WHY A "NOTEBOOK"?
In 2008, the two of us were renovating a rickety 1895 building in Seal Harbor, Maine. We planned to use it as a walk-in, brain-building, interactive, nature-science-art installation that would explore the natural world and the 13.8-billion-year history of the universe through an interweaving of curiosity, creativity and commerce. We wondered: What should we call this unusual invention we’re about to launch?
We quickly agreed upon “The Naturalist’s Notebook.”
As a journalist (Craig) and an artist (Pamelia), we had spent our lives working with notebooks and sketchbooks. Notebooks were like appendages to us. Both as amateur naturalists and in our creative and professional work, we had always been observers. We recorded in words or images what we saw and how we saw it.
Those two processes—observing and recording—are at the core of science, journalism, experimentation, art-making, history and the study of life. Whether notebooks are paper or digital, they remain a central tool of people in all fields of the study of life. We wanted The Naturalist’s Notebook to encourage observation, exploration, thinking and learning and to provide some of the tools—from notebooks and pens to paintbrushes and nature-art workshops—for preserving insights and knowledge. Writing something down, drawing it, painting it, photographing it, typing it in...all of those help a person to more clearly see, to better understand and to more lastingly remember a subject. It's part of brain-building.
Notebooks are tools of learning. They often are works of art as well. We plan to share with you on this page images and stories from the notebooks and sketchbooks of scientists, naturalists and artists past and present. This will be a living page, with new and different images added all the time; we will invite you to share images from your sketchbook or notebook if you wish—this Notebook is interactive in all its spaces, including the virtual ones.
At our physical Naturalist's Notebook spaces, we've regularly highlighted notebook writings and images from great scientists and naturalists. The