At a time when it seems like most adults and children are hostage to some sort of screen, it may be a perfect opportunity to start a scientific journal or field notebook. Sketching in nature can be done with easy-to-find supplies and is a valuable skill for all learners despite their perceived artistic talent level. In fact, some of the most detailed and thoughtful notebooks I have seen have been submitted by my students who proclaimed that they “hated” art, disliked English class, and were just marginally tolerant during science lessons despite my best efforts to get them to think my schoolhouse lectures were incredibly fascinating.
Also, as a field ichthyologist, my notebooks are still treasures that I have carefully packed up countless times over the (many!) years as I have moved from house to house. They have acquired much more personal meaning but less scientific relevance to me as they continue to also gather more rips, dog-eared pages, and a few splashed from my water bottle. But then again, so have I.
Continue reading to learn how keeping field notebooks and drawing scientific illustrations stimulates the mind and provides lifelong learning for all ages. Download full PDF here.