Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Scientists must make accurate observations and measurements about the world around them.  Many of the tools that scientists use are intended to help them observe details more carefully.  Some of these are complex, high-powered instruments; others are simply diagrams that help make better observations.
Roger Tory Peterson published field guides to simplify bird identification for others.  Of his work he said, "I grouped birds that look alike and therefore might be mistaken for each other, instead of grouping them by species," he remembered years later. "I made my paintings schematic and two-dimensional, and I drew little arrows to point out the 'field marks' that are the main information you need to identify a bird. Those arrows were my invention."
Finally, Peterson included brief, no-nonsense bird descriptions that were as minimal and sharp as his illustrations. One of his most famous captured the male common goldfinch: "The only small yellow bird with black wings." Commit that to memory, and no male common goldfinch flying by will ever again go undetected.
Excerpts taken from Time Magazine, Aug 12, 1996

EARN A REWARD!!   Answers are due by class on Friday.
1) Name at least five tools that scientists use in order to make more accurate observations.
2) When did Roger Tory Peterson publish his first field guide and what was its title?
3) Think you are a good observer?  Take out a sheet of paper and draw two large circles.  Now, within those circles, draw the front and reverse sides of a Lincoln head penny FROM MEMORY!  After you have finished, compare your drawing to a real penny and make a list of things that you forgot.  Be ready to show your work on this.
4) When you visit the doctor, what are some of the observations or measurements that the doctor or nurse do every time you visit? Provide a list of at least three of these.  Tell why you believe each of these observations/measurements is important.
5) Check out this web page about a bird-bander from Montgomery, Alabama.  What is Fred trying to observe or measure by banding birds?  List two locations Fred does most of his work. http://www.birdingisfun.com/2010/05/idaho-birder-fred-bassett.html