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Ba Rea

Ba Rea

author, illustrator, editor

Ba Rea watches a Carolina mantis on goldenrod at Kiptopeke State Park, VA, October 2005
photo by Bob Fry


All of her life, Ba Rea has been passionate about the natural world — enjoying, investigating, learning and sharing what she discovers.  These days she lives in the woods on the Knobs over Union, West Virginia (the most beautiful place in the whole world). Ba has researched, drawn, photographed and written about many different plants, animals and natural phenomena. She has worked with a wide variety of organizations, including Indian Creek Watershed Association, Kenai Fjords National ParkAudubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, Maine Audubon, Audubon Society of New Hampshire, Monarchs in the Classroom, Lifestrands, Ridge2000, Wings of Wonder, ASSET, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Frick Environmental Center, the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, and the Anita Purves Nature Center in Urbana, Illinois. Ba’s favorite creatures are monarch butterflies, but praying mantids, toads, American eels, puffins, and whales are all close contenders! Ba has been raising and releasing monarchs since 1970.   She has been introducing monarchs to school children and teachers since 1986. Ba teaches a class, Monarchs Butterflies in Your Classroom Here and Now, for teachers interested in using monarchs in the classroom. It is offered for Pennsylvania Intermediate Unit credits and Act 48 hours, every August through the Pittsburgh Children's Museum.

Ba earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Illinois, in 1979, in an Individual Plan of Study, called Visual Literacy, which combined studies in illustration, educational psychology and natural history. In order to better understand how children learn and how teachers teach, Ba completed an elementary teaching certification program at Chatham College in 1996. She continued her studies at Chatham College, earning her Masters in Children’s and Adolescent Writing (MACAW), with an emphasis on natural history writing, in 2001.

Ba Rea’s published work includes:
Co-authored with C. J. Rea:
There Have Always Been Puffins. Bas Relief Publishing Group, 1997.
A Whale’s Tale from the Supper Sea. Bas Relief Publishing Group, 1999
Illustrated a web based story by C.J. Rea for the Kenai Fjords National Park Website:
Kenai, the Kid, 2000

Designed, illustrated and co-authored, with Leah M. Spink
My Monarch Investigation, a science notebook, and The Great Monarch Investigation, the corresponding science curriculum, encouraging students in 4th through 8th grades to learn how science works using the monarch life cycle. Lifestrands, Inc, 2001, 2002. ( Lifestrands closed in 2009. The remaining copies of My Monarch Investigation are available from the Monarch Lab Store. I am considering re-printing it.)

Designed and co-authored, with Karen Oberhauser and Mike Quinn:
Milkweed, Monarchs and More, A Field Guide to the Invertebrate Community in the Milkweed Patch. Bas Relief Publishing Group, 2003; Bas Relief, LLC 2010 and 2011.

Co-authored with Liz Goerhing and others:
Student Experiments At Sea (SEAS), a web based curriculum which invites middle school students to design experiments to be included in scientific cruises to the Mid-Ocean Ridge. Ridge2000, 2003.

Authored and illustrated:
Monarch Come Play with Me.  Bas Relief Publishing Group, 2005-2006.
¡Monarca Ven! Juega Conmigo, Bas Relief, LLC 2011.
Learning from Monarchs, A Teachers’ Handbook, Bas Relief, LLC 2010.