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How to Keep a Naturalist's Notebook Paperback – December 15, 2009
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From the Author
How to Keep a Naturalist's Notebook was developed as a textbook for "Introductory Fieldcraft," a course I teach in the Honors College at Texas Tech University which focuses on learning to observe nature. It provides introductory guidance for drawing and writing about our experiences with nature. In it you will find tips on field sketching, writing, learning to identify birds and wildflowers, and even what you might want to carry into the field. If you feel intimidated by keeping a nature journal, either because you don't know where to start, or you feel you lack certain skills, then this book can provide some guidance for you.
About the Author
Susan Leigh Tomlinson is a geologist, writer, artist, and faculty member of Texas Tech University, where she teaches courses in the Environment and Humanities minor in the Honors College. She lives in Lubbock, Texas.
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It also contains very useful info on field sketching, and has simple practices to help you prepare to get outdoors and sketch animals that may move or disappear quickly. The author give you tips on what information you might like to record, how to use field guides, and what details about a subject you may need in your notes to later identify it.
This is an excellent book aimed at college aged people and above. Although I enjoyed Clare Walker Leslie's "Keeping A Nature Journal", I found Susan Leigh Tomlinson's "How To Keep A Naturalist's Notebook" more concise, to the point, but much more helpful to me. The difference may be that Leslie takes more of educators viewpoint, while Tomlinson is a paleontologist, and has a different perspective on journaling.
I would choose this over the Clare Leslie Walker's book, which seems more artsy than practical.
She knows the important distinction between drawing and merely taking a picture (something that I rely too heavily on). When you draw, you notice details: are the leaves are opposite or alternate? does the flower have 6 petals or 5? is the salamander is all black or does it have a stripe down its back.
This book is short, intelligent, simple, well-written, and illustrated with examples both black and white and in color taken from both the author's journals and those of her students.
If you hike, if you like to journal, if you want ideas for how to journal, this book is the best on the market.
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I was looking for something on how to record field notes and this book helped.Read more