[Compiled] 2016 Annual GNSI Conference

2016 conference logo

Dates: July 3 - 9, 2016
Venue: University of California Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA 

The 2016 GNSI conference is coming to the UC Santa Cruz, north end of Monterey Bay. It is about 1.5 hrs from the San Francisco Airport or 45min from the San Jose Airport.

This year’s rendezvous will be hosted at the University of California, Santa Cruz. UC Santa Cruz is one of the most beautiful college campuses in the country. Situated on a hill above the city, the campus buildings are scattered between groves of coast redwoods and oak savanna, with a view of Monterey Bay.

Our core program is full! We have not 2, but 7 plenary speakers who will give 1 to 1½-hour talks, followed by over 45 individual presenters who will give 50-minute presentations in a variety of subject matter.

Visit the 2016 GNSI Conference page for more details!

Many members have been wondering about the exhibit. Unfortunately, we won’t have a traditional brick-and-mortar exhibit this year, but we are planning an alternate online exhibit. This will be a juried event just like previous years; the only difference is selected works will be shared in an online space for all to see!

We are deeply appreciative of our web design team, Deborah Shaw Studios, which has devoted much of their time and effort to launch a new and more efficient conference website. The new website will go online in early March and will include all details about registration, housing, the program, and special events. Registration will begin in early April. The cost of University accommodations will be a bit more than last year (but include meals) and are a lot less than local hotel/motel options.

Watch for more conference announcements coming soon. Until then, check out the complete conference program. This is probably the earliest we have ever put together a complete presentation program! 

GNSI Annual Exhibit Call - Only 2 days left to enter! Deadline for submission is April 20th.

This is your chance as a GNSI member to display your work to other members and the world!

GNSI members works will be featured in a JURIED online exhibit this year. Traditional, digital, 3D, animation, interactive media and sculpture are all welcome.


2016 ONLINE Annual Juried Members’ Exhibit! 

This exhibit will run for 6 weeks, from July 1 to August 12, linked on the front page of the GNSI.org website. Afterward, it will be archived on the website, so viewing the artwork in context will be accessible for years to come. Deadline for submission via online form is April 20, 2016.

Plenary Speakers

Plenary speakers include John Muir Laws, nature journaling evangelist, who will delve into the “science” of keeping a sketchbook and why it is so important for science illustrators to have this observation tool. Terryl Whitlatch, artist for Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, will share her tips and tricks in novel creature design. David Goodsell, a microbiologist from Scripps Institute of Oceanography, will reveal the world of cells in nanoscale through his watercolor paintings, which are both practical and beautiful.

Wendy Hiller Gee will highlight the importance of science and health literacy through her medical illustration practice. Breck Tyler, a seabird biologist, will share his experiences from 25 years at Midway Atoll observing albatross colonies. Jane Kim, founder of Ink Dwell studio, will share her extraordinary efforts to foster a love and respect for the earth through her Wall of Birds mural depicting the 375-million-year evolution of birds. Over 260 species of birds will be represented, all painted to scale.

Marc Paisin, our favorite art lawyer, will give us the rundown on how to copyright our own work (and how to stay out of trouble when creating derivative work).


The 50-minute presentations will cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from traditional media techniques (waxy pencil, gouache, and watercolor) to digital media (Photoshop and animation). Some talks will highlight members’ impressive efforts to preserve and archive historically significant science illustrations, while others will feature the latest technology that can help advance your illustration career. There will be a couple of business panels (all you need to know to run a freelance business!) as well as a medical topics panel.

For the science geeks, there will be a number of presentations designed to spark your interest in everything from the lowliest invertebrates to the most charismatic marine mammals.

Workshops & Field Trips

Following the core conference, there will be half-day and full-day workshops exploring traditional and digital media in depth. We have an exciting slate of field trips planned as well, from sketching the jewel-like tide pools at Natural Bridges State Park, to a behind-the-scenes tour of marine mammal facilities at Long Marine Lab. There will be a day trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For the more adventurous, we’re organizing a kayaking trip in Elkhorn Slough.

Our volunteer conference committee is hard at work configuring the nuts and bolts of this year’s conference, which is scheduled for the week of July 3rd–9th in Santa Cruz, California.

GNSI Auction Time

It is almost GNSI Auction Time!

Clear out that studio and your closets, it is Spring Cleaning time! Check those flea markets and yard sales – keep your artistic eyes peeled for goodies to donate to the GNSI Auction in Santa Cruz!

Help support the GNSI! Auction proceeds are split 50/50 between the GNSI General Fund and the Education Fund – the Annual Auction is a MAJOR fundraiser, so be generous!

If you are flying in or if you are not attending (WHAT???) you can ship your goodies ahead of time to Calene Luczo; you can contact her for shipping information.

Be sure to include an AUCTION FORM, which you can download from the conference site, or contact Calene or Gail Guth for a pdf copy, one form for each item you donate.

... and THANK YOU!!

GNSI Conference Registration is NOW OPEN

Register by June 5th to receive an Early-Bird discount. Join us in Santa Cruz for the best GNSI meeting ever! You can review the program of activities on the conference website.

Register Online

GNSI 2016 Conference Registration - Now Open!

You may also register by mail – print and mail the PDF!

Registration Overview


Register before June 5th: Subtract $50/week or $10/day

  • Members: $325 for the week (including banquet), $95/day, $30/week for Guests
  • Non-Members: $400 for the week (including banquet and a 1yr. digital membership), $120/day, $30/week for Guests
  • Room & Board: $75-125/day
  • Workshops: $50/half day, $90-$115/full day
  • Mini-workshops $20
  • Field Trips: $10 - $95 depending on the event
  • Full Core Registration will include the Wednesday Banquet. 

Guests: will be charged $10 for core-day evening events (Sun, Mon, Tue). Guest Banquet tickets ($35) can be purchased (Wed).

GNSI News and Conference Update - June 2016

GNSI Conference Registration Early-Bird Discounts End June 5th!

Don't delay, register today! $50 off Full-Core registration and $10/day of Day registration. Some workshops and Field trips are full, but still lots of interesting options to go with the great Core-presentations. If you have questions about attending, contact us.

GNSI Online Members Exhibit

June 27 - August 17, 2016

The Annual Members Exhibit will be featured on the home page of the GNSI website. This is an all-digital exhibit, a first in GNSI history.


If you are planning to attend the Santa Cruz Conference (and you know you really should!), the Committee could use a few volunteers for brief shifts. Please take a look at the list below and see if you can help out: (note the registration discount for 5+ hours worked!)

2016 Conference Volunteer Available Tasks            

  • Minimum 5 hours worked to qualify for registration discount ($100).          
  • May sign up for multiple tasks to meet this minimum.            
  • Exact hours and timing are only estimates and will change as needed.
  • To sign up or for more details, contact Robin.


  • Registration Packet Prep (Saturday afternoon) (est. 3 hours, 2 volunteers)     
  • Registration Table Help
  • Sunday (shifts of 3 hours each, 2 volunteers needed)
  • Monday (shifts of 3 hours each, 2 volunteers needed)
  • Tuesday (4 shifts of 30 mins each for breaks, 1 volunteer needed)
  • Wednesday (4 shifts of 30 mins each for breaks, 1 volunteer needed)
  • Greeting and Escorting Plenary Speakers
  • Monday morning (est. 1 hour, 1 volunteer)
  • Tuesday morning (est. 1 hour, 1 volunteer)
  • Wednesday morning (est. 1 hour, 1 volunteer)
  • Presentation Troubleshooting (computers, connectivity, etc)
  • Monday afternoon (est. 1 hour, 1 volunteer)
  • Tuesday afternoon (est. 1 hour, 1 volunteer)
  • Wednesday afternoon (est. 1 hour, 1 volunteer)
  • Workshop Setup Assistance (est. 1 hour each, 3 volunteers)
  • Refreshment Setup, Serving, Cleanup
  • Monday evening (shifts of 1 hour each) (est. 1 hour each, 4 volunteers)
  • Thursday evening (shifts of 1 hour each) (est. 1 hour each, 4 volunteers)

Notes and acknowledgments:

This blog post is a compilation of multiple blog articles and announcements relating to the 2013 GNSI Annual Conference.

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