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  • Writer's pictureIsaac yelchin

Interview with Sadie Baim

When a young scholar like Sadie shows up, eyes filled with the desire to learn, we at the Havasi Wilderness foundation feel most proud. During the pandemic, schools were closed to students and many had at-home educational experiences. In 2021 our Foundation and the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society helped to fund a publication for students to be used during teleconference educational sessions.

First edition Place Based Journal

This journal was distributed to the students by the Resource Conservation District of the Santa Monica Mountains (RCDSMM). While attending a teleconference wildlife field trip, each student had a journal to use at home. This allowed the students to learn about nature through observation of nature in and around their home. From a spider in the corner to a bird flying by, this journal opened up a new world for students to explore, right from the comfort of their own home. This is something everyone can and should do, whether you be an elementary student or a full grown adult! There is always something alive everywhere you go, take some time and observe it, and I guarantee you will learn something new!

Students on a recent Education Program with the RCDSMM in Topanga State Park

A 5th grade student, who took this message to heart is Sadie Baim. She is 10 and attends Willow Elementary School in Agoura Hills. She is a neighbor to the founders of the Havasi Wilderness Foundation, and one day they gave Sadie a place-based journal. Her mother reported that Sadie was inseparable from the journal and worked on many activities as she began to experience journaling on her own.

Upon learning of this response, Marilyn Fordney and Alex Havasi of the Havasi Wilderness Foundation decided to visit Sadie and interview her about the experience.

Question: What did you do when you began using the journal?

Sadie: I took the journal outside and created sketches on what I saw.

Question: What was your favorite medium?

Sadie: I liked to draw nature.

Question: How did you feel when you began journaling?

Sadie: It was fun for me.

Question: What did you learn about nature from this experience?

Sadie: I became much more aware of my surroundings at all times and began to observe the

details of nature.

Question: Do you have any comments to tell other students?

Sadie: “It is pretty cool.”

During the visit, Marilyn Fordney of the Havasi Wilderness Foundation awarded Sadie with a

Scientific Study Participation medal as shown in this photograph. This journal has definitely

sparked Sadie’s curiosity about the world around her. We hope that everyone can learn to be like Sadie and grasp the opportunity to explore the world around them. There is always something new to see and learn about.

Honorary Journaler Sadie Baim with version 2 Place Based Journal & Medal

Photos Taken by Alex Havasi and RCDSMM

Isaac Yelchin is foremost a herpetologist. He studies lizards, frogs, newts, and the like. Specifically, he spends all day and night thinking about what it is like to be an animal. What are the animals thinking about? What is their perspective? When he should be working, he sits and stares at his pet lizard asking himself these questions.

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