Workshops (for all audiences; no academic credit)

Sign me up for workshops 

Techniques and tools for teaching Environmental Education with Eliese Ronke, Highlands Nature Center

April 14 

Explore methods of environmental education useful both outside in nature and inside the classroom. Learn how to help students become better observers and integrate interdisciplinary approaches to earth and life sciences.

Eliese Ronke is the Nature Center Education Specialist at Highlands Nature Center, planning and presenting programs for all ages on a variety of natural science subjects. She holds an MS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and has spent years working in science education in both formal and informal settings. 

Macro Photography Techniques with Kevin Fitzpatrick

May 4

Tips and Tricks for Photographing Nature with Cynthia Strain, Mill Creek Gallery & Framing May 7, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Take a field trip with the “Highlands Photographer,” Cynthia Strain. Walk through the Biological Station gardens and trails to photograph spring ephemerals and scenery and learn how to use the settings on your digital camera to get better photos. Learn how to use flash, special lenses and filters as well. The 2-hour class will allow for personal attention for each participant. While not necessary, we recommend bringing a tripod plus any filters and lenses you have. It is also helpful to bring your camera manual.

Cynthia has been photographing the Highlands area for 35 years. She published the coffee table book, Highlands Through the Seasons in 2012, which she sells at her business, Mill Creek Gallery and Framing.

Wildflowers with Kay Kirkman

May 11

Explore spring and the glorious display of ephemeral flowers that are wonderfully abundant on the Highland Plateau. We will walk through the Highlands Botanical Garden, a repository of over 450 species of native plants, and look for the variety of wildflowers in the Highlands area. Come ready with your sense of wonder, sensible shoes for walking and your curiosity.

Kay lives in Waynesville, coming from her work with the J. W. Jones Ecological Research Center, and has worked across the southeast for many years. Her specific interests include vegetation dynamics in response to disturbance, restoration of species diversity of the native ground cover, and conservation biology of rare plant species. As an ecologist and experienced botanist, Kay will lead us through an informative and fun day with flowers in the classroom and field.

Moss Gardening with Mossin’ Annie Martin, Mountain Moss Enterprises

May 23

Journey into the Magical World of Moss Gardening. Discover the magic of mosses in today’s landscapes with Annie Martin, aka Mossin’ Annie, nationally-recognized moss gardening expert and author of The Magical World of Moss Gardening. Your journey will include a visual tour of impressive moss garden photographs, moss ID samples, and valuable tips on how to succeed as a moss gardener. Hands-on experiences include making your own moss dish garden to take home and in-depth instruction culminating in the HBS Learning Moss Garden.

Frog Calls Workshop for Educators with Patrick Brannon, Highlands Biological Station

June 2, 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

A relatively simple and effective citizen-science project for students is the seasonal monitoring of calling frogs. Different species call from early spring through late summer. Changes in the types, numbers, or calling times may be indicative of global climate change or other environmental effects.

Participants will be presented a lecture on the biology of regional frogs including species identification. Students will learn to recognize different frog calls, and methods of conducting surveys. After some practice, we will take a short walk around the Station’s lake to look and listen for frogs and collect monitoring data.

This workshop is eligible for 3 hours of Criteria II or III NC EE credit, or 0.3 science CEUs.

Patrick Brannon is a naturalist and educator at the Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, NC. He holds a M.S. in Biology from Appalachian State University, and has performed research on the ecology of both salamanders and small mammals. For many years, he worked as an environmental educator for NC 4-H, and later as a laboratory and field technician for the Virginia Museum of Natural History. He currently teaches units as part of the UNC Institute for the Environment Program at HBS, and continues to publish scientific research articles on salamander and mammal community ecology with his students.

Mysteries of Carnivorous Plants with John Schmidt, University of Georgia

June 11

The workshop will focus on the natural history of carnivorous plants. Where do carnivorous plants occur? How and why did the carnivorous habit evolve? What is the relationship between carnivory and fire?

JP Schmidt is a botanist/ecologist at the Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia with 30 years of field experience in the Southeast. JP has a particular interest in the natural history of herbaceous plants.

 Zendoodle Fun for Families with Margie Bauer, Tropical Botanic Art

June 14, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Calling all who like to color and doodle, especially families! Have you ever found yourself doodling during a class, meeting or while on the phone?  Have you recently started coloring in children’s or adult coloring books? Do you want to learn a new way to relax and let out the artist in you in an art form that has no mistakes?  The 2-hour course is for up to 15 participants of all ages, children through adults.

In this class, you will start with an outline of a salamander, butterfly, plant or bird.   You may use your inner artist to color in the outline or you may add some zendoodle patterns with the pens and markers provided. Artist Margie Bauer will teach zendoodle patterns based on each participant’s interest and ability. The beauty of zendoodling is that no experience is necessary to create a mesmerizing piece to take home with you. $120 per two-hour course. Fee covers all supplies for participants.

            And/Or

Zendoodle Fun for Adults with Margie Bauer, Tropical Botanic Art

June 15

The 5-hour course is for up to 10 adult participants (young adults included). In this class, Artist Margie Bauer will teach zendoodle patterns based on each participant’s interest and ability. The zendoodle may then be applied to the outlines of garden flora and fauna or be used to create the participant’s own design. The beauty of zendoodling is that no experience is necessary to create a mesmerizing piece to take home with you. If a participant has taken a previous class, Margie will teach them more challenging patterns.

Margie Bauer, a botanical and scientific illustrator and “zentangler” in watercolor, ink, and mixed media, works out of her studios in Coral Gables, Florida and Cashiers, at the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Her grandparents catalyzed her interest in nature by involving her in their extensive flower and vegetable gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hiking and camping in the woods with her family nurtured her appreciation of the environment. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, raising plants and animals in the Congo inspired her love of tropical flora and fauna. She gains an even further understanding of the environment by researching and growing native plants that attract native creatures. She volunteers at the Highlands Biological Station and participates in the Botanical Garden Committee of the Highlands Biological Foundation. Margie is an accomplished illustrator and teacher who specializes in strengthening the connection between people and nature through art. She motivates students to get into the “zen mode” to depict flora and fauna in a variety of media, enabling them to develop a deep and lasting bond with the environment and care for the earth. On this artistic journey with nature, she leads students to build their fine motor skills, creativity, focus, confidence, and visual learning.

Ecological Mega Connections with Tom Goforth

June 15 and 16, Friday 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and Saturday 12:00 to 4:00 pm.

The workshop will focus on developing knowledge and skills for recognizing, analyzing, and predicting general ecological characteristics for most habitats in the Southern Appalachians. The overall goal of this workshop/field trip combination is to provide participants with experience that can be applied to creating native designs in their gardens modeled on native ecology. Ecological factors, including geology, sunlight regimes, slope, aspect, hydrology, soil chemistry, and plant indicator species will be explored during the classroom session. The field trip will involve the use of maps, pH test kits, participant made shadow compasses, a native plant checklist, and an ecological survey form to analyze and document small plots in teams of three participants along a beautiful and floristically diverse trail beside the Blue Ridge Parkway near Balsam Gap, NC. Limited to 18 participants.

Tom Goforth lives near Table Rock State Park in South Carolina and is the previous owner of Crow Dog Native Ferns and Gardens. He propagated native fern species from spores and conducted native fern ecology surveys across the US and fern horticulture research for 15 years after a 30-year teaching career. He is currently doing research on a new version of evolution called Universal Darwinism and contemporary trends in Social Darwinism among Humans. He has a BS degree in Geology and an MFA in visual arts.

Beginning Birding by Ear with Christine Gibson

June 18

Introduction to Natural Science Illustration with Lore Ruttan, Artist and Illustrator

June 19 and 20

In this course you will gain an appreciation for some of the main types of science illustration and develop your own skills at representational drawing. Beginning students will be given instruction in graphite and colored pencil. Intermediate and advanced students can also work in watercolor. Our primary subject matter will be wildlife illustration, particularly birds, using items in the natural history collections and materials found on the Biological Station campus.

Lore Ruttan is an Atlanta based science illustrator, artist, and teacher. Her training includes a Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California at Davis, a certificate in Botanical Drawing from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and coursework in the nationally acclaimed Program in Natural Science Illustration at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work has been shown at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta and the Telfair Museum in Savannah among other places and she has created commissioned art for clients in the United States and Europe. Lore has extensive teaching experience and firmly believes that anyone can be taught to draw.

Nature Writers with John Manuel

June 21 and 22

Nature as a Window to Greater Truths:  Nature can be a starting point to writing stories and essays that seek out a deeper truth. The sight of a fleeing heron may bring back memories of a lost love, a grueling hike a reorientation of priorities in life. In this course, each participant will be encouraged to explore in writing a greater truth learned through an encounter with the natural world.  John Manuel is the author of three books: a guidebook, The Natural Traveler Along North Carolina’s Coast; a memoir, The Canoeist; and a novel, Hope Valley. His articles have appeared in such publications as Audubon, Orion, and Wildlife in North Carolina.

Mountains Piled Upon Mountains: Exploring Western NC through Bartram’s Travels with Brent Martin, ALARKA Institute

June 26 through June 28

The renowned 18th century naturalist and artist William Bartram provides western North Carolina with one of our most important literary and artistic renderings of the landscape with his 1791 publication, Travels through North and South Carolina, Georgia, East and West Florida, the Cherokee Country, the extensive territories of the Muscogulges or Creek Confederacy, and the Country of the Chactawes.  Participants will explore the western North Carolina landscape and writings of William Bartram through daily field trips, readings, and meeting with authors.  At the end of the course, students will have experienced the landscape of Travels firsthand and will have gained insight into the 18th century literary and intellectual world of Bartram, along with the cultural and natural history of western North Carolina at that time.

Brent Martin lives in the Cowee community in western North Carolina where he and his wife Angela Faye Martin run Alarka Institute, a nature, literary, and art based business that offers workshop and field trips. He has served as the Southern Appalachian Regional Director for the Wilderness Society, Executive Director of Georgia Forestwatch, Associate Director of the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, and Executive Director of the Armuchee Alliance. Brent has an M.A. and ABD in History from Georgia State University and is a recipient of the Southern Environmental Law Center’s Environmental Leadership Award. In his spare time, he writes poetry and essays, and is the author of three chapbook collections of poetry. His poetry and essays have been published in the North Carolina Literary Review, Pisgah Review, Tar River Poetry, Chattahoochee Review, Eno Journal, New Southerner, Kudzu Literary Journal, Smoky Mountain News, and elsewhere.

Art and Science of Photographing Insects and their Kin with Kefyn Catley, Western Carolina University

28 through 30 June

This intensive two-and-a-half-day workshop focuses on the intersection of art and science as exemplified by making successful photographs of insects and other arthropods in their natural habitat. The aim is to create images that are rewarding works of art but also pieces of scientific data. This workshop addresses the biology behind the photograph for photographers and the artistry and photographic skills behind the image for those with a biology background. We will spend as much time in the field as possible applying the “learning by doing” philosophy with post-production/sharing sessions on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. The workshop provides participants from a wide variety of photographic and scientific backgrounds an ideal forum for the synergism between photographic technique, scientific knowledge and artistry, to produce a memorable learning experience.  Samples of my images can be found here: www.hiddennatureimages.com.

Kefyn M. Catley is professor of biology at Western Carolina University where he teaches and conducts research in organismal evolutionary biology and science education. He holds a PhD in arthropod systematics from Cornell and was a research scientist at the American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY. Traveling extensively, he has studied spiders on four continents and held faculty positions at Rutgers and Vanderbilt universities. A naturalist, passionate photographer, and lifelong observer of the tiny creatures “that run the world” Kefyn gives talks and workshops at photographic clubs and societies where he encourages photographers to become citizen scientists by documenting and sharing their local arthropod diversity online. His research has been published extensively in a wide range of scientific journals and his photographs have been exhibited in galleries and appeared in magazines and online.

 Salamander Communities Workshop for Educators with Patrick Brannon, Highlands Biological Station

July 7, 1:00 – 3:00 plus optional 9:00 – 10:00 pm

The southern Appalachians are one of the most biologically diverse regions in the temperate world. More species of salamanders exist in these mountains than anywhere else, and nowhere are they more abundant.  Participants will be presented a lecture focusing on biology and diversity of local salamanders. After the lecture, students will search for different species on the Station grounds, and investigate the reasons for distributional patterns of salamander species that coexist in a stream. Bring shoes that can get wet.

This workshop is eligible for 2 hours of Criteria II or III NC EE credit, or 0.2 science CEUs.

You may also choose to stay for an optional night search on the Station grounds. Salamanders are most surface-active after dark, especially after a rain. Be sure to bring a flashlight, and we will walk the trails to look for additional species and observe their foraging and mating behavior. Participants will receive an additional 1 hour of Criteria II or III EE credit, or 0.1 science CEU.

Zendoodle Fun for Families with Margie Bauer, Tropical Botanic Art

July 9, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Calling all who like to color and doodle, especially families! Have you ever found yourself doodling during a class, meeting or while on the phone?  Have you recently started coloring in children’s or adult coloring books? Do you want to learn a new way to relax and let out the artist in you in an art form that has no mistakes?  The 2-hour course is for up to 15 participants of all ages, children through adults.

In this class, you will start with an outline of a salamander, butterfly, plant or bird.   You may use your inner artist to color in the outline or you may add some zendoodle patterns with the pens and markers provided. Artist Margie Bauer will teach zendoodle patterns based on each participant’s interest and ability. The beauty of zendoodling is that no experience is necessary to create a mesmerizing piece to take home with you. $120 per two-hour course. Fee covers all supplies for participants.

            And/Or

Zendoodle Fun for Adults with Margie Bauer, Tropical Botanic Art

July 10

The 5-hour course is for up to 10 adult participants (young adults included). In this class, Artist Margie Bauer will teach zendoodle patterns based on each participant’s interest and ability. The zendoodle may then be applied to the outlines of garden flora and fauna or be used to create the participant’s own design. The beauty of zendoodling is that no experience is necessary to create a mesmerizing piece to take home with you. If a participant has taken a previous class, Margie will teach them more challenging patterns.

Margie Bauer, a botanical and scientific illustrator and “zentangler” in watercolor, ink, and mixed media, works out of her studios in Coral Gables, Florida and Cashiers, at the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Her grandparents catalyzed her interest in nature by involving her in their extensive flower and vegetable gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hiking and camping in the woods with her family nurtured her appreciation of the environment. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, raising plants and animals in the Congo inspired her love of tropical flora and fauna. She gains an even further understanding of the environment by researching and growing native plants that attract native creatures. She volunteers at the Highlands Biological Station and participates in the Botanical Garden Committee of the Highlands Biological Foundation. Margie is an accomplished illustrator and teacher who specializes in strengthening the connection between people and nature through art. She motivates students to get into the “zen mode” to depict flora and fauna in a variety of media, enabling them to develop a deep and lasting bond with the environment and care for the earth. On this artistic journey with nature, she leads students to build their fine motor skills, creativity, focus, confidence, and visual learning.

 Macro Photography Techniques with Kevin Fitzpatrick

August 31

 Inclusive Decision Making for Ecosystem Management with Constance Neely

August 3

The class will focus enhancing collaboration among diverse stakeholders and the use of scientific evidence and local knowledge to influence practices and policies related to ecosystems management.  Participants will learn how to use a) structured facilitation skills, b) root cause and stakeholder analysis, and c) visually accessible evidence for enhancing negotiations and decision making around the natural resource base and related social dimensions.

Constance L. Neely is a senior advisor at the World Agroforestry Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, on the integration of research, practice and policy. She coordinates the Stakeholder Approach to Risk Informed and Evidence Based Decision Making (SHARED) Hub created to tackle complex decisions.  With a Ph.D. in agroecology, Constance also serves as a senior consultant on climate change and resilience with a focus on sustainable landscapes and livelihood linkages as well as worked with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, Rome) over the last 20 years on sustainable and climate-smart agriculture and pastoral systems, sustainable land management and multi-stakeholder and cross-sectoral processes for scaling impact. She has carried out related efforts for the World Bank, IFAD, the CGIAR, OECD, USDA and several International NGOs. Constance is an internationally certified facilitator and convenes inclusive processes for integrated approaches to sustainable development outcomes.

Salamander Diversity & Biogeography Workshop for Educators with Patrick Brannon, Highlands Biological Station

August 11 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

 The diversity of salamanders throughout the southern Appalachians is unparalleled. More species occur in this region than anywhere else on earth, and nowhere are they more abundant. This workshop will begin with a lecture focusing on biology of salamanders, reasons for the enormous diversity in this region, and threats. Following the lecture, we will go on a short walk to look for salamanders on the Station grounds.

We will then travel about 45 minutes by van to Standing Indian Campground near Franklin to observe additional species and phenomena on a different mountain range. After a short lunch break, we will investigate a variety of topics including biogeographical patterns associated with allopatric speciation, mimicry between species, distributions at small scales, and even salamander hybrid zones.

We will be going on moderate hikes on steep, sometimes thick terrain. Participants should be prepared for the outdoors including rain gear and appropriate footwear. Please bring a sack lunch and a water bottle. Restrooms will be available at the campground.

This workshop is eligible for 8 hours of Criteria II or III NC EE credit, or 0.8 science CEUs.

Gardening with Native Plants with Larry Mellichamp, UNC Charlotte

August 16 through 24

This workshop will focus on what habitat factors define where plants grow, and look to see how these factors can be found (or created) in the botanical gardens of the Highlands Biological Station. Students will examine the underground parts of plants and see how they grow, followed by thinning-out and transplanting as part of a limited exercise in garden maintenance. Of primary concerns are site selection and propagation for showy native species of the Highlands region.

Larry is a well-known native plant enthusiast. Having served as the Executive Director, UNC-Charlotte Botanical Gardens and worked in the region for many years, Larry is author of the popular book Native Plants of the Southeast.

Tips and Tricks for Photographing Nature with Cynthia Strain, Mill Creek Gallery & Framing

September 14, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Knowing Your Trees Inside and Out with John Palmer and Ron Lance

September 13 and September 14

This two-part workshop is designed to acquaint participants with the methods and means of identifying our regional tree species. Participants can register for both, or either, of the sessions. Firstly, “Dendrology and Tree Identification” will include a half-day indoor session to learn tree identification principles, followed by an outdoor excursion for field practice.  The second session, “Anatomy and Utility of Our Woods” will be held on a second full day indoors, learning the basics of wood anatomy and utility, and how to recognize many of our trees using wood samples.  In both sessions, printed keys and handouts will be provided for participants. A 10x to 40x loupe or hand lens is mandatory for viewing of wood structure.

John Palmer grew up on a dairy farm in the mountains of WNC where he maintains a farm; His education has been at NC State University, the Rocky Mt. Biological Lab; and the University of Tennessee (UT) where he obtained a MSc. in Forestry. He worked at UT as a forestry instructor, then 30 years as the Campus Arboretum Founding Director at Haywood Community College and forestry instructor. John published his book about creating the Campus Arboretum of HCC in 2016 and holds honors relating to forestry instruction, included being elected the President of the North Carolina Division of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) in 2007; receiving the NC SAF Distinguished Forester Award in 2008; and having the US Forest Service name their annual Forest Festival Day’s Intercollegiate Woodsmen’s Meet at the Cradle of Forestry in his honor.  Presently he is the International Dendrology Society Vice President for the Eastern United States and has been on their Board of Trustees for over 20 years.

Ronald Lance is a Biologist and Land Manager with the North American Land Trust and currently caretakes a 3000-acre, privately owned tract of Appalachian land near Glenville, NC.  He has held posts in environmental education, biology, forestry, lumber manufacturing, botany and horticulture since 1975.  He operated nurseries for the North Carolina Arboretum and Chimney Rock Park for 18 years, and served on the Board of the International Oak Society for 12 years, including posts as President, Secretary, Journal Editor and Conference Chair. He has authored and co-authored numerous publications dealing with native woody plants of the U.S., including Woody Plants of the Southeastern United States, a Winter Guide, by the University of Georgia Press and Pyracantha in Flora of North America, volume 9.  His interest in Crataegus has yielded 14 separate publications on hawthorns, including Haws; a Guide to the Hawthorns of the Southeastern United States, self-published. He completed degrees in Wildlife Management and Lumber Specialist from Haywood Community College in 1975 and 1983.

Zendoodle Fun for Families with Margie Bauer, Tropical Botanic Art

September 16, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Calling all who like to color and doodle, especially families! Have you ever found yourself doodling during a class, meeting or while on the phone?  Have you recently started coloring in children’s or adult coloring books? Do you want to learn a new way to relax and let out the artist in you in an art form that has no mistakes?  The 2-hour course is for up to 15 participants of all ages, children through adults.

In this class, you will start with an outline of a salamander, butterfly, plant or bird.   You may use your inner artist to color in the outline or you may add some zendoodle patterns with the pens and markers provided. Artist Margie Bauer will teach zendoodle patterns based on each participant’s interest and ability. The beauty of zendoodling is that no experience is necessary to create a mesmerizing piece to take home with you. $120 per two-hour course. Fee covers all supplies for participants.

            And/Or

Zendoodle Fun for Adults with Margie Bauer, Tropical Botanic Art

September 15

The 5-hour course is for up to 10 adult participants (young adults included). In this class, Artist Margie Bauer will teach zendoodle patterns based on each participant’s interest and ability. The zendoodle may then be applied to the outlines of garden flora and fauna or be used to create the participant’s own design. The beauty of zendoodling is that no experience is necessary to create a mesmerizing piece to take home with you. If a participant has taken a previous class, Margie will teach them more challenging patterns.

Margie Bauer, a botanical and scientific illustrator and “zentangler” in watercolor, ink, and mixed media, works out of her studios in Coral Gables, Florida and Cashiers, at the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Her grandparents catalyzed her interest in nature by involving her in their extensive flower and vegetable gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hiking and camping in the woods with her family nurtured her appreciation of the environment. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, raising plants and animals in the Congo inspired her love of tropical flora and fauna. She gains an even further understanding of the environment by researching and growing native plants that attract native creatures. She volunteers at the Highlands Biological Station and participates in the Botanical Garden Committee of the Highlands Biological Foundation. Margie is an accomplished illustrator and teacher who specializes in strengthening the connection between people and nature through art. She motivates students to get into the “zen mode” to depict flora and fauna in a variety of media, enabling them to develop a deep and lasting bond with the environment and care for the earth. On this artistic journey with nature, she leads students to build their fine motor skills, creativity, focus, confidence, and visual learning.

 Moss Gardening with Mossin’ Annie Martin, Mountain Moss Enterprises

September 26

Journey into the Magical World of Moss Gardening Discover the magic of mosses in today’s landscapes with Annie Martin, aka Mossin’ Annie, nationally-recognized moss gardening expert and author of The Magical World of Moss Gardening. Your journey will include a visual tour of impressive moss garden photographs, moss ID samples, and valuable tips on how to succeed as a moss gardener. Hands-on experiences include making your own moss dish garden to take home and in-depth instruction culminating in the HBS Learning Moss Garden.

Zendoodle Fun for Families with Margie Bauer

October 14, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Calling all who like to color and doodle, especially families! Have you ever found yourself doodling during a class, meeting or while on the phone?  Have you recently started coloring in children’s or adult coloring books? Do you want to learn a new way to relax and let out the artist in you in an art form that has no mistakes?  The 2-hour course is for up to 15 participants of all ages, children through adults.

In this class, you will start with an outline of a salamander, butterfly, plant or bird.   You may use your inner artist to color in the outline or you may add some zendoodle patterns with the pens and markers provided. Artist Margie Bauer will teach zendoodle patterns based on each participant’s interest and ability. The beauty of zendoodling is that no experience is necessary to create a mesmerizing piece to take home with you. $120 per two-hour course. Fee covers all supplies for participants.

            And/Or

Zendoodle Fun for Adults with Margie Bauer

October 13

The 5-hour course is for up to 10 adult participants (young adults included). In this class, Artist Margie Bauer will teach zendoodle patterns based on each participant’s interest and ability. The zendoodle may then be applied to the outlines of garden flora and fauna or be used to create the participant’s own design. The beauty of zendoodling is that no experience is necessary to create a mesmerizing piece to take home with you. If a participant has taken a previous class, Margie will teach them more challenging patterns.

Margie Bauer, a botanical and scientific illustrator and “zentangler” in watercolor, ink, and mixed media, works out of her studios in Coral Gables, Florida and Cashiers, at the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains in North Carolina. Her grandparents catalyzed her interest in nature by involving her in their extensive flower and vegetable gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio. Hiking and camping in the woods with her family nurtured her appreciation of the environment. As a Peace Corps Volunteer, raising plants and animals in the Congo inspired her love of tropical flora and fauna. She gains an even further understanding of the environment by researching and growing native plants that attract native creatures. She volunteers at the Highlands Biological Station and participates in the Botanical Garden Committee of the Highlands Biological Foundation. Margie is an accomplished illustrator and teacher who specializes in strengthening the connection between people and nature through art. She motivates students to get into the “zen mode” to depict flora and fauna in a variety of media, enabling them to develop a deep and lasting bond with the environment and care for the earth. On this artistic journey with nature, she leads students to build their fine motor skills, creativity, focus, confidence, and visual learn