Conduct your observations over one species in a natural habitat for two hours.

1. Conduct your observations over one species in a natural habitat for two hours. Note: this does not include a nature video, your home, people at the beach, classmates or relatives, or domesticated animals.

Your observation is only over 1 species and not multiple species and it should be on wild species found in a natural habitat. For example, if you are observing egrets, that’s all you’re observing. You don’t also observe alligators, herons, ibises, etc.

The following are approved locations for observation:

· Beach

· Nature park: state or county

· Pond, lake or river

· Local zoo

· Local aquarium

While observing, record your observations using the following guidelines:

· Record your observations electronically in a Microsoft Word document, or transfer your written notes to a Microsoft Word document following your observations. You will be submitting your observations in a Dropbox folder here in the online course (see below). All observations will be checked for originality / duplication among the group.

· Start each observation with a time, date and weather conditions

· Record the time at 10 minute intervals throughout the observation for a total of 2 hours.

· Record simply what is going on in the area during your time there. Was there one individual or many of the same species? Was the species you are observing interacting with other organisms? If so, was it another organism of the same or different species? Was the species you are observing sleeping, eating, etc. Do not make any judgments in the observation.

· Include at least 5 pictures taken on site of the observation and the species you are observing.

2. Plan your observation schedule. Your schedule may consist of two single-hour observations, or one 2 hour observation. Make sure to note time, date and weather conditions regardless of schedule.

3. Read the following resources to learn about systematic observations:

· “What is Naturalistic Observation?” article by Kendry Cherry

· “Systematic Observation” article by B. Sommer

· “Outdoor Action Guide to Nature Observation & Stalking” article by Rick Curtis

· Sample observations blog by the Montana Natural History Center

· Observation Examples


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