IGN 7-3 - Scientists with pencils: Drawing as a tool for observation

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
C123, Oregon Convention Center
Michael Kaspari, Department of Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK and Debby Kaspari, University of Oklahoma
When mentoring young scientists, a key goal is teaching the benefits of patient and focused observation. This is an all the more useful skill as a general practice, since thanks to ubiquitous hand-held devices, students are likely experiencing the world as smaller and smaller chunks of experience on shorter and shorter timescales. Here we describe a popular lab in our Principles of Ecology course targeted at university juniors and seniors. It seeks to foster the quiet concentration of a focused natural historian, using a pencil, a sheet of paper, a mammal skull from the Natural History Museum, and gentle coaching.