Field Observation Skills

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Watch Wildlife Responsibly: Wildlife Viewing Ethics – It’s a Matter of Respect.  Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.  Tips for respecting wildlife, the environment, and your neighbor.

Ethical Viewing TipsAdvice for rewarding, safe, and responsible wildlife viewing.  Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Sketchbook Memories from Walleye Cards.  Unique Artwork from the field journal of wildlife biologist Heather A. Wallis Murphy of Leavenworth, Washington.

Clare Walker Leslie: Naturalist/Artist/Author/Educator 

Introduction to the Nature Journal. Smithsonian in Your Classroom, Fall 2006.  Designed for teachers and applicable to adult learners with examples of research scientists at work.  With a subject as great as all outdoors, nature journals lend themselves to a wide range of expression. Sketches are often the most immediate way to capture the way things look. Deeper, written observations can be the basis for all kinds of creative writing.

John Muir Laws: Nature Stewardship Through Science, Education, and Art.   John writes, Keeping a journal of your observations, questions, and reflections will enrich your experiences and develop gratitude, reverence, and the skills of a naturalist. My work is to share love and connection to nature through art and science and to offer support and guidance on this path.

Drawing Plants with John Muir Laws.  This video series features John Muir Laws who will teach you some basic techniques to help you quickly and accurately draw plants, either for field sketching or careful botanical illustrations. These videos make use of paper models which you can cut out and manipulate to teach yourself the fundamentals of foreshortening leaves and flowers. Following along with your own model is much more helpful than simply watching the videos alone. These videos were sponsored by CNPS and the JiJi Foundation. Watch the videos at the John Muir Laws Youtube channel.

Opening the World Through Nature Journaling: Integrating Arts, Science, and Language Arts  2nd Edition. California Native Plant Society by John Muir Laws Emily Breunig.  An integrated classroom curriculum also useful to adults desiring the learn naturalist observation skills.

Bird Language: Revealing the Secrets of Nature. Naturalist Jon Young is the author of What the Robin Knows .  Interpreting Bird Language is an art form. The calls, postures, and other behaviors of birds convey much information to those who understand their patterns. The attentive, trained observer can deduce through bird language the location of predators and other forces on the landscape.

Getting Started with Nature Sketching and Getting Started with Nature Journaling.  Science educator and visual artist, Christine Elder, offers free eBook downloads.