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Student Field Journals:

Maori People
Sea Life
Unique Wildlife
Endangered Species

Keep Your Own Field Journal

When scientists are out in the field, they often keep journals to record detailed observations, gather information, keep track of questions, form new ideas — even record their own reactions and feelings. Did you know Lewis and Clark were instructed by President Thomas Jefferson to keep field journals during their famous 1804 expedition? These journals included detailed daily observations of the unique geography, plants, animals — even Native Americans — they encountered as they explored the territory between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean. This information about a territory previously unknown to European Americans was so valuable, the journals are a large part of why this expedition is considered one of the most successful in United States history.

Throughout Colin's trek through New Zealand, he kept a weekly field journal in which he recorded what he observed and learned along the way. Each week Colin wrote about a different topic — such as volcanoes, unusual wildlife, or glaciers — that related to the place he was visiting.

We encourage you to keep your own weekly field journal as you "explore" New Zealand too. First, read the background information about topic of the week. Then, read Colin's field journal on the same topic. Once you've explored his firsthand reports, write your own thoughts, questions, and observations in your Student Field Journal.

There's a Field Journal page for each topic to help you record and think about what you've learned. This is also a place to keep track of your own research and list questions to ask Colin during his live chats. To access your Field Journal page related to each weekly topic, just click the "Keep Your Own Field Journal" button from each of Colin's field journals. You can also reach them directly from this page.

At the end of the project, you'll have your own New Zealand Field Journal to share with your friends and family. They might just believe you DID walk along with Colin Skinner on his trek through the islands!

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