Working with the City of Milwaukee’s Urban Forestry Department comes naturally for Lea Cutsforth ’12 (Illustration). Her hard work and dedication were rewarded with the opportunity to illustrate the Urban Forestry Training Manual – a manual used by foresters to become forestry specialists featuring 96 illustrations of diagrams, exercises and more than 50 tree identification images.
“Science gave me a lot to work with conceptually in my illustration classes…. I used my freelance illustration skills that I learned in my MIAD science and illustration courses to plan, stay on task, meet deadlines and complete the project,” said Cutsforth.
As an Urban Forestry intern, Cutsforth performs pesticide injections, helps control invasive species and opens discussions with the public about natural topics. Her current work, and her experience working as a butterfly technician at the Milwaukee County Zoo and lab technician in MIAD’s Science Lab, push her toward her goal of becoming a naturalist with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which would allow her to “mix my natural science experience, art talents and passion for education.”
Using her passion for education, Cutsforth said she is “working on a children’s book about my favorite creature, Armadillidium vulgare, also called rollie pollies…. The theme of the book is ‘don’t be afraid,’ inspired by children’s fears of thunderstorms.”
Cutsforth added, “I don’t think my path is a conventional one, but I love art and nature. MIAD taught me a lot about myself and helped me down that path.”
Top image: Lea Cutsforth ’12 (Illustration)
Second image: Cutsforth’s diagram of a Sheet Bent knot
Third image: Cutsforth’s diagram of Acer saccharum (sugar maple)