Wellness 126 / ES24 – Connection through Nature: The Art & Science of Natural History
In Thomas Fleischner’s words, natural history is “a practice of intentional, focused attentiveness
and receptivity to the more-than-human world, guided by honesty and accuracy.” This course will introduce field journaling–a combination of observation, art, and expressive language–as a tool for engaging with the practice of natural history.

In our experience, field journaling invites a mindset of mindfulness, curiosity, deep observation, and learning, an orientation toward the world that is foundational in diverse pursuits from science to creative writing. Furthermore, field journaling facilitates wellbeing by training our brains to seek beauty and wonder, by inviting us to spend time paying attention to the more-than-human world, by demanding we slow down, and by helping us develop a sense of place and connection.

Through this course, you will develop a personal practice of field journaling as you explore the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve each week. Your exploration of this incredible place will be aided by introductions to field journaling techniques, opportunities to learn from your peers, and a series of guests experienced in art, science, mindfulness, and natural history.

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