About Our Logo:

Illustrating flora and fauna is at the heart of what we do at Michigan Science Art. The MSA logo (designed by Katie Nealis) expresses the range of our subjects, fossil and living, as well as depicting some species that are dear to Michiganders:

• The trilobite (lower left) is one of four arthropod groups to appear in the wake of the Cambrian Explosion. Unlike the ancestors of modern crustaceans, arthropods and insects, the trilobite never made it out of the Permian Era. Its ubiquitous presence in the geological record, including the famous Burgess Shale, has made it the most studied and well-loved marine fossil invertebrate.

• The threatened dwarf lake iris, Iris lacustris (lower right), is endemic to the upper Great Lakes, growing most abundantly just above waterline on the northern shores of Lakes Michigan and Huron. After dauntless lobbying by state botanists the diminutive blue iris was officially declared Michigan State Wildflower in 1998. It remains vulnerable to shoreline development.

• The lake sturgeon, Acipenser fulvescens (upper right) is a Great Lakes bottomfeeder that once provided copious amounts of flesh, caviar, isenglas and even oil for steamboats. Like many other Great Lakes fishes, its numbers have been much reduced by overfishing, pollution and hydroelectric schemes.

• The endangered neotropical migrant Kirtland's warbler, Dendroica kirtlandii (upper left), breeds only in the Jack Pine plains of north-central Michigan, where it builds its nest on the well-drained Grayling Sands. Management of cowbird parasitism and controlled burns have helped stabilize the population of this extreme habitat specialist.

Naturally MSA's interests extend far beyond the biota of our own pleasant penninsulas and the lakes that define them. Our work includes illustration in the medical and physical sciences (see "What do we do?"). It encompasses everything from bacteria to brachyosaurs to blue whales, and it embraces all the wondrous witch's butters, Hercule's clubs, ebony boghaunters, frecklebelly madtoms, puddingwives, mudpuppies, gilliwasps, thickknees, 'o'o's, aye-ayes and bonobos in between.