Monday, December 19, 2011

Field Notes on Science and Nature Michael Canfield

 Meriwether Lewis' journal notes describing the Eulachon fish, February 24, 1806

Notebook entry from Olorgesailie, Kenya, 2003 by A.K. Behrensmeyer,
National Museum of Paleobiology, Smithsonian Institution

Field Notes on Science & Nature
edited by
Michael R. Canfield

Good morning, Pumpkinistas!

I just finished a fascinating book that I think would be worthwhile reading between now and spring. The title of the book is Field Notes on Science & Nature, edited by Michael Canfield, 2011, Harvard University Press, 297 pages, $27.95. Since I try to document my giant pumpkin seasons and other horticultural activities as best I can, and have for years, I've been curious how serious archaeologists, sociologists, paleontologists, and other field researchers use and keep field notes and journals. Now I know. Fortunately, I am happy to report, I'll need to revise my methods slightly, so it won't be necessary to try and recreate several seasons' of giant pumpkin cultivation observations and notes, in addition to ongoing projects involving succulents, bromeliads, dragonfruits, and most recently, coffee! For that alone, it was worth reading this book!

It is available on Amazon and also at the Newport Beach Public Library for those pumpkinistas in the vicinity. To give you a flavor of the book, I've included a couple of actual examples of how scientists take field notes and use journals.

Have fun!