Field Guide to Birds of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum
The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum is a landscape of high floristic biodiversity, hosting rare and endangered plants found around the world. With high floristic biodiversity comes high avian biodiversity, and many of the birds that inhabit the Arboretum thrive in its protected and conserved environment. Being fascinated with the amount of birds that rely on the Arboretum as critical habitat, I decided to embark on a journey to create a field guide to birds of this space. The Field Guide to Birds of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum is a natural history based project focusing on birds that are frequently seen in this biodiverse, 135-acre plot of land. The folding, waterproof field guide presents visitors with fifty-eight self-illustrated birds that are commonly seen in the gardens. The guide is a valuable educational tool, emphasizing the importance of continual stewardship and conservation so that both the biodiversity of plants and animals remains intact. The process of creating a field guide consisted of various components, from weekly birding and lots of illustration, to organizing text with images in Photoshop, and ultimately figuring out the best way to print and disperse the guide. Through the course of the internship, I also learned a lot about my own perseverance and strengths while taking on a solo project that was out of my comfort zone. I have also made so many great connections with those involved in different areas of expertise, such as gardeners, printmakers, and illustrators. With the release of the guide, I hope to spark a passion in others to learn about birds and conservation and I feel that the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum is just the right place for new discoveries, passions, and projects.