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.
- 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.
- 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