School of GeoSciences

School of GeoSciences


The field notebook is used to record field information for future reference. For example, you may be asked to prepare a scientific report or an excursion guide for which you need detailed descriptions or sketches of key localities. If the notebook is being used in conjunction with a map then the notebook is used to record observations that cannot be accommodated on the map, such as details of exposures, contact relationships and working hypotheses.

Unlike lecture notes, field notes are often assessed, and in the commercial world may be Company rather than individual property. For that reason they have to be legible and comprehensible to others. A good field notebook has good structure with clear text and illustrations. In a poor notebook it is often hard or impossible to refer to the notebook from the map and vice-versa, the notes have to be read to find out what they refer to and their relative importance, and the note content may be ambiguous or meaningless.

If you want to make a good start, follow these elementary guidelines!

CEF, 13 September 2001.