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Presenters & Instructors

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Keynote Speaker:
Stephen Hansen

Stephen Hansen Link to Keynote Address

Stephen Hansen is an Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. His research investigates the effects of environmental and climate change on the distribution, genetic diversity, behavior, and population dynamics of a diverse group of vertebrates. Most recently, his work has focussed on invasive fish species and their impact on the Maine/New Brunswick trout and salmon fisheries and the effect of winter ticks on Northern Maine's moose population. For a more complete bio click here.

Karen Ackoff

Karen Ackoff Link to Presentation | Link to Workshop | Link to Tech Showcase

Karen has a BFA in Illustration from Philadelphia College of Art and an MFA in Medical Illustration from Rochester Institute of Technology. Ms. Ackoff has been a practicing artist for more than 30 years, and began her career illustrating children's educational textbooks. Longing to combine her love of science and the natural world, Ms. Ackoff pursued graduate study in medical illustration, focusing on veterinary medicine and natural science. She worked for 10 years as scientific illustrator in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution, and presently teaches and coordinates the Graphic Design Program at Indiana University South Bend.

Karen Ackoff's website

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Laura Audibert

Francine Link to Workshop

Laura, always an outdoors girl, grew up in Farmington, CT. She graduated from University of Maine, Orono, with a bachelor of science, Forest Management degree. For twenty years she was a forester for several paper companies. She is currently a Consulting Forester, working with small landowners and a municipality, helping them prepare forest management plans, supervising timber harvests and coordinating management activities. Her community service volunteer activities include work for the Social Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church. She is a Master Gardener managing the demonstration garden in Fort Kent, the produce of which goes to the town food pantry. Her leisure activities include hiking, biking, and cross country skiing. She lives in Fort Kent with her husband, two teenage children, two cats, and five rabbits.

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Casey Bowie

Casey Bowie Link to Field Trip

Casey Bowie grew up on the family owned dairy farm in Auburn, Maine, where she developed a life long passion and respect for the outdoors. Her horticulture studies program took her to Costa Rica to study the flora of the Santa Elena and Monteverde Cloud Forest. While there she discovered she had in insatiable appetite for learning about the natural world. She earned a BS in Environmental Science with a concentration in plant ecology and the University of Maine at Fort Kent. As an undergraduate she studied the habitat of the elusive Furbish Lousewort (Pedicularis furbishiae). She is currently working toward her Master of Science in Education: Professional Educator degree through the University of Southern Maine.

Throughout her educational journey Casey worked for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension as an Agriculture Coordinator. She set up the first Master Gardener Program in Aroostook County, and it has expanded under her leadership.

Casey currently is District Coordinator for the St. John Valley Soil & Water Conservation District. She recently completed a Non-Point Source (NPS) water quality assessment of the McLean Brook Watershed adjacent to Long Lake. Through this assessment she developed a Watershed Survey and Best Management Plan for the area's long-term preservation. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Upper St. John Valley River Organization whose mission is to help sustain the natural resources and promote sustainable development in the Upper St. John River watershed area.

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M.J. & Alan Brush

Francine Link to Presentation

Both M.J. and Alan spent their careers at The University of Connecticut, she illustrating for scientists and Alan, teaching and working on the evolution of feathers. M.J. is a long time member of the GNSI, and twice served as Vice President.

M.J. has long been interested in the 18th century illustrator, Mark Catesby. Forefathers of the British Royal Society sent him to our fledgling colonies from 1722-26. His purpose was to find rare and exciting new plants and animals and send samples back to England for their collections. At the same time Catesby painted over 120 watercolors, which became the very first pictorial views of our east coast flora and fauna. His two volumes, The Natural History of the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida and the Bahamas are now classics and the original watercolors reside in Windsor Castle.

Intrigued with this story, MJ as illustrator and Alan as author, set out to follow in Catesby’s footsteps, evaluating impacts of man and nature on science and ecology for the last 300 years and comparing changes to the ecosystems he encountered. What we thought would be a 3 to 4 year project took 10 and we now await the publishers decision.

Steve Buchanan

Steve Buchanan Link to Workshop

Steve Buchanan began to explore the art possibilities of desktop computers in the early 1990s, and now works exclusively in digital media. His work has appeared on book and magazine covers, posters, product packaging, and recently on US postage stamps. His clients have included The New York Times, Fine Gardening Magazine, Scientific American, The Bayer Corp., and the US Postal Service. Buchanan's work has been selected for inclusion in exhibits and annuals of The Society of Illustrators, Communication Arts, Step-by-Step, and HOW.

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David Clarke

David Clarke Link to Presentation | Link to Workshop

When David realized that his talent involved a pencil, he shuffled off to the Rhode Island School of Design where he studied illustration and graphic design. Following a comment from one of his professors that he was immature, Dave shifted his focus to children's books. Over the past twenty years, he has worked as a graphic designer and illustrator in the children's book industry for clients such as Simon & Schuster, Pearson and Scott Foresman among others. In addition to his kid's book work, he has worked as a freelance designer and illustrator for advertising, industry and education, which lead to his decision to teach. He has taught design and illustration classes, and classes and workshops on Flash and Illustrator for the past ten years. Today, he is the senior designer (art director) for the University of Maryland University College, designing and creating animations, games and other learning objects to be used in the school's online classes.

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John Cody

John Cody Link to Workshop | Link to Tech Showcase

Former physician and medical illustrator, John always considered moth-centered botanical paintings his real vocation, with related interest in artwork preservation and durability of art materials. Since retiring as a psychiatrist in 1986 he has devoted most of his time to painting moths and traveling widely to collect them for models. His spectacular award-winning moth paintings have been featured in magazine articles and exhibited nationally in solo shows, including the Smithsonian Institution. Author of Atlas of Foreshortening: the Human Figure in Deep Perspective, John has taught workshops for GNSI and the AMI, and lives in a tiny town on Kansas' high plains, ideal for creativity —there are few distractions.

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Stephen Di Cerbo

Stephen Di Cerbo Link to Presentation

Stephen Di Cerbo has an Associate Degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Technology and a Bachelor of Science, summa cum laude, in Science Illustration. He specializes in Ichthyologic illustration and works with a wide range of mediums, ranging from Printmaking to Pen & Ink to Oil Painting to Digital images.

He is a part-time freelance illustrator and has contributed to various textbooks, fishing guidebooks, magazine covers, and dichotomous keys. One recent printmaking media that Stephen has embraced is the Japanese art form of Gyotaku, or fish printing. He has taught several workshops including ones at the New York State Museum, Regional Arts Centers, local High Schools, and the GNSI annual conference.

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Linda Feltner

Linda Feltner Link to Workshop

Linda M. Feltner is an artist who specializes in both the aesthetics and science of natural history. Linda's experiences span more than 35 years painting and drawing, 30 years as a natural history guide, 26 years designing interpretive graphics and 19 years as sole-proprietor of her business. As a field guide with her husband's birding tour company, Ben Feltner's Peregrine Tours, she traveled to many countries, and has studied the flora and fauna in relation to their ecosystems. She has been an instructor for the Scientific Illustration Certification Program with the University of Washington, the North Cascades Institute, and currently with the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute. Her multi-disciplinary career includes interpretive media design, book and magazine illustrations, numerous solo exhibitions, classroom teaching, commissions, and lectures to professional organizations. She designs both indoor and outdoor exhibits for the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, and many state, municipal and private agencies, museums and organizations. She has illustrated eight books, and numerous illustrative contributions to magazines and other natural history publications. For the Art Institute of the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, she teaches Wildlife Drawing, Pen and Ink, and Watercolor.

Linda Feltner's website

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Britt Griswold

Britt Griswold Link to Presentation

Britt is a multimedia graphics specialist working with the Infrared Space Sciences Group at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. He has also worked for many years as a freelance science artist for the Smithsonian, National Geographic, and the USDA. Britt has been a member of the Guild for 25 years and has served as GNSI membership secretary, Board member of Science Insights Inc., and project manager for the Science Illustration Creative Source Directory and Science-Art.com. Britt is a Recipient of the GNSI's Distinguished Service Award.

Britt Griswold's website

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Gail Guth

Gail Guth Link to Presentation

Gail has been a member of the GNSI and a freelance artist for 31 years, specializing in nature illustration and graphic design. She works in a combination of digital and traditional media including watercolor, colored pencil, ink, pencil, and computer graphics in Photoshop, Illustrator, Quark, and InDesign. Gail has exhibited her work with the Hunt Institute's Traveling Exhibition about a century ago, in the GNSI Annual Exhibit in Denver, 2003, and a solo exhibition at a local nature center in the fall of 2005.

Gail Guth's website

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Gretchen Halpert

Gretchen Halpert Link to Presentation

Gretchen Halpert's background includes a degree in Botany, graduate work in biological illustration and a certificate in scientific and technical illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design/CE where she taught for fourteen years. Halperts drawings have appeared in books, journals and scientific publications. She first became interested in Kate Furbish in 1982 during a botany conference in Fort Kent where she spied the lousewort bearing Kate's name. Halpert is currently serving as Past-President of the GNSI.

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Barbara Harmon

Barbara Harmon Link to Workshop

Barbara's passion for natural science, landscape, and living things is evident in her art and illustration. A Master's degree in Medical Illustration (University of Illinois at Chicago, 1990) and a Bachelor's degree in both Fine Art and Zoology (University of California, Berkeley, 1986) have provided her with the basics of the academic and technical tools she applies in creating her vivid images. She is active in the local fine art community on Cape Cod where she consistently wins awards, in addition to gaining recognition in prestigious national shows such as the National Parks Academy of the Arts' competition, Arts for the Parks top 100.

Barbara Harmon's website

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Gerald P. Hodge

Gerald P. Hodge Link to Workshop | Link to Tech Showcase

Jerry Hodge is well known for his Trompe l'Oeil paintings and for his scientific art, which includes botanical, entomological, medical and archaeological subjects. His work has appeared in numerous juried, invitational and one-man shows, and has also been reproduced in hundreds of journals and textbooks. Following a BFA in painting from the University of Colorado, he did graduate work in medical art at Johns Hopkins University, and is Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Michigan. He has given numerous workshops at the meetings of the GNSI, the Association of Medical Illustrators, the Smithsonian Institution and the New York Botanical Garden. Jerry is one of seven members of the Trompe l'Oeil Society of Artists.

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Melinda Hodge

Francine Link to Workshop with Jerry | Link to Workshop

Melinda Hodge is Associate Professor of Art at Lockhaven University (PA), with specialties in drawing, metalwork, fibers and art education. Her MFA is from the University of Illinois—Carbondale and her MA from the University of New Mexico.

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Frank Ippolito

Frank Ippolito Link to Workshop

Frank Ippolito has worked as scientific illustrator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City for 26 years. An early adopter of digital media, he proactively moved from traditional drawing towards a hybrid of digital illustration techniques he employs today. His freelance clients include Scientific American, Natural History Magazine, The New York Times/Science Times, The National Zoological Park, New York City Parks Department, and the Audubon Society. His artwork hangs on permanent exhibit at The American Museum of Natural History, The National Zoo, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science. Frank presented the keynote speech at the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators annual conference at Bar Harbor in 2005. In 2008 he presented the keynote speech at The Digital Content Consortium hosted by the Digital Academy at University of North Carolina, Pembroke NC. He has taught a variety of GNSI workshops on natural media and digital techniques, and he continues to teach illustration and animation classes at Fairleigh Dickenson University in Teaneck, NJ. Frank authored the paleontology chapter of the 2nd edition of the Guild Handbook of Scientific Illustration.

Frank Ippolito's website

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Ikumi Kayama

Ikumi Kayama Link to Presentation

Ikumi is medical and scientific illustrator of Studio Kayama, creating illustration, animation, graphics and web design. She specializes in creating visuals that photography alone cannot capture. Using her training, knowledge and experience, she hopes to create accurate, and didactic illustrations that communicate and educate.

Ikumi holds a MA in Medical and Biological Illustration from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a BFA in Scientific Illustration from the University of Georgia. Her work has appeared internationally in juried shows, exhibits, textbooks, scientific journals, presentations, and websites. Ikumi is also the recipient of numerous awards from a variety of organizations including GNSI and the Illustrators Club. www.ikumi-kayama.com

Ikumi Kayama's website

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Marjorie Leggitt

Marjorie Leggitt Link to Mini-Workshop

Bio coming soon...

Marjorie Leggitt's website

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Taina Litwak

Taina Litwak Link to Presentation

Taina Litwak began freelance illustration work in 1979 upon graduating from the University of Connecticut with a BS in Biology and a BFA in Printmaking. After 10 years as staff entomology illustrator with the Walter Reed Biosystemactic Unit, at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, she left in 1994 for full-time freelance work.

Output is now all digital, black and white, and color. Her markets include magazines, scientific journals, trade and text books, advertising, museum exhibits and research institutions. The subject of her presentation is her first digital mural commission.

Taina Litwak's website

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Sean Lizotte

Francine Link to Field Trip

Bio coming soon...

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Paul Mirocha

Paul Mirocha Link to Presentation

Paul Mirocha has been the owner of a creative illustration business for at least 15 years. He worked for 13 years as a staff graphic artist for the University of Arizona before leaving to become a free-lancer in order to have time to illustrate children's books. That makes 28 years of pondering the questions of how artists make their livings. Paul's award-winning work has gone from science to books to commercial illustration.

Paul Mirocha's website

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Jane Neroni

Jane Neroni Link to Mini-Workshop

Jane is a painter and freelance illustrator with an extensive background in art education. Until just recently she was the coordinator of programs in Natural Science Illustration and Drawing & Painting Studies at Rhode Island School of Design/CE. She continues to teach classes for RISD and is a recipient of RISD/CE’s Teacher of Excellence award. Now a resident of Vermont, Jane teaches for the University of Vermont, lectures and demonstrates throughout New England, and spends her time painting the Vermont landscape.

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Terry Ouelette

Francine Link to Field Trip

Bio coming soon...

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Scott Rawlins

Scott Rawlins Link to Presentation

Scott is an Associate Professor in the Fine Arts Department at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA, where he teaches scientific illustration, drawing and design. In addition to his training as a medical and biological illustrator from the University of Michigan, Scott holds degrees in biology and museum education from Earlham College and George Washington University respectively. Currently, Scott is the Board President of the American Society of Botanical Artists. A former museum curator, Scott maintains contact with the museum world as a research assistant at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia.

Scott Rawlins' website

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Dick Rauh

Dick Rauh Link to Workshop

Dick came to botanical painting in retirement, after a career in Motion Picture Special Effects. After completing a certificate program in Botanical Art at the New York Botanical Garden, he started illustration work for a number of scientists. He pursued a graduate program in Plant Sciences at the City University of New York, receiving a doctorate in 2001. Illustration of Carol Levine's Guide to Wildflowers in Winter sparked interest in the dry fruits and other remnants of out-of-season natives, and he paints enlarged versions to better show their beauty and architecture. These paintings won him a Gold Medal in the January 2006 Royal Horticultural Society Flower Show in London, where he also gained a "Best in Show." Two paintings were recently included in the Hunt Collection at Carnegie-Mellon University, others are in the collections of the New York State Museum and the Lindley Library in London. Member of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium he has been drawing a number of their specimen trees. He teaches at the New York Botanical Gardens, and gives workshops throughout the country.

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Clara L. Richardson

Clara Richardson Link to Presentation

Clara began to draw after a formal course of study in biology. When the possibility of drawing animals and plants opened, she grabbed it; extraordinary luck then brought her a position as scientific illustrator at The Field Museum, where for 25 years, and with the help of colleagues there and at GNSI, she continues to learn. She uses PhotoShop for most of her specimen illustration these days and has fun sussing out its multi-faceted creative workspace.

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Patricia Savage

Patricia Savage Link to Mini-Workshop | Link to Workshop

Patricia Savage earned her BS in Art Education from Western Carolina University and currently works as a fine artist and free-lance illustrator. In 2008, several of Patricia's paintings will be featured in "Modern Botanical Art—Eden Re-imagined." Recently she was awarded The Pastel Journal's 6th Annual Pastel 100 Competition Best in Wildlife and Honorable Mention in Wildlife. In 2001, Patricia participated as an Artist in-Residence in Denali National Park and was part of the joint Smith College and PBS project "The 1899 Harriman Expedition Retraced: A Century of Change." Her work has appeared in The Best in Wildlife Art 2, The Best in Wildlife Art: North American Endangered and Protected Species, Focus Magazine (Italy), US Art, Wildlife Art, and Wildlife in North Carolina. Her paintings have been shown at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, the Bell Museum of Natural History, the National Geographic Society, the US Botanic Gardens, and Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom. Patricia teaches watercolor, pastel, composition and color theory at the University of North Carolina Botanical Garden's Botanical Illustration Certificate Program. She has given many workshops and lectures including at Guild of Natural Science's annual meetings, the NC Museum of Natural History, and the NC Museum of Art.

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Sara Taliaferro

Sara Taliaferro Link to Presentation

Sara is a natural science illustrator with twelve years of experience. She specializes in entomological and botanical illustration rendered in pen and ink, carbon dust, watercolor, acrylic, and computer- generated line and color. Her work is primarily published in books and journal articles, yet she also has been commissioned for fine art framed pieces. She began exhibiting in juried shows in 2004 with two pieces at the Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

Sara has been running Happy Beetle Studio for over five years. Prior to launching her own business, she held a staff position with the Museum of Natural History and Biodiversity Research Center at the University of Kansas. While there, she worked for over six years with Dr. James S. Ashe, a specialist on Aleocharine beetles, Family Staphilinidae. She is a member and Secretary of the Great Plains Chapter of GNSI. She is also a member of and the Membership Chair for the Lawrence Art Guild. She holds a Masters in Botany-Genetics from the University of Kansas and a B.S. of Education in Biology from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.

Sara Taliaferro's website

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Suzanne M. Wegener

Suzanne M. Wegener Link to Workshop | Link to Tech Showcase

Suzanne is the Coordinator of Botanical Art Education at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle Il. She works in watercolor, gouache, pen & ink, colored ink, pencil and digital mediums. She studied scientific illustration at Northern Illinois University and has a MS in Biomedical Visualization from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Suzanne has worked in the creative/education market for 20 years and has exhibited throughout the Midwest and Florida.

Vera Ming Wong

Vera Ming Wong Link to Mini-Workshop

Vera Ming Wong received a B.A. with distinction in Biology at Swarthmore College, PA and a B.F.A. summa cum laude, in Studio Arts, at the University of Minnesota. Through her artwork and illustrations, she blends biology and art to bring people closer to understanding and preserving natural systems. She works en plein air (outside, on-site) or from live or preserved specimens, whenever possible. She employs a diversity of media to illustrate books, magazines and educational displays and create personal artworks. She co-founded and teaches in the Botanical & Zoological Arts & Illustration Program in St Paul, MN, founded and leads Project Art for Nature and is a long-time member of Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.

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