Q and A from Expanding Horizons opening reception.

Naturalist and wildlife photographer Neal Maine lectured during the opening reception of “Expanding Horizons”   at Fairweather’s on Nov. 3rd.


Take away notes:


Q: What is Natural History?

A:  Natural history tells the story of our living earth. It comprises the systematic observation, classification, interpretation, and description of the biosphere and its inhabitants.

Natural history is a primary component of culture. Every society develops some system for classifying, interpreting, and valuing animals, plants, and other natural phenomena. These systems shape our understanding of the world and our place in it.

Natural history is field-based. It begins with direct observation and study of organisms in the conditions under which they actually live.

Natural history is interdisciplinary. While grounded in the natural sciences, it engages the humanities, social sciences, and the arts, and it informs technical fields such as medicine, agriculture, forestry, and environmental management.




Q: What is the difference being a scientist or a naturalist, you ask?


A: “Lots of scientists never leave the lab. You can just see them in white coats, crunching numbers on computers, pouring stuff in and out of test tubes, torturing animals, etc. Naturalists are people who actually go outside, learn about, and appreciate nature. And although there is some overlap, there is a huge difference, and it is very disappointing that there aren’t many naturalists out there any more. I guess there is no money and academic prestige associated with being a naturalist any more. That’s why Neal Maine is such a special person to have around.”  –Sara Vickerman-Gage


Through November

Fairweather House and Gallery

612 Broadway Street

Expanding Horizons, an exhibition, featuring artists turning to nature seeking to express its evocative power on personal level.

Painters and photographers included in this exhibit are Linda Fenton-Mendenhall,  Lee Munsell, Ron Nicolaides, Judy Horning Shaw,  Jim Young and Russell Young, as well as Neal Maine.

Introducing Michael Fox and Barbara Folawn.



Q; Why Does Natural History Matter?

A: Natural history helps to shape communities and individuals. It gives us deeper insights into our relationships with other beings and places we inhabit.

Natural history promotes sound environmental practice. It grounds policy in ecological reality, guides decision-making, and inspires conservation efforts at all levels.

Natural history informs and energizes environmental education. It connects students with natures, creates synergy across fields, and draws strength from all major divisions of a community. It prepares people to live honors and responsibly in a sustainable world.




 “Best book to read ever on naturalist writing.” D. Fairweather


Save the date and time.

Next Neal Maine lecture at Fairweather’s.

December 1, 6:pm.


To view photographs  by naturalist  Neal Maine, go to http://www.fairweatherhouseandgallery.com/ …artists/ …Neal Maine


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