Fall 2011 Newsletter, Recording Nature

The Fall 2011 newsletter focused on the art of journaling. Richard Carstensen wrote, in an article titled Recording Nature: Field Journalling as Raven Goes Global, “Journaling is my work and play. It’s how I taught myself to be a naturalist, and one of the ways I share observations and insights with others.”  Kathy Hocker provided an example of her sketchbook journaling, and naturalist Kevin O’Malley provided an essay on his experiences in Nature Studies.

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From the lead article:

“I started my first journal shortly before moving to Alaska in 1977. Journaling is my work and play. It’s how I taught myself to be a naturalist, and one of the ways I share observations and insights with others. When I realized I was on the path to becoming a naturalist, I took usually 5 to 20 numbered field notes per day, each about a different species or phenomenon. At that point, I wanted mainly to learn the names of things, the progression of seasons, how habitats changed through the years, and who ate whom. I focused for the first 12 years on one square mile at the mouth of Eagle River. This tight geographic focus is probably typical of the early training of naturalists. Because we seek at least entry-level familiarity with such a breadth of disciplines, it’s simplest to stick to one intimately known landscape. Maybe, naturalists’ only specialties are their places.”