My shameful response to “Field Notes on Science and Nature”

28 Feb

In light of my recent review and a chat with a friend, I’ve decided to open my own field notebook to scrutiny. So, dear readers, I submit for your viewing pleasure my current and most decrepit field notebook (cover at right)!

It achieved its awesome state through rain, snow, mud, wind, river water, tree pathogen and the cruel stompings of a certain vice-chairman. Watershed Processes class may be the final nail in the coffin for my stoic No. 311 level.

Aside from the sorry state of the cover, I will also show you the sorry state of its insides! I’m working on a term project in the Young Creek watershed that investigates whether a nearby clearcut has affected the creek’s water quality, velocity, and stream channel characteristics. The preliminaries involve everything from soil tests and vegetation surveys to streambed profiles and reach maps — most of which I’ll post below.

My handwriting in these notes vacillates between pristine and illegible depending on timeframe and weather; despite this, I generally keep good notes — though much ends up coded or truncated. Instead of modifying this, I tend to immediately transcribe my raw data to a more polished format. I don’t usually have trouble deciphering things later, but I’m still trying to get in the good habit of creating a key to my codes; such good habits are not present in these notes. So, full disclosure done. Here’s the mayhem:

Inexplicably, I’m consistently able to derive a professional product from my scribbling. The first scan below is a scale map of the upper reach; the second includes streambed profiles, notes on sedimentation characteristics / cementation and vegetation, a mostly-to-scale sketch of the reach to show sampling and cross section sites, and a line drawing of the lower reach with planned cross section sites:

The juxtaposition is pretty hilarious, I think. And now I’ve kept my promise from a few posts back to publish some scans from class, as well as the one about showing a friend my ridiculous notebook. So there you have it. Done and done!

One Response to “My shameful response to “Field Notes on Science and Nature””


  1. Why I Have Not Been Writing « Xylem Up - March 17, 2012

    […] not been able to prepare the interview I have in store, but judging by the response I got to my field notes post, you’ll enjoy this more, […]

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