field notebooks

The field notebook is a critical tool in many subdomains of ecology. Here are three elements that I have found really useful for synthesis, discovery, and recovery of ideas from experiences outside.

  1. Summary of key observations. I try to capture at least 3-5 patterns or changes evident within a system.
  2. Questions. This is the most important element. Discovery happens from asking questions and practice
  3. Visual, qualitative, and quantitative data. Draw, record, write down what you see. Use this process to explore structure of the final data you will collect.

Here is a nice example of ten simple rules for similar notebooks: http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004385

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