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John Muir Laws

Nature Stewardship through Science, Education, and Art
Naturalist, Artist, and Educator
John Muir Laws is a naturalist, artist, and educator who has dedicated his life to connecting people to nature through art and science. From an early age his parents instilled in him a deep love and respect for nature. Over the years, that love has grown to a commitment to stewardship and a passion to share the delight of exploring nature with others. As both a scientist and artist, Laws has developed interdisciplinary programs that train students to observe with rigor and to refine techniques to become intentionally curious. He teaches nature study and natural history workshops that incorporate illustration and scientific note-taking as a means to greater observation, memory and curiosity. Laws is the founder and host of the Nature Journal Club, a family-friendly, intergenerational community that connects with nature through art and field journaling. Each week, he leads free online nature drawing workshops for an international community of nature artists. The entire program is free and supported by donations and grants. His latest books is How to Teach Nature Journaling (coauthored with Emilie Lygren, 2020), which is a standards-based curriculum that merges science, language arts, and visual arts through teaching students to keep a nature journal. This book is also available as a free downloadable PDF for educators and has been used all over the world in schools, science centers, home school communities, camps, and informal science education programs. Laws has written and illustrated several other books including The Laws Sketchbook (2022), The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling (2016), The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds (2012), Sierra Birds: a Hiker’s Guide (2004), and The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada (2007). He is a regular contributor to Bay Nature magazine with his “Naturalists Notebook” column.

His work has been nationally recognized. He is a research associate of the California Academy of Sciences. He was given the 2020 Bay Nature Local Hero award for his work in environmental education. In 2009, he received the Terwilliger Environmental Award for outstanding service in Environmental Education. He is a 2010 TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow with the National Audubon Society. He was the 2011 artist for International Migratory Bird Day. In 2011 he was the Educator of the Year for the California Institute for Biodiversity. He was the 2013 Nature’s Inspiration Honoree, Committee for Green Foothills. And he was the 2010 Outstanding Learning Disabled Achiever. Honored by the Lab School of Washington D.C., in recognition for his contributions and achievements and as an example for children with learning disabilities.
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