PROFILE: Dolores R. Santoliquido
When it comes to capturing the visual essence of a plant or animal species—what enables an observer to distinguish it from any other species—no photograph or written description can match a good line drawing provided by illustrator Dolores R. Santoliquido. Possessing a natural talent for drawing and trained as a sculptor, Santoliquido has a passion for the outdoors that helped propel her into a career as a natural science illustrator. Today she illustrates signage art for zoos, botanical gardens, and conservation parks—in addition to illustrating books and magazines concerned with natural science subject matter.
Illustrator, painter, and teacher, Santoliquido is committed to what she does. She says, “I consider myself fortunate to do the work I do. Often I get to experience things and situations that someone restricted to the responsibilities of a conventional job cannot. There are many aspects of my work that are extremely rewarding: to work in the field, to visually document a species of plant or animal that is rare, or to see others learn from an illustration I completed for a conservation park or botanical garden. There are also aspects that are quite sad, when you return to a site where a particular species once flourished to find it diminished or no longer in existence there for one reason or another. It is also quite disturbing to realize that with every species that disappears there are numerous other species that are interdependent, and the disappearance of one may cause the disappearance of countless others."
This is an excerpt from THE BIODIVERSITY CRISIS: LOSING WHAT COUNTS, edited by Michael J. Novacek, a publication of the New Press. © 2000 American Museum of Natural History. To order the book, call 1-800-233-4830, or go tohttp://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/buybook/
More About This Resource...
This online article, from The Biodiversity Crisis: Losing What Counts, profiles a leading natural science illustrator. It takes a quick look at:
- The variety of Dolores Santoliquido's work, which includes illustrating books, magazines, and signage.
- Both the rewarding and the disheartening aspects of visually documenting rare species.
Supplement a study of ecology or biodiversity with an activity drawn from this essay about a natural science illustrator.
- Ask students how they think an illustrator can contribute to the study of rare species.
- Send students to this online article, or print copies of the essay for them to read.
- Have them write a one-page reaction to the article, focusing on the work Santoliquido does.