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Joe Trumpey <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Wed, 4 Nov 1998 10:12:21 -0500
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Hi All-

I feel awkward writing to the list since I hardly ever read it anymore.
I go to sleep feeling guilty ("sci art complex") not reading the
postings knowing that there is great info being shared, but I have been
too busy to keep up.  I recently opened a digest to see a snippet of a
discussion about sci ill education and had to respond.  I have not read
the whole discussion so forgive me if I repeat previously covered

I certainly agree that there is no one out there requiring any sort of
specialized sci ill degree for staff sci ill positions.  That is not the
case with med ill jobs.  Many do require a masters degree from an
accredited graduate program.

Santa Cruz is the only institution offering a masters certificate in
scientific illustration and it is an outstanding curriculum.  I wanted
to let you know that it is now possible to achieve a masters degree
(MFA) in scientific illustration here at the University of Michigan.  It
is not as cohesive of a program as Santa Cruz or as many med ill
programs at this point, but it does offer a student the opportunity to
focus in great detail in sci ill and work with many of the great
scientists, museums,  illustrators and artists here at U of M.  It is in
its infancy and I have great hopes for the program because of the
outstanding resources here at U of M.  I am convinced that focused, self
driven grad students will excel!

We accepted our first two MFA Sci Ill students this year.  One woman is
focusing in paleontology and the other woman in botany.  Each is taking
in-depth courses in their respective cognate area as well as taking
general illustration and sci ill courses.  They have the option of
taking other art courses (such as printmaking, sculpture, graphic
design, computer graphics etc.) as well.  They have also been able to
take several of the med ill courses offered (including courses with
Jerry Hodge) and will be involved in our newly resurrected museum
practices program at the natural history museum, zoology museum,
herbarium, botanical gardens, or archaeology museum.  There is an
excellent balance between traditional and digital media.  Airbrush,
carbon dust, pen and ink on different surfaces, colored pencil, gouache,
wash, watercolor, graphite, coquille, 3-D modeling, as well as software
packages photoshop, illustrator, director, strata and even silicon
graphics if they are interested.  Job estimates, invoices, camera
lucidas,  specimen collection / handling, tons of light on form,
educational design, and other professional problems are covered.

Basically, these students have enrolled in our standard MFA curriculum
(60 credits) and instead of focusing in painting or sculpture etc., they
have chosen sci ill as a focus area.  It is a great add-on from our BFA
curriculum in sci ill.  We are not touting this degree as being
necessary for finding a job or work, but it is a great opportunity for a
student to continue their studies and focus in ways that they perhaps
did not have the opportunity to as an undergrad.   There are also
opportunities for students to intern teach with professors and receive
financial aid in the form of teaching assistantships.  They have the
opportunity to teach basic drawing courses to non art major students
which pays for their tuition and gives them a stipend to boot!  Many
students also work at the exhibit museum as docents or in the
collections performing a variety of tasks.  Additionally, the undergrads
have formed a sci ill club which is active in educational, service, and
fun activities.  We currently offer 6 undergrad Sci Ill courses - my
favorite is the field sketching course I teach - we were in New Mexico
for 2 weeks last summer drawing pot sherds at a U of M archaeologist's
research site. Great fun!  This year we will be on the outer banks of NC
and in two years in the rain forests of Costa Rica!

I have rambled enough - if anyone has any questions about what is
happening here in Ann Arbor, dont hesitate to contact me.  I am
formulating a plan to advertise the terrific opportunities here at U of
M for Sci Ill Education.


Joseph E. Trumpey
Assistant Professor
Scientific Illustration
Medical and Biological Illustration
School of Art and Design
University of Michigan