field notes

Introduction to Field Notes

The first step of the scientific method is to gather observations. We will do this by taking field notes. Field notes are observations of nature

they might be observations of plants, or animals, or even the soil or topography. Whatever you are observing, your field notes should always begin with certain information:

Location: Give your location with enough detail so that other people could locate it.

Date: The month, day and year.

Time: Time your observations begin and end.

Weather: A description of the weather, including approximate temperature and any precipitation or cloud cover.

Habitat: A brief description of the habitat

For example: How tall are the trees? What

are the dominant kinds of trees or plants? Or is it an open prairie?

Are there any human built structures? After this standard information, your field notes will also consist of whatever you observe:

Take detailed notes of what you see.

ï‚·Sketch the plants and animals you observe or take a photo and write detailed descriptions.

ï‚· Write about any patterns you notice, any behavior you observe, or anything that makes you curious. The more detail, the better.

ï‚·Use indirect observation: write about any smells, sounds, etc…

You will observe the same outdoor location

(i.e. a park, your backyard, around the campus, etc…)

for a total of three different days. You will submit your typed observations (including photos) to the dropbox located in D2.

Photo Label

All photographs taken as part of a lab assignment will require to have an official photo label.Use this photo label for

ALL photos that are submitted as part of a lab assignment.

If you are taking a photo of an animal (since animals move) it might be unlikely that you can get the label and the animal in the same picture

. If this happens then take a selfie of you and your label in the same spot your animal was when you took the picture. In the label provided below you will need to include your Name

(first and last name)


Student ID # and Lab Title in pen to complete the label for each specific lab

List of Approved Natural Areas

Below is a list of approved natural areas in the greater Houston area. The areas indicated below were selected

because of the presence of native plant and wildlife.

All of the wilderness areas indicated below are free for public

use. Any wilderness area, similar to and including the Lonestar Cyfair outdoor learning lab, at your college campus

may be used for this lab. Any exceptions to this list must be approved by the instructor.

Remember to take a selfie at the location you select to verify your visit.

Please be aware that some areas may be more remote and therefore more dangerous. Use caution and common

sense when visiting any natural area; especially when travel

ing alone or at time periods of low traffic. Additionally,

remember that wildlife should be respected and viewed from a safe distance, please refra

in from veering off marked paths.Natural Area Website Location LoneStar Cyfair Campus Outdoor Learning Lab


-classes.htm Cyfair Zube park


– Park Hockley Montgomery County Preserve


-preserve Woodlands Katy Prairie Cons. Viewing Plat.

-ranch/#MattCook Katy Mary Jo Peckham park


-park Katy Houston Arboretum*

610 & I-10 Hermann Park Conservancy

Houston Edith L. Moore Nature Sanctuary*


-moore.html Memorial Bear Creek Park (Trails)



– park Katy George Bush Park (Trails)


-park Katy Bellaire Nature Discovery Center


-goals/Bellaire Sheldon Lake State Park


-lake Sheldon Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center

Humble Mercer Arboretum Humble W. Goodrich Jones State Forest


-forest/Conroe San Bernard Nat.

Wildlife Refuge

Brazoria Big Thicket National Preserve

Kountze Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Anahuac Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

Freeport Attwater Prairie Chicken Refuge

Eagle Lake Sam Houston National Forest Waverly

-forest/districts/?cid=fswdev3_008443Texas City Prairie PreserveTexas City…




Extensive list of alternate locations:

Other locations may be approved by contacting your instructor. State parks are always approved, but

have a cost associated with visiting (the reason they are not included on this list).

*Areas where tours are available or common areas frequently visited by the general population

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