Sara Taliaferro (President)
Sara Taliaferro is a natural science illustrator who runs her own business, Happy Beetle Studio, and who teaches scientific illustration at the University of Kansas through the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department. Her work is mainly computer-generated line and color, yet she also renders in pen and ink, carbon dust, watercolor, and acrylic. She currently specializes in entomological and paleontological subjects. Her work is primarily published in books and journal articles, yet she also exhibits and sells natural history fine art with conservation themes.
She obtained a B.S. of Education in Biology from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and a Masters in Botany in the Genetics Program from the University of Kansas. Upon completion of her graduate work, she took a staff position with the Museum of Natural History and Biodiversity Institute at the University of Kansas, working for over six years with Dr. James S. Ashe, a specialist on Aleocharine beetles, Family Staphilinidae, before launching her own business.
Sara has been a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators since 1997. She currently serves on the GNSI Board as Education Secretary, a position she assumed in 2010. She also serves on the Nominating Committee and has been involved in the GNSI Oral History Project. In 2002, Sara coordinated the GNSI Annual Meeting and Conference, held in Lawrence, Kansas, and again in Bar Harbor, Maine in 2013. Sara was one of the founding members of the GNSI Great Plains Chapter, formed in 2006, and she has served as their Secretary since the group began. She is the 2012 recipient of the GNSI Distinguished Service Award.
Ikumi Kayama (Vice-President)
Ikumi is honored and thrilled to be nominated for vice President of GNSI. The Guild has always been the source of inspiration and encouragement for her as a science illustrator. With the Guild, she had the opportunity to serve on the National Board of Directors as the Recording Secretary for four years, work as digital presentation coordinator for the annual conferences and be able to meet and get to know many talented illustrators.
Ikumi is the principal medical and scientific illustrator of Studio Kayama, specializing in illustration, animation, graphics and web design. She holds a Master of Art degree in Medical and Biological illustration from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Scientific Illustration from the University of Georgia. Her work has appeared internationally in juried shows, exhibits, textbooks, scientific journals, presentations, television shows, children’s books and websites.
Ikumi is also the recipient of many awards, including Frank Netter, MD Memorial Scholarship from Johns Hopkins University SOM, GNSI, Illustrators Club, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, and AMI.
Karen A. Johnson (Treasurer)
Karen A. Johnson has been a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators since 1989 and is currently its treasurer. She has bachelors’ degrees from Iowa State University in biological illustration and entomology. Karen teaches at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Il and works mainly in acrylic, watercolor and ink. She sculpts flowers, leaves and insects and makes jewelry out of polymer clay. All of her work is inspired by the plants and animals around her, whether in her garden, a prairie or a rainforest. She hopes others will see her work and want to help take care of the world around us.
Scott Rawlins (Education Director)
Scott Rawlins graduated from Earlham College with a degree in biology, and holds graduate degrees in museum education and medical & biological illustration from the George Washington University and the University of Michigan respectively. Scott is a Professor at Arcadia University where he teaches scientific illustration, design and a class on the cultural history of chocolate. He regularly exhibits his artwork nationally and has served on the board of the Guild as well as on the boards of the American Association of Botanical Artists and the Philadelphia Society of Botanical Illustrators (where is currently president). His illustrations have appeared in the Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Invertebrate Biology, Acta Zoologica and Zootaxa as well as many other publications. In the summer months, Scott works part-time as a research associate at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, teaches at the New York Botanical Garden and reads British mystery books.
Tierney Brosius (Outreach Director)
Tierney Brosius is an Associate Professor of Biology at Augustana College. She is an entomologist with special interests in insect ecology and conservation, urban ecology, and cultural entomology. Her research program currently focuses on beetle diversity in urban landscapes and how mesophication (lack of naturally occurring fire) and urbanization interact to influence forest ecosystem composition and structure at multiple trophic levels.
Tierney obtained a B.S. in Biology from Wayne State College in Nebraska and her M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln. In addition to her current research program she is actively involved in teaching multiple sections of undergraduate biology such as entomology and zoology. Tierney uses her interest in scientific illustration in the classroom to encourage her students to develop their observational skills. She is particularly interested in science communication using art and has written on the subject of the use of art in promoting topics surrounding conservation.
Tricia Cassady (Membership Director)
Tricia Cassady has been involved in art since she can remember. It all started when she used to paint along side her Mother. Her other love is of nature and the outdoors. Tricia currently works as a Conservation Agent for the Town of Middleborough, which allows her to enjoy the outdoors and find subject matter to draw and paint. Her favorite mediums include pen & ink and watercolor, which she learned to perfect through the Natural Science Illustration Certificate Program at The Rhode Island School of Design, graduating from the program in June 2006.
Mrs. Cassady also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Scientific Illustration from Bridgewater State College (now University) in Massachusetts. She is also the Past President and Treasurer of the New England Chapter of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators.
Cheryl McCutchan (Recording Secretary)
Cheryl's formal training is in science, and she holds an excessive number of degrees in biochemistry, environmental science, biology, and botany. She has taught a variety of college level courses, mostly in botany, and enjoys communing with the wildflowers of Colorado's Rocky Mountains. Cheryl currently illustrates, animates, writes about, and does research on a variety of sciency subjects. Her favorite activities are illustrating and animating because, throughout her scientific career, she has always visualized science in pictures. Cheryl has worked with geologists, glaciologists, and botanists to create illustrations and animations and is currently illustrating for a small, online education company and animating a series of environmental studies videos. When not engrossed in science, Cheryl likes to hike, talk to flowers, rock climb, and sip chai.
Linda Feltner (Past-President)
Linda M. Feltner is an award-winning nature artist and educator. Linda has instructed for the University of Washington Scientific Illustration Certification Program, and currently teaches for the Art Institute of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. She holds a Master of Arts degree, and is a Signature Member of Artists for Conservation and the Society of Animal Artists. Her home in the Sky Islands of southeastern Arizona provides awe-inspiring biodiversity right outside her studio window.
Outgoing Board Portrait:
L-R: Scott Rawlins (Education Director), Daisy Chung (Secretary), Diana Marques (Outreach Director), Cheryl McCutchan (Recording Secretary), Linda Feltner (President), Leslie Becker (Office Staff), Ikumi Kayama (Vice-President), Sara Taliaferro (President-Elect), Karen Johnson (Treasurer), VIrge Kask (Bookkeeper)
(not pictured): Tricia Cassady (incoming Membership Director), Tierney Brosius (incoming Outreach Director)