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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.

Experience: over 10 years teaching, nature journal expeditions on 3 continents, more than 100 free educational videos online, well-studied in art, botany, natural history, ecology, psychology, and education.
Personalization (just for you): Want a custom learning program for you or your kids? I specialize in adapting curriculum to meet your needs and unlocking your potential. Let’s talk
Approach: Do you want a fun, rich, holistic learning experience? I combine engaging whole-brain activities with a healthy dose of cross-cutting concepts and transferable skills, sprinkled with meta-cognitive exercises. Get a free taste in my weekly Nature Journal Show.

Get daily doses of nature education content on my Instagram.

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Photo Brock Dolman





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Field Classes:

Observation and Nature Journaling Techniques for Prescribed Fire Professionals, TREX Quincy, California: (March 2020) Marley taught adapted nature journaling techniques to ecologists, foresters, fire fighters, and prescribed burn specialists during the Nature Conservancy Prescribed Fire Training Exchange Program. Marley also co-facilitated a nature journaling class for the community in a post burn area with Laurie Wigham of the San Francisco Urban Sketchers. On the last day of the program Marley participated nature journaling alongside the Fire Effects Monitors (FEMOs) during the prescribed burn.

Introduction to Nature Journaling in Spanish “Aprendamos a Crear un Diario de Naturaleza” in collaboration with Vamos Afuera/ Landpaths and the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation (February 2020) Marley taught the first even nature journaling class in Spanish in the United States in collaboration with Vamos Afuera.

North Bay Nature Journal Club: (Monthly: 2016-2020. Hiatus during Covid-19)

Nature Journaling The Coastal Dunes at Wild Wonder Conference (September 2019)

Open Your Eyes With Nature Journaling at Pepperwood Preserve (August 2019)                                              Nature Journaling and Intentional Curiosity  for Kids at Sonoma Country Day School 3rd Grade (August 2019)

Introduction to Nature Journaling: Point Reyes National Seashore Association Field Institute (April 2019)   Tracking Animal Sign and Bird Language at the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation (June 2018)
Open Your Eyes With Nature Journaling at Santa Rosa Junior College (Spring 2017)
Plant Illustration Workshop at Lake Merritt: California Center for Natural History (August 2016)
Wildlife Tracking for Families at Lake Merritt: California Center For Natural History(May 2016)

Talks and In-Class Workshops:

“Top Ten Journaling Techniques for Teens” Presented online to the entire student body of Cypress Charter High School, Santa Cruz California. (February 2021)

Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference Online: “Nature Journaling Mindset” Online class attended by over 500 students. ( Fall of 2020)

The Nature Journal Club: “The Secret Language of Nature: Tracking For Nature Journalers” October 2019                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference: “Mindset: Psychological Tips, Tricks, and Motivation for every artist.” (September 2019)                                                                                                                                                       Monterey Bay Audobon Society: “How Drawing Birds Can Make You A Better Birder” (September 2019)       West Valley College and California Native Plant Society:”Wildflowers Through the Lens of Nature Journaling: Beyond Botanical Art” (April 2019)                                                                                                       Sebastopol Rotary Club: “Art, Education, and Entrepreneurship: The Evolution of a Personal Brand” (April 2019)                                                                                                                                                                                                      Science Buzz Cafe: “Journaling: Still the Most Powerful Learning Technology” (November 2018)   Monterey Bay Birding Festival “Drawing Birds Lecture and Field Sketching (September 2019)
Nature Journaling Techniques module of OAEC Permaculture Design Certificate (Spring 2018)
Taught “Nature Journaling/Observation module of OAEC Permaculture Design Certificate” (Fall 2017)
Graphic Facilitation for Jim Sullivan’s “Animal Tracking and Bird Language” at Santa Rosa Junior College (Spring 2016 Fall 2017)
Lectured on “Traditional Mayan Agriculture, Food Security, and Free Trade” San Diego City College Chicano Studies Department (2008)

Research Projects, Collaborations, and Expeditions:

Grand Canyon Rafting Expedition, Arizona: – Nature Journaling for 21 days during a full transit of the navigable portion of the Grand Canyon. Sketching and documenting the geology, landscapes, and biological resources along the entire transit of the canyon. Rigorously testing materials and gear in harsh conditions including sketching and note taking through the whitewater, under waterfalls, at night, on arduous hikes, and extreme weather conditions.

Mid-Klamath Watershed, California: – Nature Journaling at TREX prescribed fire training exchange (Fall 2019). Sketching and journaling near live fires with fire professionals showing how the nature journaling approach can provide a useful observation and communication tool to fire professionals. Also nature journaled about Karuk tribe’s cultural burning practices and learned about how they are restoring their ecosystems through fire. In collaboration with The Nature Conservancy Prescribed Fire Training Exchange, Yurok and Karuk Tribes, the Western Klamath Restoration Partnership, National Forest Service, and Bureau of Land Management.

Tanzania Round Two: – Nature Journal Safari: assisted John Muir Laws (July 2019)
– Ethnographic Nature Journaling and daily tracking with Hadzabe Hunter Gatherers, one of the last hunter gatherer tribes on the planet(July 2019)

Carrizo Plain, California:  –  Nature Journaling CA native wildflowers and birds, tracking (April 2019)

Tanzania: – Nature Journal Safari: assisted John Muir Laws (July 2017)
– Ethnographic Nature Journaling with Hadzabe Hunter Gatherers (July-August 2017)

Ecuador: -Nature Journaling Biodiversity Project “Intertropical Impressions” also nature journaling in Sapara tribal territory on a tributary of the Amazon. (January 2017)

Costa Rica: -Sustainable living research project and watershed diet, research of traditional food-ways, food security, and edible biodiversity (2006-2008)
-Research and promotion of Brosimum alicastrum and other resilient/culturally appropriate food-crops (2006-2008)

Chiapas, Guatemala, Nicaragua: -Independent research  on indigenous food production systems, food auto-sufficiency, and edible biodiversity, including visits to Zapatista agroecology programs near Oventic, Chiapas. (Summer 2005)

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico: -Participant observation and ethnographic research of traditional Mayan agriculture for UCSC Anthropology thesis. (Summer 2005)

Conferences and Events:

Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference: “Mindset: Psychological Tips, Tricks, and Motivation for every artist.” (September 2019)                                                                                                                                                   45th Annual Wildflower Show: California Native Plant Sociey: Santa Clara Valley Chapter (April 2019)             Monterey Bay Birding Festival: How to Draw Birds Lecture and Field Study (September 2018)
Bioneers Conference: Sketch-noting and OAEC Seed Exchange (October 2018)
Oakland Nature Festival: How to Draw Skulls (October 2016)
Acorn Primitive Skills Gathering: Animal Tracking and Awareness Runs (March 2014-Present)
Buckeye Gathering: Tracking, Awareness, Nature Journaling (April/May 2015-2016)

Organizations I have Collaborated with:

Pepperwood Preserve                                                                                                                                                              Monterey Bay Audobon Society                                                                                                                                        Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
California Center for Natural History                                                                                                                                        Point Reyes National Seashore Association Field Institute                                                                                        Laguna Foundation
University of California Santa Cruz Sustainability Office                                                                                                    California Native Plant Society: Santa Clara Valley Chapter                                                                                           West Valley College, Saratoga California                                                                                                                                Santa Rosa Junior College Community Education
Coyote Camp
Weaving Earth: Center for Relational Education
Golden Nectar Farm
San Diego City College Urban Farm
El Centro Verde, Ecological Center
UC Santa Cruz Education for Sustainable Living Program
UC Santa Cruz Program in Community and Agroecology

Awards and Scholarships:

Marjorie Kerr Schaffer Most Creative Sketchbook Award Santa Rosa Junior College (June 2016)
Riley Street Art Award (June 2016)
Patricia Maggiora Memorial Art Scholarship (June 2016)
Cybertracker Track and Sign Level III, Evaluated By David Moskowitz (April 2015)
Second place at “Signs of Passage” art show at Riskpress gallery in Sebastopol (February 2014)


Tracking and Nature Connection: Regenerative Design Institute 2013.
Sustainable Agriculture Certificate Program: Santa Rosa Junior College 2008-2010
BA in cultural anthropology, with honors: University of California at Santa Cruz 2006.
Thesis Topic: Sustainability of Traditional Mayan Agriculture and Agro-biodiversity in the Yucatán


“If you do not rest upon the good foundation of nature, you will labor with little honor and less profit.”

Leonardo da Vinci