231 Crestmont Drive,

San Francisco, Calif. 94131

(415) 682-8115

John Muir Laws



Scientific Illustration

University of California, Santa Cruz Professional training in biological illustration Coursework completed Spring 2002.


Masters of Science in Wildlife Biology

University of Montana, Missoula Thesis topic: Song development by free-living yearling male Lazuli Buntings Passerina amoena. Graduated Spring 1995.


Bachelor of Science in Conservation and Resource Studies

University of California, Berkeley Emphasis: natural history and environmental education. Graduated with high honors, Fall 1989.


Professional Experience

California Academy of Sciences

Associate Writing and Illustrating a field guide to the natural history of the Sierra Nevada. Coordinating field testing and associated environmental education programming. Winter 2002-present.

Manager of Field Studies Developed field-based biodiversity curriculum and integrated scientific field studies into existing educational programming. Winter 1998- Fall 2001.

Environmental Educator Developed and taught science curriculum to inner-city youth. Lead Instructor for the Camp Academy, a science education curriculum at the Academy, Pepperwood Ranch, Bodega Bay Marine Station, Pigeon Point, and the Desolation Wilderness: trained docents and interns and developed and led adult and Junior Academy classes. Summer 1996- Winter 1998.

Adult Education Instructor Organized and led science programs including five-day backpacking trips to study Native American culture and natural history. Spring 1988- Summer 1996.


University of California, Santa Cruz

Teaching Assistant Developed and taught classes in basic zoology and bird and mammal anatomy. Provided instruction for students in Field Sketching class, Fall 2001, Spring 2002.


Muwekma Ohlone Park

Consultant Conducted interviews with community stakeholders and interest groups and prepared report to inform development of educational resources at an urban open space preserve.  Conducted biological inventory of intertidal and terrestrial species. Winter- Spring 2001.


Marin County Outdoor School

Curriculum Development Consultant Reviewed curriculum and surveyed teachers and naturalists to coordinate outdoor school curriculum with state and district frameworks. Spring-Summer 1996.

Naturalist and Instructor Developed and taught environmental education curriculum to 5th through 8th grade students. Supervised and trained naturalist interns, designed and illustrated student journal for use by all staff members. Designed school logo and tee shirt. Spring 1990- Fall 1992.


Alaska Wildlands Studies

Instructor Taught classes in ecology, biology, and illustration as part of a college-accredited curriculum. Summer 1995.


University of Montana

Graduate Student Instructor Developed and taught field and laboratory sections in ecology, basic biology, and diversity of life. Evaluated student performance, and assigned grades. Fall 1993-Spring 1995.

Researcher Directed three-member field research team in bird behavior study near Missoula, MT. Summer 1993-1994.


California Nature Conservancy

Instructor Led day trips to Conservancy preserves. Co-led four-day field trips to Conservancy reserve to study Native American culture and natural history. 1990-92.

Teton Science School

Head Teacher Jr. Science School. Developed and taught environmental education curriculum for students eight to twelve years old. Supervised assistant teacher and intern. Summer 1988-1990.


East Bay Regional Parks

Interpretive Student Aid Tilden Regional Park. Developed and taught programs in the Nature Center, provided information to park visitors and maintained facilities. Fall 1987-Spring 1988.


Publications and Presentations

Sierra Birds: A Hiker's Guide Fully illustrated field guide to over 200 species of birds that are found in the Sierra Nevada.  The guide uses an innovative and field-tested key to allow beginner birders to easily identify birds that they have never seen before.  Spring 2004


Bay Nature, NaturalistŐs Notebook Regular, full page illustrated feature in quarterly natural history journal. Winter 2001-present.


An Introduction to the Ecology of the San Francisco Estuary

Illustrator and consultant Illustrated first and second editions of popular guide to the ecology of the San Francisco bay and delta. 1990, 2000.


U.S.-Japan Symposium

Invited speaker U.S.-Japan Symposium on Environmental Learning with Effective Use of Museums in Ibaraki, Japan. Summer 1998.


Bay Area Environmental Education Resource Fair

Presenter Freshwater zooplankton- biodiversity monitoring and population change. Winter 2000.

Presenter Field sketching and open-ended journals. Winter 1994.


ROEE Conference

Presenter Residential Outdoor and Environmental Education Conference, Field journals for outdoor school programming. Spring 1993.


Parks Interagency Training

Instructor Provided advanced interpretive strategies for park interpreters among various agencies including California State Parks, National Park Service and Army Corps of Engineers. Fall 1999 and 2000.


Art and Illustration

Specializing in wildlife and nature field sketching and drawing. Organized and led classes in field sketching for science education (Spring 1991-present) and the California Academy of Sciences Field Sketching Group (Fall 1998- present).


Commissioned Art for Publication

Bay Nature Magazine, The Marin County Outdoor School, The Nature Conservancy, Save San Francisco Bay Association, The Estuary Project, The Berkeley Marina Education Program, Montana Outdoors, and USFS. Exhibited at: "Illustrating Nature" exhibition at the Santa Cruz county Museum of Natural History 2000, "Birds in Art" exhibition at the North American Ornithological Conference in Missoula, MT, 1994; "California Species," a juried show at the Oakland Museum 1989; and the "Art for Earth Day" exhibit at U.C. Berkeley 1990.