Justine Lee Hirten is a skilled illustrator and wildlife rehabilitator from Connecticut. She studied science illustration under the guidance of artists-in-residence at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago where she also worked as an intern in their ornithology lab preparing, organizing, and illustrating specimens. She then went to graduate from the California State University, Monterey Bay Science Illustration program in 2013. She believes that research, conservation, and education about birds is an essential part of preserving the natural world and that birds are some of the best ambassadors for nature.
Justine spent time at the Lab as a Bartels Illustrator in 2013, where she created graphics for our All About Birds newsletter, our BirdNotes brochures, and Living Bird magazine. She returned to the Lab again in 2017 to offer her artistic talents as a volunteer for an article in Living Bird to illustrate the unusual feeding habits of North American warblers on their wintering grounds. “The warbler piece was significant for me,” she wrote. “I really enjoyed the research about the habitat and behavior for this project, and I also enjoyed the collaboration. It was a very interesting and unique experience.”
Justine now teaches at the Science Illustration Graduate Certificate Program at California State University, where she instructs in digital media, zoological illustration, and professional practices to help students start their careers as science illustrators.