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Madison Public Library's Naturalist-in-Residence program 2022

Why A Naturalist?

The goal of the  Naturalist-in-Residency project is to encourage our community to explore, learn, and reflect upon our natural world and their place in it, through the guiding vision of an experienced or emerging local naturalist. 

Residency Theme: Nature is for Everyone

Join Madison Public Library's first Naturalist-in-Residence for a series of nature experiences this Fall aimed at inspiring wonder and stewardship of the world around us, as well as recognizing our place within it. The residency will include nature-inspired art activities, walks in beautiful new places, taking a deep look at the familiar and ordinary, and expanding our idea of what was, is, and will be. 

Madison Public Library Naturalist-in-Residence John C. NewmanAbout the Naturalist-in-Residence

MPL Naturalist-in-Residence John Newman (he/him) is a neurodivergent naturalist from the Midwest. He's been a lifelong forager, a giant science nerd, a passionate educator, and the kid who would excitedly start sentences with "Hey, did you know that ___?"

He comes with a Bachelor of Science in Botany from UW-Platteville, and has been a Wisconsin Master Naturalist since the Summer of 2019. A few of his favorite things are Black Raspberries, Camping, Dungeons & Dragons, Stargazing, and learning about the Tree of Life.


Each Naturalist-in-Residence event will include accessibility notes, including trail length and type, restroom availability and seating access. Click on the event below to see the accessibility notes. Let us know if you'd like ASL interpretation (at least 72 hours in advance) by contacting Librarian Kristina G. at 608-266-6300 or by emailing  Feel free to reach out with any accessibility questions!

If you'd like an outdoor wheelchair, we encourage you to reach out to  Access Ability Wisconsin for information.

Questions? Contact Librarian Kristina Gómez at

Upcoming Events

There are no scheduled events at this time.

Book Lists

Naturalist Book List for Adults

Nature is for everyone! Join Madison Public Library's first Naturalist-in-Residence for a series of nature experiences this Fall aimed at inspiring wonder and stewardship of the world around us, as well as recognizing our place within it.

The Climate Crisis and Environmental Justice | Nature Connections, Nature Reflections

Naturalist Book List for Kids and Teens

Picture Books | Fiction | Non-fiction | Teen Fiction | Teen Non-fiction 

The theme of the Naturalist Residency is Nature is for Everyone and focuses on exploring nature, fostering environmental stewardship, and creating a renewed sense of connection to our natural world. Above you'll see resources created for the residency, including a list of Local Foraging Resources where you can learn more and take your first foraging expedition. John also did a presentation on Foraging for Beginners, which you'll find linked above. The slides from that presentation are available and provide lots of insight into what foraging is, where to do it, and how to forage responsibly and safely. Additionally, as part of the residency we worked with The Bubbler at Madison Public Library to commission Sara Meredith (aka Smere Tactics), a local artist, to create a set of beautiful "Nature is for Everyone" posters that you can download and print! 


This program was made possible in part by generous support from: