Journals

Keeping a journal is one of the keys to being an engaged and observant naturalist. There are many ways to observe and record your experiences in nature. Here are some options.

OBSERVATION & JOURNAL WRITING

  • Grinnell Method journal format – see Californina Naturalist Handbook – Chapter 1, pages 16-19. Many resources online. See UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology archives.
  • BOWLING Nature Observation Activity ~ This activity is a variation of one created by naturalist John Muir Laws known as The Three “I”s. I notice…I wonder…It reminds me of…
  • Sit Spot (also Place In Nature or PIN)
  • Choose one thing to observe for the whole week, or the whole course. Observe this chosen thing using one method, or a variety of methods to see how they compare.
  • Drawing
  • Photography
  • Sound recording and/or sound maps
  • Perception map – variation of a sound map. Include all senses, including things you “feel.”
  • Sit, or walk intentionally and more slowly, and observe what comes into your awareness.
  • Make and post – iNaturalist observations; phenology observations with Nature’s Notebook.
  • 365 (366) journal – Create a long-term record of things you observe on different dates of the year. For example, these can be sheets of paper that can go in a binder, one page for each date. It can also be created electronically.

INQUIRY

  • Consider objects, organisms, environments from different perspectives, literally and figuratively.
  • How does your inquiry and exploration change with the questions you ask?
  • How do different approaches inform each other?
  • What is it?
  • Who are you?

CULTIVATING THE SENSE OF WONDER & SOLID SCIENCE ~ Prof. Ken Norris

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