As we awaken back into a new era of possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead. It is time to rejoin and realign to our true nature. The old ways are held in gratitude. They were the paths that brought us here. Now is a time for conjuring new ways of thinking and new ways of being, and make Connecting to the outdoors 2nd Nature ~ Again!
Hi! I’m Sue.
Welcome to 2nd Nature ~ Connections LLC. It's been an exciting time pulling this new adventure together so I can continue doing what I love: connecting people to Nature!
Through my entire life I've studied nature, growing up on the shores of Cape May County. For over 40 years I’ve been a professional naturalist. I was a marine educator at the Ocean Life Aquarium in Atlantic City, The National Aquarium in Baltimore, and the New Jersey Marine Sciences Consortium. I’ve been the program director at New Jersey Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May, the Environmental Educator at The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor, and the onboard naturalist for two back bay tour boat companies: The Skimmer and Starfish. For a short time I also worked in aquaculture, was a biology lab assistant at the local community college, a Girl Scout Outdoor Skills Trainer and troop leader, and had a long-term substitute teacher position in a local school system.
Ever since I was a child I've always been doodling and dabbling in art, writing, and a variety of crafts. And I strive to bring these skills into my environmental science programs. Several years ago I took up nature journaling which dovetails art, science, and mindfulness nicely. In March 2022, I had the pleasure to be interviewed by both Marley Peifer on his "Nature Journal Show" and by John Muir Laws on the "Nature Journal Educators' Forum" to talk about nature "junk" journaling and "Noticing Nature", a nature journaling-based class I've been teaching for the past few years.
It’s been a wild life and I’m not done yet! I’ve created 2nd Nature ~ Connections to take my life’s work on a slight tangent going forward: I want to infuse traditional science-based environmental education with opportunities for people to connect, genuinely sense their connection to the natural world on which we depend, and creatively express that connection.
What does “2nd Nature” or “second nature” mean? What thoughts and ideas does that evoke? When something, an action, a reaction, a thought or feeling is second nature, what does that imply? Often it means "instinct, something done or thought habitually, intuitively".
“Second” also implies time. Taking time, slowing down, and being present is required. I have witnessed profound change in hundreds of children and adults just by taking as little as twenty seconds to let themselves settle into their surrounding natural world! Twenty seconds! ~ less than half a minute! ~ a concept I learned from dear friend and master naturalist Jane Kirkland.
“Connections” has been defined as coming together or being together; joining with; reaching out; seeing the sameness; feeling of relationship; alignment. All of Nature is connected. There are no clear distinctions in the cycling of seasons, of climates, of the air, water, and energy systems that sustain all life. We as a species need to feel this relationship and belonging again.
This is what 2nd Nature ~ Connections is all about.
Please join me on this path.
Let’s make our Connections ~ 2nd Nature.
~ Sue Slotterback
Some of my favorite things:
Drawing, writing, a good cup of tea, camping, reading, full moons & sunsets, walking the beach, riding my trike, working on Chacha the Outdoor Inn my converted motorhome, solitude, misty foggy days, noticing the changes each season, peanut butter and pickle sandwiches (and peanut butter, lettuce and mayo, too! - both with a touch of onion powder :p), gardening for wildlife, stillness, kayaking, stormy days, walking in the woods, time spent with family & friends, campfires, sewing, early mornings, low tides, high tides, cookies, traveling to experience new (to me) natural areas ...
Thanks for always going the extra “several miles” in creating hands-on learning experiences for your groups. Can’t wait for more chances to learn from you! ~ Ruth Niesen
You are a phenomenal teacher! Thanks for your time. ~ Cecelia Brennan
I really appreciate your knowledge, teaching, and your love of the subject. I look forward to seeing you when I return for more encounters with nature. ~Kathryn Wilson
Big woohoo from the gang! Cant wait to start classes with Miss Sue again! ~ Stephanie
Thank you so much for a wonderful and informative overnight this past weekend. I've received many emails from families since we returned who have heard all about the interesting things the girls did and learned. My daughter has not stopped talking about the aquarium and beach walk. It was a fantastic experience for both the children and adults - I'm so appreciative for your dedication, knowledge, and kindness. ~Sara Kraus
I'm so inspired, and energized and wow'd by all the wisdom and ideas Sue shared. Wonderful interview and topic! ~ Karen Colson
A big THANK YOU to scientist Sue Slotterback for another great experience at The Wetlands Institute in Stone Harbor yesterday. Your heart is totally into what you do! ~Nina Saber
I SO RESPECT YOUR KNOWLEDGE, DEDICATED WORK AND RESPECT FOR NATURE AND EDUCATING OTHERS.
I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED THE EXPERIENCE. ~Donna Levin