Kathleen came to natural science illustration through the certificate program at Morton Arboretum. While she had drawn and painted watercolors of tropical orchids for many years previous, her classes at Morton along with 15 years volunteering for the Chicago Botanic Garden's Plants of Concern program refined her skills and fueled her interest in learning about and documenting local native species. She is also a volunteer natural areas steward for an Illinois Nature Preserve, helping to restore habitat for almost 400 species of native plants, several of them rare or state-endangered. The two passions - preserving habitat and illustrating the native species present there - seem to feed off each other, keeping the momentum going. In 2008 she received a Chicago Wilderness Grassroots Conservation Leadership Award for her work in developing educational materials as part of the national Leave No Child Inside initiative and in 2015 she received the award 'Protector of the Environment - Avocation' by the Chicago Audubon Society. She has served as board member and president of the Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Arts, and is currently active in several local and national arts organizations. Her work has been shown in many galleries and exhibits, most notably in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery, Kew Gardens, London, as part of 'Losing Paradise? Endangered Plants Here and Around the World', in the 2011 edition of 'Smithsonian in Your Classroom', and the Field Museum's 'Common Plants of the Chicago Region' Rapid Color Guides series.
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