Art Nature and Conservation, Academics | Earlham College
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Art, Nature and Conservation

Overview   |   Faculty   |   Plan of Study   |   Related Departments


The Art, Nature and Conservation Applied Minor is designed for students to explore the intersections of art, creativity, nature and conservation. Through a combination of coursework, hands-on and experiential learning, the designation emphasizes natural history, experiences with/in nature, and the use of artistic expression to support nature and habitat conservation, biodiversity, sustainability and environmental education.

For hundreds of years art has been used to raise awareness on environmental issues and conservation. Both art and nature have the potential of evoking similar emotional and deep personal responses that could result in actions that benefit oneself and/or the environment. For this IP students will be required to engage in the examination of the natural world through experience, careful observation, and a creative lens. Students will learn about the environment and find inspiration in nature, wildlife & natural landscapes to produce pieces of art in a medium of their interest (painting, drawing, ceramics, weaving and photography). Artistic expression can capture a wide spectrum of biodiversity and the essence of threatened habitats and ecosystems, as well as impress people about the relevance of conserving our natural heritage. This AP complements well with students interested in art, field biology, environmental sustainability, outdoor education, natural historians, among other areas.


Dan Atwater
Assistant Professor of Biology

Walt Bistline
Associate Professor of Art

Heather Lerner
Director of the Joseph Moore Museum; Associate Professor of Biology

Brent Smith
Professor Emeritus of Biology

Nancy Taylor
Professor of Art

Wendy Tori
Associate Professor of Biology; Martha Sykes Hansen Endowed Chair in Biology for Ornithology

Mark Van Buskirk
Professor of Art

Judy Wojcik
Associate Professor of Art

Plan of Study


  • BIOL 111 Ecological Biology (prerequisite for BIOL 360 Conservation Biology)
  • BIOL 360 Conservation Biology
  • Two of the following Art-related academic courses:
    • ART 115 Context & Meaning
    • ART 200 Ceramics I
    • ART 205 Drawing I
    • ART 220 Metal I
    • ART 225 Painting I
    • ART 235 Photography I
    • ART 245 Weaving I
    • ART 282 Modern Art and the Environment
    • One or two ART Studio II courses
    • May Terms will be considered by petition
    • Other courses will be considered by petition
  • One of the following (Natural Science Wildlife/Natural History) Biology courses
    • BIOL 226 Biological Diversity
    • BIOL 348 Ornithology
    • BIOL 350 Field Botany
    • BIOL 357 Animal Behavior
    • BIOL 362 Insect Biology
    • BIOL TBA Vertebrate Zoology
  • May Terms will be considered by petition
  • Other courses will be considered by petition


Co-curricular Activity

Students must complete at least two of the following:

  • Presentation of Wildlife/Nature Projects in Art Venue (e.g., Art display in on/off campus exhibition)
  • Presentation of a Field Project Research (e.g., Earlham Annual Research Conference, Earlham Science Research Conference, Butler Undergraduate Research Conference)
  • Volunteer at wildlife refuge, sanctuary, state park, botanical garden or equivalent, etc. — at least 20 hours of work
  • Volunteer at Zoo, Aquarium, Nature Center, Museum, State Park, Fish and Wildlife Service, Art Museum, Wildlife exhibit  — at least 20 hours of work — at least 20 hours of work
  • Applied group at Joseph Moore Museum (e.g., interpretive exhibit creation, Eco-tour development) or Leadership in wildlife/nature club (bird club, insect club, or wildlife/nature relate field) — at least 20 hours of work
  • Leadership/Participation in Vicki Penziner Matson Natural History Expeditions — at least an overnight
  • An outdoor experience where they reflect and observe nature and engage in at least two journal entries (e.g., outdoor trip, Vicki-Penziner Matson Field Trip, Wildflower walk, their own Thoreau walk, etc.) — at least 48 hours of involvement
  • Other experiences to be considered by petition


Culminating Experience

The entire capstone portfolio must be submitted electronically in PDF format to the program point persons (Wendy Tori and Judy Wojcik). To graduate with the Designation in Art, Nature and Conservation, the portfolio must be submitted no later than March 31 of the graduating year. The faculty highly encourages students to complete the portfolio before this deadline. Integrated Pathway faculty will review portfolios and schedule a feedback meeting prior to approving the capstone requirement.

The Capstone Portfolio should contain:                                  

  1. Title page with student name                                               
  2. Rationale for pursuing this designation                                           
  3. Critical Reflective Practicum Essay that connects the work that has happened throughout the courses taken, co-curricular components, and connections among them and to the theme — Art, Nature and Conservation of Nature
  4. Sample of artistic work (art, video, and paper) developed from their classes: An art portfolio with at least three pieces that reflect the connection between their work and conservation of nature (e.g., a powerpoint with pictures of art pieces, the actual pieces on display, the photos, etc.)
  5. Updated resume that includes their Designation Work in a meaningful way

Related Departments

For more information, complete an Interest Form or contact Associate Professor of Biology Wendy Tori.

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.