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Curious about Nature
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Book description

Notwithstanding the importance of modern technology, fieldwork remains vital, not least through helping to inspire and educate the next generation. Fieldwork has the ingredients of intellectual curiosity, passion, rigour and engagement with the outdoor world - to name just a few. You may be simply noting what you see around you, making detailed records, or carrying out an experiment; all of this and much more amounts to fieldwork. Being curious, you think about the world around you, and through patient observation develop and test ideas. Forty contributors capture the excitement and importance of fieldwork through a wide variety of examples, from urban graffiti to the Great Barrier Reef. Outdoor learning is for life: people have the greatest respect and care for their world when they have first-hand experience of it. The Editors are donating all royalties due to them to the environmental charity, The Field Studies Council, to support student fieldwork at the Council's field centres.


'This book amply delivers its strapline ‘passion for fieldwork’. With its informal yet informed writing, this eclectic collection of practitioners and research findings provides something for everyone. There is no denying its central message, that field studies inspire and ignite curiosity and remain central to our guardianship of the planet.'

Gill Miller - President of The Geographical Association, 2019–20

'Reading this fascinating and eclectic book touched a chord within me as to how fieldwork, in all its guises, has influenced my thinking, my career, my life. It is a salient reminder of the importance of empirical evidence in decision-making at a time when we face some of the most horrifying environmental crises imaginable.'

Sally Hayns - CEO of the Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (CEcol MCIEEM), UK

‘Curious About Nature provides a glorious overview of how those scientific accomplishments were achieved.’

Mark Cocker Source: The Spectator

‘… Scientists across many disciplines know well the hallmarks of working in field conditions: making direct observations that often spur other research questions, weathering unpredictable conditions that keep us scientists on our toes, and - perhaps above all - feeding a hungry curiosity and passion to understand the natural world. In Curious About Nature, researchers from geoscience to paleoecology share their accounts of memorable, impactful field experiences. This volume focuses on personal accounts of researchers in field settings. Through this collection of essays, scientists share moments of memorable fieldwork and remind readers of the significance, challenges, and satisfaction that come with this type of work. … curiosity and passion are at the heart of fieldwork … This volume is appropriate for academics with a passion for fieldwork, most especially those in the geosciences … strength of this volume is that it reminds readers just how valuable, important, and rewarding field research can be.’

Olivia Graham Source: The Quarterly Review of Biology

‘Contributors address the need to train and encourage the next generation of scientists to conduct crucial environmental fieldwork that continues to expand our understanding of natural systems and recommend conservation initiatives. Chapters emphasize the value of observation, provide historical context, outline basic fieldwork components, list common fieldwork equipment, and advocate for modern interdisciplinary scientific endeavors, all while recounting details of entertaining and diverse case studies that transport readers to a variety of international field sites … Ultimately, the text captures the essence of fieldwork, and can be read cover-to-cover or selectively based on interest and needs. This book is a good fit for upper-division undergraduate or graduate courses and encourages hands-on field experiences. It will also be welcomed by any general reader interested in exploring the world.’

S. McCarragher Source: Choice

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