By Miriam H Morrill Consulting and Illustration
Working to Enhance Fire Communication, Education, and Adaptation Efforts Through Collaborative and Creative Approaches
Empowered by my education in environmental biology and zoology and 27 years of experience in forestry, fire, wildlife, climate change, and communication programs in the western United States. Inspired by the amazing people and programs that I've supported on local, national and international projects around the country and in Australia, Micronesia, the Republic of Palau, and Jamaica. Weaving my creative thinking and skills into partnerships, programs, and projects to provide innovative solutions for fire education and adaptation efforts. My strongest interest is on place-based and nature journaling approaches.
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What is Nature Journaling?
Nature journaling is a practice
that can enhance observation skills, analysis, and engagement with elements of nature and...the fire environment.
Nature journaling is an ongoing personal record of thoughts, experiences, observations and information. Through these practices, we can enhance memory retention, situational awareness and information relevance of the fire environment.
Nature journaling practices include different information languages such as words, numbers, and pictures, which helps engage different parts of the brain.
Nature journaling is also used to create a more full-brained and full-bodied learning experience by engaging senses and inspiring intentional curiosity that helps build a sense of place...and an ecosystem sense of place-- a sense of the fire environment.
Learn more about nature journaling practices, networks, and materials from John Muir Laws at and The Nature Journal Club Facebook page.
Let me help guide you in applying nature journaling practices to learn about the fire environment and to build an ecological sense of place and fire.
A Practice in Purpose: Using Nature Journaling Practices to Help Create Fire Adapted Communities
What if I told you there was a practice, a process you could do that would not only benefit your cognition and observation skills but also help to visually represent your relationship to nature and fire and help to foster fire adaptation? Well there is – nature journaling.
The beginning of any adaptation effort starts with awareness of what is happening now, a place-based, fully immersive sense of your surroundings. You can’t adapt to something if you aren’t aware of the why behind it. One of the best tools that I know of for enhancing awareness and building a deep connection with the environment, is the practice of nature journaling. It is a personal, place-based practice that has a rich network for sharing and learning.
Enhancing Fire Awareness
& A Sense of Place
Fire is a natural and needed part of many plant communities and ecosystems. Observing and journaling about the environmental and human conditions that increase and decrease in fire readiness and risk can enhance fire awareness and build a stronger more resilient sense of place.
Gaining Insight Into Fire Behavior,
Form & Functions
Fire is an exothermic process that could not exist but for elements and conditions within the environment. Observing and journaling about wildfire "at-a-distance" and prescribed burning is an optimal way to gain insight and understanding of how fire functions in the environment.
Recovery & Resilience
Fire effects to the environment and people can be observed and assessed through journaling practices. The process of recognizing, understanding and monitoring the personal, community and environmental transitions and growth can help build resilience and recognition of the cycles of renewal and recovery.
Cutting Through Complicated Information, Training & Technology With Creative Tools
The various experts working in prescribed and wildland fire can benefit from various types of journaling practices. From graphing risk decisions, diagraming fire behavior, mapping fire pattern indicators or sketching fire effects, these skills and learning tools are powerful at cutting through complicated information and creating meaning.
A Few Fire Journaling Friends
A landmark experience in the Klamath Mountains, with ten nature journalers sketching and learning about prescribed/cultural burning as part of the Klamath Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) program. The training was developed by Miriam Morrill, Robin Lee Carlson and the The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and sponsored and hosted by TNC, the Bureau of Land Management, Karuk Tribe, and Mid Klamath Watershed Council. Contact Miriam Morrill for more information on project coordination and lessons learned package.
Click on the Contact link to see a story about this project.
Author of Nature Drawing and Journaling Nature and How to Teach Nature Journaling. A principal leader and innovator of the worldwide nature journaling movement. He is a naturalist, artist, and educator who has dedicated his work to connect people to nature through art and science. 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 participated and led sessions in the Klamath TREX Nature Journaling Prescribed Fire workshop and continues to support fire journaling programs and projects.
Seeing, recording, and understanding the world around her as it unfolds. She wants to know how we are moved by the places we find ourselves. When we experience a place, how do we change it? How does it change us? She believe sit is critical to use all of the tools at our disposal to communicate the interaction between humans and everything that surrounds us. She has sought to translate complex scientific information into easily understandable stories. Using illustration work, to do the same with pictures, especially with pictures that show how the world changes over time. She has journaled post-fire changes since 2015 on the Cold Canyon Preserve and can be followed on her blog called Wildfire to Wildflowers.
Author of the book A State of Change: Forgotten Landscapes of California. A book that is an artist-naturalist exploration of the historical ecology of California with drawings, sketches, and oil paintings depicting the landscapes of cities before European contact. Laura has an ability to translate landscape observations into pigment and light and shadow. An approach long before the invention of the camera, computer and smartphone. Using patient observation of Nature along with the last vestiges of ancient painting methods that were being lost to time and modernity. In our day and age of digital technology it is all the more important to value and preserve these techniques that allow the description of Nature in a more realistic manner than photo-editing.
Author of Nature Journaling For A Wild Life. Photographer, artist, biologist, and explorer providing workshops on nature and field journaling practices through her field arts program. She is curious and passionate about nature, the visual arts, the written word, all things classic—vehicles, bicycles, motorcycles, tools, crafts—and above all, she loves to learn. Her field arts program is used as a way to translate the language of the wild into something we humans can understand and love:
Writing in our field notebooks . . .
Map-making . . .
Sketching . . .
Watercoloring in situ . . .
Nature journaling . . .
Marley is a nature journaler and an educator. He longs for a reintegration of art with science and words with images, a synthesis that he develops in his journals. Nature Journaling became a fundamental practice for Marley when he discovered how it could synthesize his interests and accelerate his learning. As an educator, Marley is constantly sharing, inspiring, and provoking learning in nature and on paper. He has over 10 years teaching, nature journal expeditions on 3 continents, more than 60 free educational videos online, well studied in art, botany, natural history, ecology, psychology, and education.
Painting and sketching about life on the streets of San Francisco, the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada mountains and wherever else she finds, including journaling and art creating after the Rim Fire and during the Klamath TREX Nature Journaling Fire Workshop.
Working for the Pacific Education Institute, Julie has developed and coordinated a range of education programs and supported teachers in the Pacific Northwest. She has partnered with Miriam Morrill (Pyrosketchology) on several projects including an introduction to nature journaling fire for the Washington Fire Adapted Communities annual conference.
An artist and illustrator interested in "place", be it the woods, the city, or somewhere in between. Lesley creates work depicting the beauty of California's natural environments, as well as informational illustrations explaining plant and fire ecology. Her drawings are contemporary and lively while remaining scientifically accurate. She loves using images and text to make ideas more accessible.
We provide wildland fire mitigation and recovery services to communities in Butte County, California.
Service/Product: Develop a youth nature journaling fire program.
We work with communities across the nation to create a more wildfire-resilient future. A “fire adapted community” consists of informed and prepared residents collaboratively planning and taking action to safely co-exist with wildland fire.
Service/Product: Virtual workshop sessions on nature journaling about fire.
The Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between three partners: The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Service/Product: Create several illustrations for a report on the differences of prescribed fire and wildfire smoke and health impacts,
Our Network embraces this complicated reality, and connects over fire. We talk and learn with purpose, because no one is coming to save us. It’s our job to include wildfire in a future that works for Washington.
Service/Product: Provide a virtual workshop sessions on using nature journaling approaches to enhance evacuation planning.
Wildland Fire-Focused Communications, Marketing, and Science Explaining
Service/Product: Brainstorm and illustrate some of the visuals for the
Wildfire Risk Reduction in the Southern Okanagan: A Guide for Landowners
Thank you for your interest in my work and services. For any inquiries, commission requests, or other discussions, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to assist you.