e s f letters
e s f home - college of environemtnatl science and forestry

Nature Journals


Summer Camps Investigating Ecology in Neighborhood and City Environments

nature journalNature journaling is an important and inspirational component to any scientific endeavor. All field biologists use journals to record their notes and observations from the field. In fact, the most famous biologist in the history of science, Charles Darwin, derived his theory of evolution using his nature journals. On his trip to the Galapagos Islands, Darwin sketched and took notes on everything he saw, including plants, animals, topography and geography. 

ESF SCIENCE participants are given their very own nature journals in which they are encouraged to sketch and take notes on what they observe every day. Nature journaling gives youth the opportunity to “own” the material they learn and the organisms they observe. Participants are encouraged to reflect upon their experiences of the day, think critically on the things they learned, and have fun drawing and painting. 

This effective use of journaling, critical thinking, and reflection serves to enhance communication, public speaking, and literacy skills for ESF SCIENCE participants.

To learn more about the art of Nature Journaling, check out SUNY-ESF’s Nature in Your Backyard video series at http://www.esf.edu/ecenter/backyard/  Melissa Henneman and Kimberly May, graduate students in Environmental Interpretation, will guide you through the fundamentals of keeping an informative and inspirational nature journal.