Mission: Grow environmental literacy for future generations of people and wildlife.
Environmental literacy is an individual’s understanding, skills and motivation to make responsible decisions that consider their relationships to natural systems, communities and future generations. - No Oregon Child Left Inside Act, 2009
Environmentally literate decision making is not a skill we are born with, it is something we learn. Academic and business cultures tend to prioritize rational decision making from the mind. This is half of the equation, but to consider relationships to natural systems, communities and future generations we must be able to empathize with other people and wildlife, and imagine generations into the future. This way of thinking includes the heart.
Reading Nature connects head and heart for a balanced approach to nature through science and art. Classes and events for all ages draw on nature awareness, neuroeducation and multimedia storytelling to bridge our individual perspectives with those of future generations.
I think one of the big problems with science that has led to an awful lot of unintentional cruelty is this division between head and heart. And the perception that a good scientist must be totally objective and that emotion mustn’t come in to it, to me that’s very wrong. To me, only when head and heart work in harmony can we achieve our true human potential. - Dr. Jane Goodall on Opening a Dialogue, MasterClass
Vision: Restoration of Reciprocal Relationships
Imagine a future where humans live in tune with nature. A time where we understand our place as caregivers of an awesome ecological web, no more or less important than any other species. Where we have the skills to take care of our own survival needs as well as those our survival depends upon. Where we are motivated by our love and connections to natural systems like water, land and air, and our communities of friends, including other animals. A time where we choose to listen with our minds and hearts, and intentionally balance feeling and thinking to make major decisions. Imagine taking steps today to grow into responsible human beings, that support the ability of future generations of people and wildlife to thrive.
Rachael Pecore-Valdez is trained as an environmental scientist, works as an educator, and draws nature comics for fun. She is the author of Story Tracks, a comic that follows two friends, a snake and a dog, and their mostly true encounters with wildlife. She is perhaps best known as the founder of the Wolf OR-7 Expedition, a documentary film about the people along Wolf OR-7's dispersal route, and as co-founder of a kid's nature magazine called EarthBound Journal. She teaches nature awareness, and restoration of wild habitat and self.
Rachael holds a B.S. in BioResource Research from Oregon State University and an M.Sc. in Holistic Science from Schumacher College in the UK. Holistic Science is an approach that values multiple ways of knowing. Research in marine ecology, salmon fisheries and water quality led to an appreciation of the complex systems that govern how policy makers make decisions.
The vision of Reading Nature began with the Wolf OR-7 Expedition, and the opportunity to learn about the story of an individual wolf. With a certificate in Storytelling for Children from the International School of Storytelling, and a Comics Certificate from the Independent Publishing Resource Center, Reading Nature is at the nexus of Rachael's experience in science and art. One of Rachael's favorite childhood stories was "The Tracker" by Tom Brown Jr., and in 2008 she attended her first class at Tom Brown Jr’s Tracker School. It was here that her love of storytelling and ecology were grounded in the art and science of wildlife tracking. She began teaching tracking at Two Rivers Farm School, and taught tracking and survival skills at summer camps for Children of the Earth Foundation and Tracker’s Earth. With family roots in Oregon, Washington, and Alaska, and generational family connections to Minnesota, Wisconsin, D.C., Virginia, North Dakota, California, Quebec, France, Slovakia, Ireland, Scotland, England, Germany and Norway she comes from the stories of many places.