exploring the secret lives of wild animals around us
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Fostering an empathetic understanding of wildlife in gradeschool children
Wild Lives is a gradeschool class that explores the secret lives of wild animals living nearby. In this class, we'll work together to track and find where wild animals are living, playing and hunting, use technology to see what they're up to when humans aren't around, and tell our own stories to share what we learn.

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Wild Lives Curriculum

Wild Lives is a very multidisciplinary class. Any given day might find us following tracks in the mud, editing wildlive videos or building our own tools in a woodworking shop. That blend of skills and activities is precisely what makes this class a powerful experience, and the class draws from these six main topics:

Wildlife Cameras
Scientific Illustration

Student Work

Over the course of a Wild Lives session, students gain skills in observational scientific illustration, storytelling, and collaborative play. Creative lessons are adaptive to individual interests and include comic book design, creative writing, video editing, map-making, and performance. Wild Lives curriculum is fluid, which allows for students to propose ideas and lead discussions while providing structure on key topics such as wildlife behavior and camera use.

Students learn how to operate and place wildlife cameras on site. Through a hands-on workshop students build camera mounts, practice recording videos, analyze a site for camera placement, and observe wildlife behavior. These are some samples of videos captured by students from previous classes around the world, where they found surprising animals living right outside of their schools!

Our Instructors

Wild Lives instructors come from diverse backgrounds, but all share a love of teaching, nature, art and exploration


Alex Hornstein

Alex Hornstein lives at the corner of invention, nature and adventure. A lifelong learner, teacher, hiker and tinkerer, Alex is in a perpetual electron orbit around the planet, oscillating between his lab, classrooms and remote corners of the world. For the past five years, Alex has been building machines to help us tell stories about the natural world, and spends a lot of time thinking about how we can be active participants in our own local environments, rather than passive observers of somebody else’s. When he’s not in the lab or behind a lens, you can find him on the tops of mountains or the bottom of the ocean, but always with his wife and daughter.


Jasmine Gutbrod

Jasmine Gutbrod loves getting muddy and drawing bugs. She received her BFA in Furniture Design and MA in Art and Design Education from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) while concentrating in Nature-Culture-Sustainability studies. She has taught at RISD and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, as well as globally through the Wild Lives program. She sees art and design as valuable tools for community building and empowerment, and innovative education as a pathway for those tools.


Cristiane Caro

Cristiane Caro is a maker, scavenger, gardener and collector of seeds. She grew up exploring different ecosystems in the mountains of the Dominican Republic and its capital city of Santo Domingo. She received her BFA in Furniture Design with a concentration in Nature Culture and Sustainability Studies as well as an MA in Art and Design Education from the Rhode Island School of Design. Cristiane explores place-based research through objects while working to reimagine experiential learning. While she was an undergraduate, Cristiane co-founded the Regenerative Earth Collective, and along with it, established the Plot, an expansive garden resource for students to learn within the intersections of art, environment and community.


Reilly Blum

Reilly Blum wears many hats: artist, writer, wanderer — but above all she seeks to be a rememberer. She believes creative storytelling is the single most important human skill, foundational not only to our comprehension of the world around us, but also to the tillage and cultivation of empathy. Reilly received her BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she was an editor for v.1, the student-run publication. She has worked in Atlanta’s film industry and with the Visual Arts program at Brown University.


Annabel Lyman

Born and raised on a farm in Texas, Annabel learned the value of toiling in the dirt at an early age. She has always been fascinated by process, the 4th dimension of an object, its particular path through time. In 2021 she received her BFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design. Inspired by the rich history of New England craft that surrounds her, Annabel dreams of reviving the spirit of the American maker by organizing artists, designers and researchers into deeply rooted communities of mutual support and collaboration. She looks to the natural world as her muse, and can often be found escaping into the woods alongside her son Sam and dog Bertie.

Creative consulting and exhibition design by Hannah Liongoren of Boondock Design.

In today's world of screens and browsers, nature can often feel like it only exists somewhere else, where someone else films it for me to watch. We wholeheartedly reject this idea. Nature is all around us, and this class is our way to encourage young people to develop their own direct relationships with the natural world around them.