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1st Annual Nature Journaling Conference at the Montana Natural History Center

May 21, 2021 - May 23, 2021


DATES: May 21-23 2021
TIMES: Friday, 3:00-8:30 p.m., Saturday, 9:00- 4:00 p.m. & 7:00 -8:30 p.m., Sunday, 8:00- 1:00 p.m
LOCATION: Dispersed outdoor locations in and around Missoula and online

Registration is required.
We are sorry, this conference is full! PLEASE CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE WAITLIST.

Learn from four experienced instructors: Hannah Hinchman, Nancy Seiler, Claire Emery and Jenah Mead and lecturer Valerie Bayer. Throughout the weekend they will teach a variety of nature journaling tips and techniques- event-mapping, drawing native plants and more- to enhance your joy of nature journaling. Registration opens January 1st at 9:00 a.m. for up to 25 participants.

Schedule of Events

Friday, May 21
3:00-5:00 p.m.  Pick up materials, schedule, and take-home box of appetizers and wine/soda at MNHC (these can also be delivered to your home – Missoula only). Optional meet and greet outside with instructors and fellow students.
7:00-8:00 p.m.  Conference introduction and keynote lecture by local artist and illustrator Nancy Seiler on ZOOM

Saturday, May 22

Conference attendees will be split into two groups by last name. Each group will visit one instructor in the morning and then switch to the other instructor in the afternoon.



Morning session 9:00-noon

Lunch: noon-1:00, at your site or on your own

Afternoon session 1:00-4:00 p.m.

Claire Emery: Mirco/Macro drawings and bird study at Cherry Gulch

For the past 20 years, Claire Emery has passionately pursued connecting art and conservation in her field sketches, her commissions, her original woodcuts, her teaching programs and in her place-based installations. Claire experiences and processes the world creatively. Intensely curious and introspective, she engages with the world deeply, noticing details that many others simply pass by. Her current work focuses on transforming her field sketches, observations of place, and reflections on the spiritual journey into woodcuts. Using a variety of carving tools, she carves away at the woodblocks, drawing images out of the darkness of the wood and into the light. Her bold and exquisitely detailed woodcuts are commissioned by conservation organizations and sought by collectors around the country.

Hannah Hinchman: Event Mapping at Greenough Park

Take a walk with artist and author Hannah Hinchman to immerse yourself in the event mapping practice. Hannah will provide instruction on this journaling technique and demonstrate useful tips to get started or develop your skills. You will wander through beautiful Greenough park creating your own map of the phenomena that most interests you- trees, flowers, birds, rocks, water- Greenough has so much to investigate through journaling.

Hannah Hinchman is a freelance artist, writer, and calligrapher. Her work has been published in numerous magazines. She is the author of A Life in the Hand: Creating the Illuminated Journal, A Trail Through Leaves: the Journal as a Path to Place, and Little Things in a Big Country: An Artist and Her Dog on the Rocky Mountain Front.

7:00 – 8:00 p.m.  Words and Numbers ZOOM lecture with Valerie Bayer

Learn strategies for recording your observations of nature using words and numbers to enhance your journal pages.

Valerie Bayer is a Master naturalist and has been keeping a nature journal since 2009. She has a passion for the outdoors and Montana specifically. In the past, Valerie volunteered with MNHC for many years with an emphasis on the Master Naturalist program. And she has also volunteered for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Mineral County Conservation District. Currently, Valerie teaches Nature Journaling at Bitterroot College and is working to expand her outreach.

Sunday, May 23

Conference attendees will be split into two groups by last name. Each group will visit one instructor in the morning and then switch to the other instructor in the afternoon.

1st Morning session 8:00-10:15 a.m.

2nd Morning session 10:30-12:45 a.m.

Conference Wrap-up 1:00

Nancy Seiler: Nature Journaling Wildflowers- Pierce Native Prairie

Nancy Seiler will provide demonstrations, an overview of line, color and warm-up exercises and a step-by-step handout including lots of tips for drawing plants. Pierce Prairie is a haven for native wildflowers rescued from development by local botanist, John Pierce. We’ll spend the rest of class working in our journals. Nancy will answer questions one-on-one.

Nancy Seiler received her Visual Communications degree from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1981. She is a Golden Working Artist for Golden Artist Colors presenting lectures, demonstrations and workshops in acrylics, watercolors, and oils in Southern California and Montana. She has also taught classical botanical illustration and nature journaling since 2003. Seiler has exhibited her acrylic paintings and botanical illustrations since 2002. In the summer of 2014, she co-owned a successful pop-up gallery in Bigfork, Montana. Her work is represented by Frame of Reference Fine Art in Whitefish, Montana and 709 Gallery in Missoula, Montana.

Jenah Mead: Montana Natural History Center Garden at 120 Hickory St., Topic Shading and Shadows

Artist and naturalist Jenah Mead will lead a workshop on shading and casting shadows to create form. We’ll experiment with a few mediums: white and black pencil/pens on toned paper, stippling and hatching with ink, and watercolor. Our study objects will be interesting items we gather in the garden and maybe some skulls.

Jenah Mead is an artist, naturalist, and educator out of Missoula, Montana who specializes in wildlife illustrations and has taught science and nature education for over a decade. She holds a B.S. in Wildlife Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Studies. Jenah combines the study of nature and art to create detailed graphite illustrations of local flora and fauna.

“My drawings embody my experiences observing and connecting with the natural world. I invite viewers to slow down and notice the wonders surrounding them.”  -Jenah Mead

COVID Precautions:

  • Small groups of 12-15 + instructors
  • Masks required
  • Workshops will be held entirely outdoors
  • Lectures will be over ZOOM

What to Bring:

  • Mask
  • Lunch on Saturday if you plan to eat in the field at your workshop site, water, snacks
  • Clothes appropriate for changing Montana weather conditions- raincoat, hat, sunscreen, etc.
  • Good walking shoes or boots
  • Camp stool or Crazy Creek style chair
  • Binoculars (optional, we have some to borrow)
  • Camera (optional)
Art Materials: 
  • Pencil (mechanical or wood with sharpener)
  • Eraser
  • Water container and rag or paper towels
  • Journal or sketchbook
  • Ink pens such as micron
  • Watercolor pencils
  • Brushes (#8 round)
  • Follow this LINK for more information on supplies and retailers

Cost: $250
Registration is required.
We are sorry, this conference is full! PLEASE CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE WAITLIST.


What’s the refund policy?
What’s the refund policy?
The course fee (minus a 25% administrative fee) is refundable if a cancellation is made up to 7 days before the event. No refunds will be issued for cancellations made after this deadline. This ticket is non-transferable to other programs or events. See our full refund/cancellation policy here.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
Nope! We will have a list of all the attendees.


May 21, 2021
May 23, 2021
Event Categories:


Montana Natural History Center
120 Hickory St.
Missoula, MT 59801 United States