for a new series around conservation and stewardship, to help raise awareness on different ways to practice stewardship. The series is available for Wild Wonder’s use to further their goals of conservation.
  • I am in process of creating curricula to combine nature journaling and stewardship work, in hopes it will be shared with other educators.
  • I formerly wrote articles for Marley Peifer’s blog.
  • I formerly cohosted for Melinda Nakagawa during her Sunday Spark in Nature sessions (and might still in future!)