Jennifer over at Fuzzy Science is hosting Accretionary Wedge #47: Field Notes. I love somehow just the feeling of pulling out a Rite in the Rain to start sketching or commenting to myself about a textural relationship I should examine further back at home, so I decided better late than never.
One of the things I’ve noticed while teaching is that my field notes have evolved. Back when I was a student, my notes frequently only included whatever information was required by the professor:
At field camp, I was very, very good and following the directions & nothing more:
But in moving out of under someone else’s watch (and the advent of digital cameras), I find my field notes a bit messier with a higher likelihood of random commentary. Examples would include on a professional field trip where the sketches are really to orient the digital pictures that were taken:
When I teach in the field, I also find some random commentary absent elsewhere like:
-fun facts learned about students
-when we arrived & left an outcrop for planning purposes for the next year
-drawings made to explain random things the students ask about in the field
My research field notes include the most “color” since I usually assume no one else cares what I’ve included. The following has 1 page of a cm by cm survey I was doing of the variation across an outcrop (really thrilling) and the other is just the random stuff that happened that day in the field:
My fieldbook collection is broken down by what institute or what the research project was. Some are bursting at the seems while others have relatively little in them. But I wanted to keep things easy to find, so that when use pictures from a field trip in 07 while teaching at Vassar, I can pull the right book quickly off the shelf.
(my masters field notes appear to be somewhere else currently… hmm, have to look through some boxes)
Weirdly enough, today I cracked open a brand new field notebook to take with me off to the SERC workshop on Saturday, since we’re supposedly going on a field trip Sunday. (I say supposedly, since thunderstorms & lightening is predicted and there is a limit to the statement “we’ll go out no matter what the weather,”)