You have had experience creating traditional field notebooks. In this lesson, you’ll have a chance to create an e-field notebook, or electronic field notebook. Before you do so, however, you should review traditional notebooks and then take a look at how to do an e-field notebook.
To begin, go to these resources:
- Notes on Keeping a Field Journal
- University of California Herbaria Archives
- Phenology: Climate Wisconsin
As you look at these resources, consider this question:
- What were the tools used by these scientists to observe and record species observations?
Next, you should explore an electronic version or e-field notebook, which could be used to record observations from the field. One example is the Bowie and Zoey’s Fantastic, Fun-filled Field Journal. Think about your answers to these questions as you go through this resource and record your answers on the e-Field Notebook student sheet:
- How is the information organized in this journal?
- Are there any dates provided? Is this a good thing? Why or why not?
- Are there any times recorded? Is this a good thing? Why or why not?
- What type of information is provided?
- Are there any pictures? What kind? Are they hand-drawn or photographs?
- How is this journal like one that you would do for field research? How is it different?
Now you should view the e-Field Notebook slide show at the top of this esheet to learn about what types of information should be in your own electronic field notebook. Once you’ve had a chance to go through this slide show, answer these questions on the student sheet:
- What kind of information do you need to gather and record for your e-field notebook?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of using these electronic tools to record observations versus traditional methods used in the field?
- Would a hybrid model of using both traditional and electronic methods be an advantage when recording observations in the field?
To gather information out in the field, you should use the Active Explorer app, which combines the mobility of a smartphone with the abilities of a computer to allow you to collect images, video, audio, notes, and other data and then go online to see what you’ve collected, study it, and use it to make an electronic notebook. To use Active Explorer, you need to create an account. Once you have that, you should find the “Quest” that your teacher has set up. (You should complete both these steps from a place where you have an Internet connection/signal.) Once you are in the Quest, you can take photos, record video or audio, draw, write, or even graph your information. The items you create get saved to a “Backpack.” When you’re ready, you can upload your material to the Active Explorer website where you can create your e-field notebook.
This esheet is a part of the Developing an e-Field Notebook for Ecological Study lesson.