The GNSI Conference offers a full week of events including:






and more!

View the schedule of events

The GNSI Conference core program is filled with lectures and hands-on classes. Each morning, plenary speakers will give one-hour talks. In the afternoon, more than 45 individual presenters will give 1 hour presentations on a variety of subjects matter and panel discussions.


Plenary speakers include Robert Johnson (renowned NC painter with paintings in many museum collections throughout Southeast), Nancy Lowe (Director of Art + Science in the Field), John Pickering (Co-founder of the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory of Great Smoky Mountains NP, Discover, and Save All Species initiative), Todd Witcher (Executive Director of Discover Life in America), Paula J. Ehrlich, DVM, PhD (President & CEO of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation), and Ron Miller (renowned astronomical artist and former art director National Air & Space Museum's Albert Einstein Planetarium).


The 50-minute presentations will cover a wide variety of topics, ranging from traditional media to cutting edge digital techniques, to the purely scientific. These presentations will feature the latest technology that can help advance your illustration career. There will be panels discussing the practicalities of maintaining a business, and on teaching scientific illustration.

For the science geeks, there will be a number of presentations designed to spark your interest in everything from water bears to osprey migration, to the farthest stars and galaxies.

We will also have a visit from Wild for Life, a center for rehabilitation of wildlife, complete with live birds and animals.

For those looking forward to "hands-on", there will be two one-hour lab tours and demos of photomicroscopy techniques.


Following the core conference, there will be half-day and full-day workshops exploring traditional and digital media in depth. Traditional workshops will draw on exciting techniques – from silk painting to paper sculpting to silverpoint and scratchboard – and exciting subjects, with three different live animal drawing classes, plein-air sketching and insect drawing from specimens. In the digital realm, we will explore augmented reality, 3D modeling, animation, digital painting techniques, and more.

We have an exciting slate of field trips planned from Whitewater Rafting down the Upper Pigeon Forge, hiking Mt. Mitchell, the highest elevation east of the Mississippi, to visiting downtown Asheville for a street art and brewery tours! The field trips are scheduled for Thursday to Saturday, and can be half day, full day, or an overnight trip. Many of the field trip offer time for outdoor sketching and nature journaling. Grab your sketchbook, hats, comfortable walking shoes, and join us for an adventure.