pipeline center for sustainability  Biological Sciences, Santa Barbara City College

Biology 130: Methods in Field Biology

Field Notebook Grading Criteria (240 pts total)

You will ned a field notebook for the course. We ask that you use the Rite in the Rain Environmental Field Notebook. It resists rain and is a standard field book used by most field biologists. It also floats.


rite in the rain field notebook rite in the rain field notebook pages


field notebook


Criteria for each entry (We will grade you on your first entry separately using these criteria to give you feedback for future entries- see schedule for due date) Possible points
Header information entered for each field site (date, time of day, amount of time of study, location, local weather conditions, etc) 2
Entries include overview of each habitat/field site 2
Entries include detailed field observations of what student saw, heard, touched, and/or smelled (e.g., descriptions of unknown species, distribution of organisms, species diversity, behaviors, etc) 2
When appropriate, student occasionally collects samples, draws sketches, or takes photos 2
Notes include questions about some observations 2
Student shows attempts to find answers to questions from field visit (both their own and those presented by instructor) 2
Student reviews notes after field visit, using margin area to record species IDs, corrections, etc. 2
Student records thoughts, reflections and personal reactions and clearly differentiates those from objective observations 2
Includes statements that reflect knowledge of the way nature works, relationships in the ecosystem being observed, changes that have occurred since previous observations and insight gained from previous lectures and sites visited 2
Notes neatly presented (legible, organized) 2
Total 20


Criteria for notebook (due at the end of the course- see schedule for due date) Penalty for failing to meet criteria

Number of entries:

  • At least 16 entries from labs

You will be graded on 16 entries. You are certainly welcome to have more than 16 entries, and we would expect that you would.

  • - 20 pts for each missing entry below 16

Table of Contents:

  • Clear entry for every lab and any additional notes
  • Page number indicated for each entry
  • -50 pts for lacking a table of contents
  • -10-20 pts if lacks clarity or is missing entries

Criteria for each entry:

  • Each lab entry includes all aspects of the criteria indicated above
  • -40-50 pts for major errors, many entries lacking significant details or nearly all entries lacking some details.
  • -20-30 pts for moderate errors, some entries lacking significant details
  • -10 pts for minor errors, some entries lacking a few details
Turned in on time
  • - 100 pts for each day late (this means 0 if it is late 3 days or more)
Total pts 220 pts


field notebook retrieval

Dr. Paddack retrieving a student's field notbook after it washed into the ocean during rocky intertidal surveys- good thing the field notebooks float.

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Revised 26 January, 2015
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