Site Journal

Multimedia Naturalist’s Site Journal (80 points)

By the end of the first week of school, you should choose an off-campus, outdoor site that you will visit, observe and critically examine during the quarter.  The location of the site is up to you (up in the Flatirons, in Cherry Creek State Park, a spot on the South Platte, your favorite campsite or hiking trail, Observatory Park), but it should be a place that you can get to easily and often.  That is, don’t choose a site that will be inaccessible because of snow or distance.  Once you’ve chosen your site, you should plan on going there at least at least six to eight times over the course of the term (the “field trips” for the class).  When you’re there, hike around, explore, relax, and pull out your journal and fill its pages with your thoughts, analyses, and ruminations (Galvin is a good model here), particularly making connections to the course readings and films. Since it’s a blog, your audience will be the public – interested web readers who come across your blog. Your site journal should include many photos, ones that capture your site’s seasonal changes, just as you are required to identify some of the plants, trees, and wildlife at your site. Expect to share your blog entries with your colleagues for feedback. In the end, the purpose is to complete an outstanding naturalist’s journal, one that is a cohesive, informative, and interesting examination of place.

Due Dates and Timeline for Peer Feedback (have your new entries on your blog before class)

  • M 9/19: Focus on the description and the location. Include several photos of your site in the late summer.
  • M 10/10: Identify your site’s flora, fauna, and any wildlife (You may want to check out a library copy of a plant and tree identification guide).
  • W 10/19: Make connections to the course material
  • M 11/7: Ponder the interconnectedness and sustainability of your site and its future.
  • F 11/11 at 11:59pm: The whole enchilada, including the self-evaluation

The Site Journal Scoring guide explains the evaluative criteria: site-journal-scoring-guide

Maps help!

For sites closer to DU, this Denver Parks Map can help you pick a site. For sites farther west, this Open Space Map will be useful.

Evaluation will be split into two areas:

1) Writing process and participation in peer review (50%). Half the points will be earned by meet all the deadlines for entries and participating in the peer review activities.

2) Final Site Journal, including the self-evaluation (50%). The remaining points will be evaluated on a sliding scale based on the following criteria: Cohesion, Content, Research, Multimedia Elements, and Delivery. See the scoring guide in Canvas.

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