Tag Archives: fieldwork

June 19, 2012, 3:05 pm

Pretty Note-taking

Photo by Flickr user donabelandewen

I think it’s fair to say that I am a bit obsessed with the art of note-taking. I have spent more time (and money) than anyone should browsing notebooks and pens online and in stores. I buy Moleskine notebooks in bulk. And when I saw this book on an exhibitor’s table at a conference recently, I knew I had to buy it. Field Notes on Science and Nature includes essays by fourteen field scientists on how they take notes in the field, with scans of actual pages from their notebooks. Many of them include beautiful sketches of plants and animals. I love looking at other people’s notebooks – I like to see how they organize their thinking and what sorts of things they notice. But it also makes me feel envious and inadequate.

In meetings, at seminars and talks, and…

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May 24, 2012, 5:15 pm

A change of scenery

At the end of every summer, I tell my husband, “I don’t think I’m going to do fieldwork next summer. I think I’ll stay home and travel less.” He knows well enough by now to nod quietly and say, “Sure, that will be nice,” but not to get his hopes up.

Because every year, sometime around the middle of January, I start getting restless and annoyed by my comfortable, nicely appointed office. I get tired of sitting at a desk all day, writing emails and updating websites and spreadsheets and start daydreaming about being in the woods and catching birds. And then I tell my husband, “I’m thinking about going to the field in May,” and he responds, “I know.”

I pack up the car with all of my field gear and about 30 pairs of socks (you can never have too many socks in the field), a couple of laptops and grand plans to work on a couple of manuscripts during my downtime. Since I’m not at home and…

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