Click the image above for a gallery of nature journal pages by Fiona.
Fiona is one of several naturalists featured in this book.
Fiona has loved art and nature since she was a little girl. In 2016, on her 13th birthday, she discovered nature journaling through a chance meeting with John Muir Laws, and she was thrilled to find something that combined these two things she adored. Since then, she has become a passionate nature journaler, naturalist, and advocate for nature. (Scroll to the bottom of this page to see some sample nature journal pages.)
Born and raised in the Sierra Foothills near Auburn, California, Fiona spends time daily in the wild lands near her home. She loves to look for mysteries in nature and explore them in the pages of her nature journal. Fiona also loves to draw, paint, craft, act (see her acting resume here), sing, harmonize, play cello, compose music, write stories, and speak German.
GALLERY OF NATURE JOURNAL PAGES Click here to see examplesfrom the more than 2,000 nature journal pages that Fiona has created since she began journaling in July 2016. Some of Fiona's artwork is available for purchase as blank greeting cards and prints. See the Artist page for more info.
BIRDING AND VOLUNTEERING
An avid birder since 2015, Fiona is a five-time recipient of the Central Valley Birding Club Youth Scholarship, enabling her to attend summer teen birding camps to further develop her skill and passion in birding. She especially enjoys the music of birdsong and she loves to bird by ear.
Since Fall 2018, Fiona has been a volunteer intern with Gold Country Avian Studies in Grass Valley, where she has been thrilled to learned how to extract and band birds under the supervision of experienced mentors.
Since 2017, Fiona has volunteered her time as a participant in local Christmas Bird Counts, spending long, full days during her winter school breaks counting birds with a team.
She has also volunteered as a co-leader of bird walks for the Sierra Foothills Audubon Society, a leader of bird walks for a local Girl Scout troupe, and she often speaks to groups about her passion for birding and nature journaling (see Talks and Teaching below).
In February 2019, with the help of some local birding mentors and donors, Fiona installed 22 bluebird boxes in her neighborhood, which is a wildland-urban interface, and she monitors them for the California Bluebird Recovery Program.
In January 2021, Fiona gave a talk for the San Francisco Bay Bird Observatory's Birdy Hour series: "Taken Under Their Wings: How Chickens and Supportive Mentors Launched My Passion for Birding and Nature Journaling." Fiona shared how her journey as a birder began as well as stories of key mentors who have had a profound impact on her, including artist, educator, and author John Muir Laws. Click here to watch the video.
In December 2020, Fiona was a guest speaker in an online nature journaling class taught by her mentor, John Muir Laws. She shared a few early nature journal pages and a way of documenting color variation that she invented in 2017 and that Laws named "the Fionagraph." Click here to watch.
In October 2020, Fiona and John Muir Laws, shared a short conversation about nature journaling, attention, love, and hope (with some sprinkles of humor) as part of the Heyday Harvest, a fundraiser for Heyday Books. Click here to watch.
In February 2020, Fiona participated in a presentation with John Muir Laws at the Gateway Science Museum in Chico, CA, called "Thinking Like a Naturalist: Reclaiming the Art of Natural History," an event co-sponsored by California State University Chico, and California Science Project, Inc. Laws invited Fiona to share some of her journal pages and have an on-stage conversation about nature journaling and curiosity. The two also took questions from the audience. Click hereto watch the entire evening's program. To jump right to Fiona's segment, click here.
In September 2019, Fiona was one of 18 teachers invited to the first-ever Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference in Pacific Grove, CA. This event, attended by 275 students, brought together people who are passionate about nature, art, science, curiosity, and wonder to share ideas, learn from each other, support each other, inspire each other, and have fun together in a nature’s beauty. At this event, Fiona co-taught a class about curiosity in nature journaling with her mentor, John Muir Laws, called Down the Rabbit Hole: Curiosity and Wonder. During the Saturday keynote evening of the conference, Fiona gave a talk, introduced by John Muir Laws, on her nature journal practice, the joy of curiosity, and why we need to ask lots of questions. Click here to watch.
In April 2019, Fiona was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Wake Up to Nature event for the Environmental Volunteers (EV). This annual breakfast event raises funds for EV to send volunteer docents into San Francisco Bay Area area schools to give thousands of children first-hand experiences in nature, with the goal of nurturing the next generation of nature stewards. Fiona spoke to the 200+ assembled crowd about her own nature-rich childhood, her connection with nature through art and nature journaling, and why it is important for all of us to be connected to nature. Click here to watch. To read a transcript of her talk, click here.
In October 2018, Fiona was honored to be featured as an Artist Explorer in a lecture series at The Foster, a museum in Palo Alto. In her talk, Fiona shared about her love of nature journaling and had an on-stage conversation about art, curiosity, flow states, and self critics with her mentor, John Muir Laws. Click here to watch.
Each November since 2016, Fiona has given a talk at the Central Valley Birding Symposium, an annual gathering of birders from across Northern California. Before the Saturday evening keynote address, Fiona has talked with the 300+ attendees about her experience at birding camps (for which this group has awarded her scholarships), her love of birds, and her nature journaling. Videos available on request.
In October 2019, Fiona participated in a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) program (sponsored by the Nature Conservancy and in partnership with the Bureau of Land Management), The Nature Conservancy published an article about the program that included a page from several participant's journals, including Fiona's. Click here to read.
MEDIA AND INTERVIEWS
In November 2020, Fiona was a guest on The Birding Life Youth Podcast, a podcast and website based in South Africa. She spoke with host Chris Flannery about her love of birds, how she uses nature journaling in her birding, her experience as a scholarship recipient in youth birding camps, and some tips for people who want to get started birding.