Testimonials

What people are saying about Melinda:

“Melinda’s approach is enthusiastic and warm.  She visited my class via Zoom last Friday to introduce my fifth graders to nature journaling. Melinda led the children through the process that engaged their thinking and their senses, The lesson was organized and very accessible.  Her authentic interest in the students’ questions and work was so encouraging.  My students commented to me afterwards how much fun that lesson was. “

Giulie Garland, teacher

“When our class signed up for an online nature journaling class with Ms. Nakagawa, we had no idea how incredible an experience we would have together. Not only was it amazingly informative, but our students also found it to be wonderfully relaxing.  Ms. Nakagawa inspired our students to head out into nature and become curious about the world around them.  We loved this experience and look forward to welcoming her back soon!”

Jamie Allaire, 7th grade teacher Monterey Bay Charter School

‘I have just recently discovered Melinda’s website and her Zoom Meeting workshops. At first, I was intimidated, but her friendly demeanor and effectively-focused teaching filled me with curiosity and confidence. Her workshop was followed by an immediate assignment to be shared an hour later with workshop participants. Melinda encourages sharing and response from students in an amazingly comfortable way. Experienced artists and novices participate within the very same workshop…and she miraculously creates an environment where we are ALL equal participants. I HIGHLY recommend her brilliant and warm approach to teaching.’

Walter Mahoski, Art teacher, retired

“I was hearing bird songs completely differently because of one hour spent with Melinda. I’m inspired to draw a sound map, and I never thought I’d hear bird songs like this. The birds sounded like patterns of colors in art. I could close my eyes and feel the aural vibration of colors and patterns, it mattered less about which kind of bird was making it but rather how it made me feel. Melinda has changed my perspective of the world. I’ve seen a lot of nature journal teachers in my work and she has something unique- perfect two halves of the science and art brain. There’s no one like her”

Juliet Pool   

“Melinda Nakagawa leads my nature journal club. She combines scientist smarts, teacher wisdom, and friendly wonder to inspire us to look at the world in new ways. She is kind, generous, and funny. I greatly respect her understanding of the natural world and creative approaches for learners of all ages.”

Ken Gjeltema

“Melinda has a friendly and non-intimidating way of teaching that speaks to learners at every level.  She combines her scientific background with a desire to teach us to observe, respect, better understand, and appreciate the natural world that surrounds us.  She does this in a way that “demystifies” the process and practice of nature journaling, making it accessible and fun for her students.”

Cyndi Vasallo

“I reached out to Melinda when I had to suddenly teach my first online class. She is a kind, compassionate and wise professional who helped me gain confidence. Thanks to her, I was able to quickly adapt to the new platform, gain insights, helpful perspectives and problem solve. My teaching, as a result, was more relaxed and the students benefited as well. Melinda helped me to trust myself and my own abilities. In addition, she has a wealth of scientific training and knowledge to advise teachers and educators in those fields. I highly recommend Melinda as a coach and mentor.”

~M.N., High school art teacher

“My daughters (aged 8 and almost 5) and I joined Melinda’s virtual nature journaling class Sunday morning, and we had such a sweet experience together!  Sitting in the garden with our journals listening to the sounds, comparing similar plants, and learning as we drew and colored.  Melinda had great suggestions for how to expand our observations and questioning to grow our awareness as we worked.  Thank you for this wonderful offering!  Highly recommend it.”

Jenny Johnston, Nature instructor, acupuncturist and herbalist

“This workshop is SOOO much fun. I have been away from drawing for a long time. Melinda creates the IDEAL environment for artists and beginners. Everybody is welcomed and encouraged. HIGHLY recommended!!! ”

Participant, Monterey Bay Nature Journal Club, workshop

“Melinda is awesome. She always gives an energetic and enthusiastic presentation. She clearly has a passion about nature and shares it in a generous way. “

David K.  Birding class

“I’d recommend this to anyone interested in nature journaling. Melinda hosts a group in nearby Monterey and is an excellent guide. She’s a marine biologist and has been leading groups for a long time. I was in her meeting this past Sunday and really enjoyed it. Check it out.”

Brian H.,  Organizer of The Great Valley Nature Journal Club

“Today’s nature journal outing felt akin to falling down a rabbit hole. I was way out of my comfort zone, but Melinda peeled me off of the ceiling and gave me some much needed helpful hints. My favorite: find something that calls to you. Melinda is a fantastic teacher and her passion for connecting with nature is infectious. After spending time nature journaling with her, I see everything with a fresh and wondering perspective.”

Jaimie Campbell, Artist, Nature Journaling class

“ Melinda is great 
at giving practical tips for walking in nature and noticing birds,
sounds, plants–she has the scientific knowledge–and she’s warm and 
fun to be around, too.
”

Michele B., OLLI Birding class

“Melinda was so great with my daughter who is very shy. She loved the class, the area, climbing trees and being in nature”

Parent of Tinkergarten student

“We really enjoyed Melinda’s style of birding. When we spotted a bird, instead of naming the bird right away she had us note the characteristics we were seeing to help us come to an answer ourselves.”

Brian P., Birding class

“Though we have been casual bird watchers for years, we were still able to learn many new techniques in Melinda’s class, like maintaining a field journal for the observation and identification of birds in the wild. We look forward to the next session. “

Ron and Hadassah, Birding class

“Melinda’s enthusiasm for her subject matter is contagious. She is an excellent presenter, who is not only very well informed about marine life, but has an energy that carries along her audience. Just thinking back about the whole experience makes me smile.”

Phyllis Mazzocchi, Tidepools class

“Thank you again for a wonderful birding class. I really enjoyed your easeful way of sharing fun facts about our local feathered friends.”

Teresa Howard, Birding class

“The class and I thoroughly enjoyed our time [on the nature hike] and particularly thought you were the best guide ever. We loved learning about nature and wildlife, and especially the demonstration of how to tell the age of trees, learning about pine needle tea, the breeding colony of birds, and the vulture tree. This was the best hike and tour I have been on during the many years of coming with this class. ”

Vivienne Gray, Frost Middle School, Nature Hike