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Orienteering in the Forest

© Alexsander S. Bogolyubov, Russia, 1999

© Michael J. Brody, USA, 2003

Orienteering in the forestThis manual contains a description of the procedure for teaching students simple skills with a map and a compass – how to find north and south, measure azimuth, find directions and “read” a map; as well as the procedure of laying a route for orienteering and organizing competitions on the route.

This field study has instructional video featuring real students conducting the ecological field techniques in nature. Each video illustrates the primary instructional outcomes and the major steps in accomplishing the task including reporting the results.

Introduction

Most environmental investigations require the mapping of observed objects, phenomena and sites, or at the least, some skill at orienteering in nature.

In this introductory lesson students will learn the elementary skills of using a map and a compass – the easiest instrument designed for orienteering and mapping. In addition, students will master skills of practical orienteering in field in the form of a sporting competition.

Later on, the skills that students acquire during this lesson will be applied when carrying out an eye survey in the field (winter, lesson #2), when drawing a geobotanical map of the forest (winter, lesson #4), and in part when laying a profile and conducting integrated studies at the landscape profile (fall, lessons #3 and #8), as well as during many other ecological field study lessons. In fact, both map skills and orienteering are integrated parts of any fieldwork regardless of the section of field ecology or research object.

This lesson includes three phases: 1) teaching students how to use a map and compass, 2) laying a route for orienteering and 3) arranging the orienteering competition.

It is recommended that the teacher prepare the route in advance (without participation of students who will take part in the competition); the training and competition itself can be conducted in one day.

For this lesson, the following items are required: a wall-map (choose a large-scale or middle-scale map) for the theoretical part of the lesson, and a student kit consisting of: 1) a compass, 2) a map of the site where the route will be located, 3) a large-scale map of the area where the lesson takes place (if there is not such map a map of the route for orienteering can be used instead) and 4) a calculator. The kits should be available for each pair of students (or at least for each three students) in the group.

How to use a map and compass

The lesson should begin with the theoretical part: students are taught that a plan or a map is a drawing where the horizontal position of a certain area (which is conditionally taken as a plane) is put on the map in a reduced image.

For the purposes of the ecological field studies program it is important to differentia between a “plan” and a “map.” The difference between a plan and a map is in scale, i.e. small areas are drawn as a plan, whereas large areas are plotted on a map. At the same time it is significant that a map takes into account the general curvature of...

 

This was only the first page from the manual and its full version you can see in the

Ecological Field Studies 4CD Set:

It is possible to purchase the complete set of 40 seasonal Ecological Field Study Materials (video in mpg + manuals in pdf formats) in an attractive 4 compact disk set. These compact disks are compatible with Mac and PC computers. The teacher background information and manuals can be printed out for easy reference. The videos are suitable for individual student or whole class instruction. To purchase the complete 4CD set write a request to the authors (in a free form).

Ecological Field Studies 4CD Set

Some of these manuals you can also purchase in the form of applications for Android devices on Google Play.

Ecological Field Studies Demo Disk:

We also have a free and interesting demonstration disk that explains our ecological field studies approach. The demo disk has short excerpts from all the seasonal field study videos as well as sample text from all the teacher manuals. The disk has an entertaining automatic walk through which describes the field study approach and explains how field studies meet education standards.

You can also download the Demo Disc from ecosystema.ru/eng/eftm/CD_Demo.iso. This is a virtual hybrid (for PC and Mac computers) CD-ROM image (one 563 Mb file "CD_Demo.iso"). You can write this image to the CD and use it in your computer in ordinary way. You also can use emulator software of virtual CD-ROM drive to play the disk directly from your hard disk.

Ecological Field Studies Demo Disk

 

Other Ecological Field Studies Instructive Manuals:

Autumn Season

  1. Orienteering in the Forest
  2. Procedure of the Geological Exposure Description
  3. Plotting a Profile of a River Valley Slope
  4. Simple Procedure of Soil Description
  5. Assessment of the Vital State of a Forest Based on Pine-tree Analysis
  6. Study of Species Composition and Number of Fungi
  7. Study of Species Composition and Census of Birds Using the Line Transect-counting Method
  8. Integrated Study Based on Landscape Profile
  9. Complex Environmental Assessment of Human Impact on an Area
  10. Assessment of Air Pollution by Lichen Indication Method

Winter Season

  1. Making a Campfire
  2. Simple “Eye” Survey of the Field Study Site
  3. Study of Growth Dynamics of Trees Based on Annual Rings
  4. Mapping Forest Vegetation
  5. Green Plants Under Snow
  6. Methods of Observation of a Chickadee Flock's Territorial Behavior
  7. Procedure of Winter Mammals Route Census by Footprints
  8. Study of Mammal Ecology According to Their Tracks
  9. Physical and Chemical Properties of Natural Waters
  10. Study of Snow Cover Profile

Spring Season

  1. Let's Help Birds!
  2. Study of the Ecology of Early Flowering Plants
  3. Phenology of Plant Florescence
  4. Assessment of the Vital State of Coniferous Underbrush
  5. Study of Forest Invertebrates (Part I: Forest Litter, Wood)
  6. Studies of Species Composition and Abundance of Amphibians
  7. Studying Minerals and Rocks in Your Area
  8. Studies of the Day Activity of Singing Birds
  9. Studies of Bird Populations Size by Different Methods
  10. Study of Fauna of Spring Temporary Water Bodies

Summer Season

  1. Making a Herbarium
  2. The Study of Plants in Your Local Environment
  3. Study of the Vertical Structure of a Forest
  4. Study of Forest Invertebrates (Part 2: Grass Layer, Tree Crowns and Air)
  5. Study of Birds’ Nesting Life
  6. Complex Comparative Description of Small Rivers and Streams
  7. The Study of Water Invertebrates in a Local River and Assessment of Its Environmental State
  8. Study of Plankton
  9. Assessment of Ecological Features of Meadows on the Base of Vegetation Cover
  10. Assessment of Environmental State of the Forest Based on Leaves’ Asymmetry



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