Update 2/14/2016: The New Urban Naturalists will be bringing Homeschool to the de Young Museum of Art in San Francisco this Fall. Look here for more info about events, research, guest speakers and ways to participate.



Homeschool Session #1

….is a research based public art education project enlisting the assistance and service of dozens of everyday citizen naturalists. The combined effort will create a multi-faceted image of interspecies relationships and environmental conditions in the Bay Area and beyond. Throughout the process, participants will gain knowledge about the myriad inhabitants of their personal ecosystems as well as develop a deeper understanding of their internal human nature relationship.

With this expanded understanding of the interconnectivity of all things within the ecosystem, we can begin to imagine and perform a future ecology that is sustainable for all.

Students in this class will explore their immediate natural environment, catalog and research native rock, plants and animals as well as track their neighborhood micro climate patterns actualizing their data through a range of possible media including drawings, dance, graphic design, hand bound books, performance lectures, essay, or prose.

Neighborhood Atlas Section 1 runs from late January – April 2015. Classes will meet weekly on Google Hangout, at partner venues and/or in the field. Ultimately each student will develop a personal neighborhood atlas that will be digitized and exhibited on The New Urban Naturalists Neighborhood Atlas project site.

The goal of “Neighborhood Atlas” is to reconnect citizens to their personal climate and environment, to recognize the interconnectivity of all it’s inhabitants and to better understand our relationship to our own unique ecosystems, and ultimately, our shared responsibility as stewards.

Visiting Lecturers 2015 include: Amber Hasselbring (Artist, ecologist), Alicia Escott (visual artist, new media), David Janesko (new media, geologist), Karl Cronin (media artist, ecologist), Renee Rhodes (new media, cartographer), Sasha Petrenko (New Urban Naturalist), and more…

Sample activities:

Field Trip #1: Students meet in the marin headlands to discuss the formation of California, the missing Farallon plate and the Franciscan Formation. Guest Naturalists describe native plants and animals and lead movement based activities among the melange of oceanic, igneous basement and marine sedimentary rocks. The point of this assignment is to begin to understand the earth transforming under our feet and to start to get a sense our place along the geologic time scale.

Ongoing Projects: Students record and document through analog or digital media the flora and fauna of their neighborhood. Students are charged to seek out and discover not only the what but look for connections, revealing the how and the why of their findings. The purpose of this exercise is to begin to draw connections across species, occurring everyday around us: a person smoking a plant, a dog peeing on a shrub, fly buzzing rotting fruit, a concrete bound weed bending to the breeze.

Students will examine their personal relationship to nature through writing, voice and movement considering both urban nature and protected natural environments . After reading excerpts by noted authors including Temple Grandin, Richard Louv and Timothy Morton, students will unpack their emotions relating to nature, past and present, to begin to form a vision for a possible future.

All participants will become lifetime members of the New Urban Naturalists and will be officially identified as Neighborhood Atlas collaborators.

Classes begin late January 2015. Registration opens December 2014. Classes meet online, at partner venues and in the field. Scholarships, work/trade opportunities available.

Register Now!


Sasha Petrenko, Director, The New Urban Naturalists

The New Urban Naturalists

1332-B 4th Street

Berkeley, CA  94710