About Me & Resume

Emilie Bess

Emilie Bess is a biologist, science educator and visual artist.  She has led nature retreats and scientific field expeditions throughout the Pacific Northwest, as well as the Hawaiian Islands, Australia, and Central America.  Currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, Emilie is also a proud member of the executive board of Short Run Comix and Arts Festival. She is co-founder of Seattle Nature Schools, a natural science-based outdoor preschool and upper school.  Emilie holds an MS in plant biology from University of Missouri – St Louis,  a PhD in insect biology from the University of Illinois, and a Master Composter certification and Permaculture Design Certificate through Seattle Tilth Alliance. She posts tales of nature exploration and science teaching on instagram @seattlenatureadventures

Email me:
dr.emilie.bess (at) gmail.com

Resume – Art & Teaching

Select Art Pieces & Group Shows

  • “Dear Scabbie, Real Life Advice from Lice” fanzine, in progress. 
  • “Tree Holes, Tree Scars” photographs displayed as cylindrical sculpture. Crush/Repeat group show, Gay City, 2019
  • Grab Back Comics, Acts of Love and Resistance” editor (as Erma Blood). Anthology of autobiographical comics about the “#metoo” movement, 2017
  • 42” fanzine in collaboration with Kelly Froh and Mita Mahato, 2016
  • “The Nature of Fleas, Starring Dame Miriam Rothschild” A fanzine of science and biography. 2014
  • Soil Dwellers” Letterpress art book of poetry and science, in collaboration with Catherine Alice, Emily van Kley, and Melanie Valera, 2015
  • “Cargo” Illuminated X-Ray micrographs of mason bees “in utero.” Flight Path Project group show, SeaTac Airport & Seattle City Hall, 2013
  • USDA Plant Protection and Quarantine Photo Calendar, 25 insect images included over 4 years, 2011-2013

Service & Volunteer Work

  • Member of the Board of Directors, Treasurer: Short Run Seattle 2015-present
    Short Run hosts an annual comix and arts festival, creates arts education programming, and works to strengthen Seattle’s lauded comix and arts community.
  • Pansy Patch Garden Club Facilitator, Lambert House 2011-2015
    Training youth, ages 13-22, in gardening skills. Lambert House supports LGBTQIA+ youth in Seattle.

Teaching Experience

  • Head Teacher: Seattle Nature Schools 2016-2019
  • Resident Naturalist: Trailer Blaze Artist Residency, Long Beach, WA, 2018-2019
  • Workshop Leader: Short Run Seattle Summer School, 2018-2019
  • Faculty Member: The Evergreen State College, Biology curriculum 2014-2017
    • Summer 2017: “Olympic Invertebrates” with Trisha Towanda
    • Summer 2016: “Relentless Entomology” with Dr. Chris Looney
    • Summer 2015: “Entomology Field Techniques”
    • Summer 2014: “The Art and Science of Entomology”
  • Instructor: Field techniques for Customs & Border Protection Agricultural Specialists, 2010-2014
  • Invited Lecturer: Geobiology course, University of Washington, Seattle 2010-2011
  • Laboratory instructor: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 2006-2008
  • Instructor: New York Botanical Garden Adult Education.  2004
  • Laboratory instructor: University of Missouri – St. Louis. 2001-2003

Professional Experience

  • Cofounder and CFO, Seattle Nature Schools, 2015-present
  • Head of Research and Development, SpringStar Inc., Woodinville, 2015-2016
  • Entomologist (Identifier), USDA Plant Protection & Quarantine, Seattle. 2010-2014
  • Collections Manager, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. 2003-2005
  • Collections Assistant, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 2000-2001


  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. 2005-2011
    PhD in Entomology. Specialization: Evolution and Biogeography of Native Insects of Hawaii.
  • University of Missouri – St. Louis. 2001-2003
    MS in Plant Biology. Specialization: Evolution and Development of Grasses.
  • University of New Mexico. 1996-200
    BS in Biology and Spanish.
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