A catalog tracks the objects you collect. This is a separate section of your Grinnell field journal or a separate book altogether.
- It assigns a number (starting with 1) of all the specimens such as pine cones, rocks, etc. that you pick up during your field observations.
This is a separate section of your Grinnell field journal or a separate book altogether.
- At the end of the year, the print format record is closed out. The last page of a year ends and a new page is started for the new year.
Professional naturalists employed by museums donate their collections to their employing institutions to preserve specimens. It is often a condition of their employment and they have legal licenses to collect.
Please note: I only pick up fallen objects. Such as pine cones, leaves, shells, acorns, nuts, a feather, rocks, etc. I don’t pick live plants or bird’s nests. Good Outdoor Manners
Setting Up the Page
- Title each page “Catalog”
- Label or tag each specimen you collect
For each specimen tag or label. Include this same information in the catalog.
- item number
- date collected
- location of collection
- collector’s name
- identification of object
A note about identification for the hard-core scientists among us. For professional naturalist collections, a taxonomist, who specializes in species identification will identify a specimen. The field collector may not. A professional field collector may sometimes write the species scientific name on back of the label – in pencil. In case they make a mistake. But this shouldn’t stop us amateurs.
- If you draw, photograph or attach an object to your nature journal page, including this information will be very helpful in learning about your area.
- A record of where you found or collected an object makes that object more useful to your nature study.
I had a box full of leaves that I had collected over the years that had no record of where I found them. I could only say this is a “Scarlet Oakleaf”. But, couldn’t return to the tree to see if it was still there or if there was any news to find out. I eventually composted my collection. It had limited nature study value.
Buy a Guide to the Grinnell Method
My book on using the Grinnell Scientific Nature Journal method is available through lulu.com. Read more about it Grinnell Scientific Nature Journal (PDF and Paperback)