The Grinnell Scientific Nature Journal (PDF)


For next-level nature journal keepers. Start keeping nature notes that will be valuable for scientific study now and in the future.

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Also available in paperback.

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The Grinnell Scientific Nature Journal For Citizen Scientists, Students, and Nature Journal Keepers provides easy-to-understand directions on creating detailed field notes using the method created by Joseph Grinnell, the first director of the University of California Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

Grinnell create the system so researchers could easily find and use valuable information after collecting it. Even with the use of computers, this method organizes handwritten and scribbled field notes. In use for a hundred years, the Grinnell Method has proven its’ excellence with thousands of researchers.

Who Benefits from Using the Grinnell Method?

Students who are studying STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math)

Nature journal keepers who wish to donate their valuable notes to local libraries, environmental centers, and historical societies. 

Learn How

  • to create scientifically useful notes
  • organize research information to easily find it later
  • to participate in citizen science
  • use animal and plant ethograms
  • record phenology
  • create a seasonal round

The Four Components

The Grinnell Scientific Nature Journal covers each of the four components of the method.

  1. The Pocket Notebook – is carried on all field trips, hikes, and while observing in your backyard. This is your primary note receptacle.
  2. The Journal – organizes the notes collected in the pocket notebook.
  3. The Species Account – keeps your observations of specific species or individual plants or animals easily accessible.
  4. The Catalog – tracks the objects and specimens you collect.

Overview and explanation of the components

Phrase for Grinnell Scientific Nature Journal

Thank you so much for all of the information you have on your site! It is so accessible, and I expect to direct my students to your resources on a regular basis

Nancy Holcroft Benson

“You’ve done a beautiful job explaining the Grinnell method.”

Amanda B. Braley

 “excellent piece on keeping a field journal”


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