Prepare for a Field Study
This field study is far more than a walk in the park; it is designed to help students make a greater connection, both to their environment and to their work, by doing actual scientific studies in a natural setting and collecting authentic data that has real-world significance. By using national parks as “living laboratories,” students gain a greater understanding of their impact on the environment as well as a greater sense of their responsibility as stewards. All activities in the BTW program, including the field study, are designed to give all students a Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience in accordance with the Chesapeake 2000 Agreement.
- Do the Pre-Lessons with your Students
All pre-field study activities are designed to help students prepare for the key experience in the BTW program: a field study in a national park.
- Plant Identification – Prepare for Alien Invaders
- Fish Identification – Basic Fish Anatomy Practice
- Macro-Invertebrate Identification – Prepare for Water Canaries
- Swim for Your Life! Fish Game – Prepare for Herring Highway
- Appropriate Dress
BTW field studies can be done any time of year and in any type of weather. Unless we are experiencing a severe thunderstorm your students should come prepared to participate in any weather. They should also understand that they are going to be working outside, in the field, which means their clothes will probably get dirty. Be sure to remind them not to wear anything that they would be afraid to cover in mud!
Remind students that when they come on a BTW field study they need to bring their own lunch. Our field study sites are typically miles from anywhere that sells food. Remind them also that BTW encourages students to try to bring lunches that are trash free.
- Expectations of What They Will Be Doing
Although students may not have a precise idea of what will be expected of them during the field study, it is important that they have a general expectation of what they are going to be doing during the field study. This will help facilitate the field study and help the students know how they should prepare for their visit. Preparation information for students is available at Prepare for a Field Study.