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 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 seabirds, poisoned by rotten food in Turkey, 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 classes, presentations, tours, and retreats. A regular practice of yoga, hiking and riding her horse keeps her sane.
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, 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 schools, ranging from stints as a high school and college biology professor, to developing and teaching cross-curricular programs that integrate the arts and sciences.
In Christine’s current work as an environmental educator, she teaches workshops, leads nature sketching retreats, and offers online classes.
She has an insatiable drive to travel and observe wildlife in their native habitats. She’s been blessed to observe calving glaciers and breaching whales in Alaska, courting alligators in Florida, 5 million bats in Texas, rattlesnakes, and scorpions in Arizona and howler monkeys in Honduras. Since 2012, her travels have taken her all over the Western Hemisphere co-leading international nature tours with Paradise Birding.
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. Learn more about these services and view praise for her work from clients.
She resides in central Oregon, sandwiched between the 10,000-foot volcanic peaks of the Cascades and the high desert where pronghorn antelope roam and sage grouse dance. Christine firmly believes in giving back and supports a variety of environmental conservation and education programs throughout the year.
Photos of Christine Elder
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“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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