Monthly Archives: March 2013

Reflecting, Debating, and Field Note Taking

Wilderness Writers kayaking on Roanoke River

Roanoke River Paddle Trip Reflection (10 minutes)

What stands out to you from our trip this past weekend?  What did you learn about wilderness, yourself, or others?  What is the value of the Roanoke River?

Full Group Discussion (10 minutes)

Roanoke River Debate (60 minutes)

Scenario:  You are about to attend a meeting with various groups whose interests intersect with the Roanoke River.  You and your team will prepare the best arguments possible to defend your position and argue for your vision of the Roanoke’s value and future.  You may not agree with the position you are given, and that’s ok.  It makes you a stronger rhetorician when you practice arguing against something you believe in.

In your group, you will talk, do some research if necessary, and decide:

  • What is the mission of your group/ organization?
  • What values does the Roanoke River hold for your organization (use Bergstrom et. al)?
  • What does your organization want in terms of a long-term vision for the river? Why?
  • Why should your group’s vision be recognized, honored, and granted?
  • How might this vision be contested by other groups?

Roanoke River Partners: Taylor, Chris

Virginia Uranium, Inc.: Daniel, Elanie, Kelly

Roanoke River Basin Association: Kate, Zach

Triangle Municipalities: Stephen, Erin

Kapstone Paper: Mallory, Katherine, Sydney

NC Wildlife Resources Commission: Corrie, Ryan

Debrief (10 minutes)

Discussion of Field Note Archive and Reflection (Due April 3)

  • 3 Complete Sets of Field Notes (at least one using Grinnell method steps 1 & 2) Posted to Blog and Tagged “Field Note Archive”
    • (Note, you must also put a Tag Cloud Widget on your blog so that readers can click the Tag Category)
  • Screen shots of the Field Notes you contributed to NOAH tagged “Field Note Archive”
  • +/- 1000 word analytical reflection that accomplishes the following:
    • Outlines what you think is essential in Field Note reporting and points to examples in your own notes that illustrate these practices.
    • Discusses the purpose and function of field notes as you understand them, pointing specifically to what you were able to see, learn, and understand through the practice of taking field notes.
    • Explores how the organization of field notes and field note systems (such as Grinnell) forgrounds certain types of knowledge-making.  In other words, what does the structure of the system reveal about values held by field scientists?  AND what system do you prefer and why?

Field Notes for the Citizen Scientist (45 minutes)

Explore Project NOAH and participate as a citizen scientist, uploading your field notes.


Field note archive and reflection due April 3, posted and tagged on your blog.  Read Beautiful Data: The Art and Science of Field Notes and Look At Your Fish to help you think through and compose your analytic reflection.  Feel free to quote or cite from these sources sparingly, but remember to cite according to an accepted style (Chicago, APA, MLA).

Also read  Aldo Leopold, “Wilderness” and Noss, “Soul of the Wilderness,” available on the course readings page.  Be prepared to discuss how these perspectives contribute to our ongoing conversations about wilderness and its values. On this post, comment on the following: how do these articles influence or impact your emerging ethic about wilderness values?