Christine is a naturalist, environmental educator, and visual artist. She holds advanced degrees in biology and scientific illustration and has been blessed to combine these two seemingly incongruous passions of art and science in a variety of creative ways.
She’s traveled widely in the Americas and beyond from Alaska to Borneo, The Netherlands to Turkey, and Peru to the Caribbean. Her many adventures have included SCUBA diving with sharks, tracking bears by moonlight, electrofishing for endangered trout, identifying deep-sea invertebrates, performing necropsies on sea lions and studying the sex lives of carnivorous plants. In pursuit of adventure, she’s been stung by jellyfish, chased by a moose, dive-bombed by angry seabirds, poisoned by rotten food, and electrocuted at a shoddy ‘rustic vacation retreat’.
When not exploring the world, she makes her home in central Oregon at the base of the glacier-topped Cascades where the sagebrush meets the pines. She enjoys sharing her passion for the natural world and her conservation ethic with children and adults alike through her workshops, presentations, online courses, and sketching retreats. A regular practice of yoga, hiking and riding her horse keeps her centered.
Christine Elder is a lifelong naturalist, artist, and educator. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biology, with an emphasis on ecological principles, and a certificate in Science Illustration from the University of California. She also completed three summers of graduate studies at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in Colorado, focusing on botany and pollination biology.
In her years as a field biologist, she worked on projects to restore habitats, monitor endangered species, study climate change, identify deep-sea marine invertebrates and survey plant and animal populations, including the threatened West-slope Cutthroat Trout and the California Legless Lizard.
She has more than 20 years’ experience in environmental education, working in informal field settings with such organizations as the National Park Service and Forest Service, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Nature Conservancy in which she developed interpretive displays, gave campfire programs, led nature walks, trained docents and taught children’s activities. She has also taught in formal education; ranging from work as a high school and college biology professor, to developing and teaching cross-curricular programs that integrate the arts and sciences.
She has an insatiable drive to travel and observe wildlife in their native habitats. She’s been blessed to observe breaching whales in Alaska, courting alligators in Florida, giant river otters in Peru, and pygmy elephants in Borneo. Since 2012, her travels have taken her all over the Western Hemisphere co-leading international nature tours with Paradise Birding.
Currently, Christine teaches workshops, leads nature sketching retreats, and offers online classes.
When not traveling or teaching, Christine can be found in her art studio, creating illustrations for her own projects and for clients as part of her work as a scientific illustrator.
She resides in central Oregon, at the junction of the eastern Cascades and the high desert; where pronghorn antelope roam and sage grouse dance. Christine firmly believes in giving back to her community and supports a variety of environmental conservation and education programs throughout the year.
Photos of Christine Elder
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Sample Video Footage
Below you’ll find a video from CHRISTINE’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL.
“She is a strong, youthful scientist who entices others to look at the loveliness of nature. Her energy is contagious. Anyone would be lucky to have Christine on their team. Her passion and love for nature permeates whatever it is she is doing. She’s the real deal and has the scientific knowledge to accompany her enthusiasm”
– Jill Harke, Director, John Muir Mountain Day Camp
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