West Virginia. Master Naturalist Class
||RECORDING, SHARING, AND PRESERVING WHAT YOU
||Encourage students to collect data in the form of notes, photos, and
specimens, and insure that this information is permanently preserved and made available
for use by others.
||Spring, summer, fall
||For demonstration: pencils, technical pen, crow quill pen, India ink, disposable technical pen, "Rite
in the Rain" pen and notebooks, field notebook in use, various
field data forms, various specimen labels. For field exercise:
Field data form for each student, field guides, topographic maps and
||The student will gain a basic understanding of
- the value of his/her observations, collections, and data.
- the importance of accurate, detailed, complete notes
and specimen labels, and high quality specimens.
- the fact that his sketches are for information, not art.
- the systematic description of habitats.
- possible methods of sharing/preserving what they learn
through publications, databases, archived Internet discussions,
public collections, etc.
West Virginia Master Naturalist Class Outline
|| RECORDING, SHARING, AND PRESERVING WHAT YOU
||Classroom portion (2 hours)
||Field exercise (2 hours)
- Value to science of the amateur naturalist's work
- It's a big world, many organisms, few observers
- Professional/amateur collaborations (e.g., Cornell "citizen
science", North American Mycological Association, Nature Mapping,
- Contributions of amateurs in recent history
- Field notes
- Archival materials
- What to record: species lists, habitat descriptions,
organism descriptions, observations of ecology/behavior, etc.
- Field data forms
- Sketching as note-taking
- Purposeful collecting
- When is collecting harmful?
- Adequate specimens
- Adequate or better labels
- Collections are forever and for everyone
- Preserving and sharing
- Disposition of field notes and specimens
- Dissemination of data
- Publication (self, newsletters,
magazines and journals)
- Public databases and citizen science projects
Field exercise (2 hours): Select a site with an uncommon and easily recognized
plant that can be designated "rare". Make copies of the
topographic map that includes the site and copies of a field data form
(either actual or created for the purpose), one per student. Have
several floras or field guides (not all the same) that describe/illustrate
the "rare" species.
Working in teams of 2 or 3, have students fill out data sheets, recording
observers, time, weather, location, habitat data, and (after locating
the "rare" plants) population and phenological data, etc.