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Ecological Field Studies Instructive Manuals

40 instructive-methodical manualsThis page contains the list of 40 instructive-methodical manuals, that were first published in 1996-1999 (in Russian) for the needs of out-door teachers and students discovering nature themselves.

Forty of them that have been writen first, were printed as 6-37 pages brochures with different color jackets (left). Since 2005 these manuals are spreading in Russia not in printed but in digital (CD) format.

These ecological field study instructive manuals cover a wide variety of activities focusing on aquatic ecology, botany, forest ecology, soil studies, landscape analysis, mammal studies, ornithology and human effects on nature.

  • 1. Lazareva N.S., Bogolyubov A.S. A technique of herbarization. 1996. - 22 pp.
  • 2. Kravchenko M.V., Bogolyubov A.S. The technique of the lichens communities description. 1996. - 24 pp.
  • 3. The program of bird populations monitoring. 1996. - 6 pp.
  • 4. Bogolyubov A.S. Methods of birds survey: the line transects registrations. 1996. - 17 pp.
  • 5. Methods of birds survey: counting on the square plots. 1996. - 17 pp.
  • 6. Methods of birds survey: the dot registrations. 1996. - 9 pp..
  • 7. Bogolyubov A.S. The elementary technique of the bird counting.1996. - 13 pp.
  • 8. Bogolyubov A.S. The program of the annual winter bird survey in Russia. 1996. - 13 pp.
  • 9. Dunaev E.A., Bogolyubov A.S. Methods of insects collection and survey. 1996. - 25 pp.
  • 10. Bogolyubov A.S. The research project for students "Birds phenology ".1996. - 13 pp.
  • 11. Bogolyubov A.S. The program of complex territory investigation. 1996. - 6 pp.
  • 12. The program of phenology research.1996 - 29 pp.
  • 13. Methods of geobotanical researches. 1996. - 21 pp.
  • 14. Technique of geobotanical mapping and profiling.1996. - 25 pp.
  • 15. Bogolyubov A.S., Pankoff А.B. The elementary technique of the forest geobotanical description. 1996. - 17 pp.
  • 16. Program of geomorphologic investigation. 1996. - 17 pp.
  • 17. Methods of hydrological researches: rivers description and measuring. 1996. - 21 pp.
  • 18. Methods of hydrological researches: lakes description and measuring. 1996. - 21 pp.
  • 19. Rules of results registration from the research work on ecology. 1996. - 17 pp.
  • 20. Lazareva N.S., Bogolyubov A.S. Introduction to morphology of plants (manual for beginners who work with field guides). 1997. - 37 pp.
  • 21. Pchelkin A.V., Bogolyubov A.S. Methods of lichen indication of the air pollution. 1997. - 25 pp.
  • 22. Kotov A.A., Bogolyubov A.S. Methods of freshwater plankton investigation. 1997. 14 pp.
  • 23. Buyvolov U.A., Bogolyubov A.S. The program of a complex area pollution research (introduction to a natural environment monitoring issues). 1997. - 17 pp.
  • 24. Water pollution estimation using physics and chemistry methodologies.1997. - 17 pp.
  • 25. Technique of perifiton investigation and estimation of natural waters ephtrophication. 1997. - 17 pp.
  • 26. Methods of zoobentos investigation and natural waters pollution estimation. 1997. - 17 pp.
  • 27. Kravchenko M.V., Bogolyubov A.S. Definition of minerals and rocks. 1997. - 26 pp.
  • 28. Methods of meteorological observations. 1997. - 21 pp.
  • 29. Technique of the mammals tracks winter survey. 1997. - 13 pp.
  • 30. Bogolyubov A.S., Rubina N.E. Methods of topographical survey. 1997. - 21 pp.
  • 31. Buyvolov U.A., Kravchenko M.V., Bogolyubov A.S. Technique of the forest life level estimation using pine trees. 1998. - 29 pp.
  • 32. Program of round-year invertebrates investigation. 1998. - 21 pp.
  • 33. Photographing of nature objects. 1998. - 25 pp.
  • 34. Bogolyubov A.S., Zasko D.N. The simple technique of small water reservoirs description. 1998. - 13 pp.
  • 35. Bogolyubov A.S. The technique of a complex ecological estimation of antropogeneous effects on the land. 1998. - 21 pp.
  • 36. Bogolyubov A.S. The observation technique of the territorial and feeding behaviour of chikadee's flocks. 1998. - 13 pp.
  • 37. Popov S.V., Ilchenko O.G. Mammals behaviour observation technique in the zoo. 1998. - 25 pp.
  • 38. Bogolyubov A.S., Kravchenko M.V. The elementary technique of soil description. 1998. - 21 pp.
  • 39. Bogolyubov A.S., Preobrazhenskaya A.A. Methods of soils mapping. 1998. - 17 pp.
  • 40. Bogolyubov A.S. The elementary methods of statistical evaluation of the ecological research results.1998. - 13 pp.

In the year of 2000 these manuals were translated into English and edited by Dr. Michael Brody for the needs of the International Course of Distance Education of Montana State University, Creek Farm Education Associates and "Ecosystem". These translated manuals are included into the Ecological Field Studies CD.

These 40 ecological field study instructive manuals cover a wide variety of activities focusing on aquatic ecology, botany, forest ecology, soil studies, landscape analysis, mammal studies, ornithology and human effects on nature. The full list of all 40 manuals you can see below. The lessons are based on five main themes: landscape, botany, zoology, water ecology and environmental monitoring.

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.

The list of all manuals
(screenshots and titles are links to the manual description)

Landscape sciences

Orienteering in the Forest. This 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.
Simple “Eye” Survey of the Field Study Site. This manual describes a procedure for creating a simple "eye" survey of a field study site leading to a large-scale map of the study area. It contains several different techniques of complex surveying including: field sketching, a method of detour, polar method, a method of intersections and a method of perpendiculars. This field study has instructional video.
Procedure of the Geological Exposure Description. This manual contains a procedure for description and analysis of geological exposure including: selection of a study site, preparation of the geological exposure under study, descriptions of the profile for the selected geological structures and interpretation and presentation of the results. This field study has instructional video.
Studying Minerals and Rocks in Your Area. This manual contains a description of procedures for collecting mineral and rock samples in your area as well as a brief theoretical course in mineralogy. The manual also contains descriptions and short characteristics of rock classes, simple identifying keys and recommendations for the presentation of the rock and mineral collection. This field study has instructional video.
Plotting a Profile of a River Valley Slope. This manual contains a procedure for plotting a geomorphological profile of the valley of a small river or stream with the help of a simple leveling instrument. The work includes construction of the leveling instrument, selection of the site for vertical surveying, determining the slope profile and presentation of results. This field study has instructional video.
Simple Procedure of Soil Description. This manual contains a procedure for soil profile construction and its description according to morphological features. The technique of soil composition description is based on soil horizons, soil and its horizon thickness, coloring, soil moisture, mechanical composition, structure and texture, new formations and inclusions. This field study has instructional video.
Study of Snow Cover Profile. This manual describes the main functions and features of snow cover, and a procedure for snow survey along a landscape profile. The activity includes location of survey sites, establishment of snow exploring shaft, determination of snow layers according to a number of visual characteristics, their measurement and description. This field study has instructional video.
Integrated Study Based on Landscape Profile. This manual continues the study of landscape components along the line of a complex landscape profile on the slope of a river or stream valley. The procedure for a standard geobotanical description of a vegetative cover as well as general rules for a soil profile and its description are provided. The lesson is aimed at describing plant associations and underlying soils and their interrelations. This field study has instructional video.

Botany

Study of Species Composition and Number of Fungi. This manual contains a procedure for the route census of fungi, fields study design and laboratory processing of collected samples, including determination of species, estimation of fungi stock as well as classification of fungi according to edibility and toxicity. Students collect of fungi, census populations and describe habitats. This field study has instructional video.
Making a Herbarium. In this manual we describe the guidelines for making a collection of herbaceous plants, specialized equipment and its use, procedures for collection, drying, assembly and storing herbaria, including herbaria of some complex groups of plants. Included is information on techniques for drying, making collections of fruits and seeds, mushrooms, mosses and lichens. This field study has instructional video.
The Study of Plants in Your Local Environment. In this manual we describe the procedure for the simple but laborious work on the compilation of plants list (flora) of your local environment. We describe a general scheme for the organization of the study, including selection of routes for surveying, collection and description of plants for a herbarium as well as the identification of plant species and writing a final report. This field study has instructional video.
Mapping Forest Vegetation. This manual describes two procedures for vegetation mapping: complete and transect mapping. The stages of field studies are described including reconnaissance survey, determination and mapping of plant associations and geobotanical description of typical vegetation. Related lab studies include mapping and analysis of the spatial distribution of vegetation. This field study has instructional video.
Study of the Vertical Structure of a Forest. This manual describes a procedure for the study of the vegetative community of a forest. It includes a description of the main characteristics of vegetative canopies, species composition, and ratios of different plant species in the community based on their relative numbers, and for tree and shrub layers, the diameter of trunks, height and age. This field study has instructional video.
Green Plants Under Snow. This manual describes how different plants over-winter, different plant adaptations to winter and the difference between evergreen and wintergreen plants. The field study focuses on the study of green plants under the snow cover and includes selection and location of sites, description of vegetation cover and report preparation. This field study has instructional video.
Study of the Ecology of Early Flowering Plants. This manual is devoted to studies of early flowering plants. The manual describes important biological peculiarities of these plants, the procedure for assessment of their distribution and numbers within the area under study as well as methods for the recording of observation data and presentation of studies results. This field study has instructional video.
Phenology of Plant Florescence. This manual describes the study of spatial dynamics of species composition of flowering plants in different biotopes. The main phases of the work are: planning the survey, finding flowering plants, determination of the phenological phase of florescence, listing and analyzing biotopic differences in species composition and time of florescence. This field study has instructional video.
Assessment of the Vital State of Coniferous Underbrush. This manual describes the study of the growth for coniferous tree underbrush in different types of forest plant associations. It explains the selection of biotopes for study, a procedure for measuring height and age of young trees, primary processing of measurement data and plotting graphs explaining growth success level and vital state of the underbrush. This field study has instructional video.
Study of Growth Dynamics of Trees Based on Annual Rings. This manual describes an elementary procedure for the preparation of a tree trunk cross-section and subsequent counting of annual growth rings. The information will then be used to sketch a graph of the dynamics of tree growth in years and further analyze the tree growth in connection with changes in environmental factors. This field study has instructional video.

Zoology

Study of Forest Invertebrates (Part I: Forest Litter, Wood). In this manual we have included a description of the structure and sequence for this field study activity, determining the main characteristics of invertebrate populations in different habitats and environments and a description of techniques for collection and census of invertebrates within the forest litter and wood. This field study has instructional video.
Study of Forest Invertebrates (Part 2: Grass Layer, Tree Crowns and Air). This lesson continues the study of forest invertebrate studies and includes a description of equipment for field studies as well as a description of techniques for collection and census of invertebrates inhabiting grass, tree crowns and shrubs, as well as flying invertebrates. This field study has instructional video.
Studies of Species Composition and Abundance of Amphibians. This manual contains a procedure for the organization of studies of the numbers and population structure of amphibians in spring and summer. The method of selecting habitats for study, the technique for a route census of frogs, the procedure for the simplest measurements of caught animals and the analysis of the age structure of frog populations found in different biotopes are described. This field study has instructional video.
Let's Help Birds!. This manual describes two practical nature conservation projects devoted to attracting birds: feeding winter birds, and making and hanging artificial nesting places. Included are the design of simple bird feeders and composition of birdseed, the procedure for making artificial nesting places as well as general rules for hanging birdhouses. This field study has instructional video.
Study of Species Composition and Census of Birds Using the Line Transect-counting Method. This manual contains a simplified procedure of line-transect census of birds, which includes line-transect selection, technique for line-transect counting and field diary record keeping. It also includes the estimation of bird population density based on the line-transect count results. This field study has instructional video.
Studies of Bird Populations Size by Different Methods. This manual describes three procedures for quantitative estimation of bird populations: route, point and constant site (plot) censuses. Included are guidelines for the organization, preparation (establishing a route and site selection), census procedures, record-keeping and data processing. This field study has instructional video.
Studies of the Day Activity of Singing Birds. This manual is devoted to the description of the simplest procedure for bird census in the nesting season, based on the sounds of singing males. It contains the general scheme of field studies, including choice and laying of the census route, technique for bird census and methods to present the results of studies. This field study has instructional video.
Study of Birds’ Nesting Life. This manual describes methods of observations of the nesting life of birds with the example of birds that settle in artificial nesting places. The manual reviews the organization of observations over the stages of nesting life, including: nest building, laying and incubation of eggs, hatching of nestlings, parents’ care and feeding of nestlings. This field study has instructional video
Methods of Observation of a Chickadee Flock's Territorial Behavior. This manual describes a procedure for observing the territorial behavior of birds of mixed chickadee flocks during autumn and winter. The main of goal is to track the flock’s movement within the forest, mapping speed and direction on the flock’s route. This data is used for determining the feeding territory of this flock. This field study has instructional video.
Procedure of Winter Mammals Route Census by Footprints. This manual contains a standard procedure of census for large and middle-sized mammals (from weasel to elk) during a winter period, which is applied in the system game animals' census in the forested zone of Russia. This manual includes a description of census routes selection procedure, technique of census data processing and calculation of numbers of animals per unit of the area. This field study has instructional video.
Study of Mammal Ecology According to Their Tracks. This manual provides a procedure for “tracking” mammals according to tracks left in the snow. Focus is on the behavior of mammals: size of their habitat, biotopic and habitat distribution, feeding sites, behavior during feeding, etc. Several methods of determining track freshness, the direction of movement and rules for tracking are described. This field study has instructional video.

Water Ecology

Complex Comparative Description of Small Rivers and Streams. This manual provides a simple scheme of exploring simple hydrological as well as chemical and biological features of a water body. A simple form of data description was developed in order to simplify the recording of survey data and its standardization. This form includes all general data on the water body, which can be collected without using special devices or equipment. This field study has instructional video.
Physical and Chemical Properties of Natural Waters. This manual contains guidelines for sampling natural and artificial bodies of water and snow sampling. It describes the procedure for determining the main physical properties of water including temperature, transparency, coloration, smell and total content of dredge and suspended particles. Quantitative analyses include acid estimation and oxygen content. This field study has instructional video.
The Study of Water Invertebrates in a Local River and Assessment of Its Environmental State. This manual is devoted to the study of macrozoobenthos - invertebrates that inhabit the bottom of bodies of water. The main idea of this lesson is to study these invertebrates in a local small river or stream and to determine water quality based on species composition and representation of various collected organisms. This field study has instructional video.
Study of Plankton. This manual contains procedures for studying meso- and microzooplankton in freshwater bodies, including techniques of sampling, sample conservation, qualitative and quantitative analyses. Emphasis is on long term studies using identical field study techniques. Variations and options for additional studies are described. This field study has instructional video.
Study of Fauna of Spring Temporary Water Bodies. This manualdescribes the procedure for studying vernal pools in spring. Students analyze the species composition of animals found in temporary water bodies at different distances away from a constant water reservoir. A general plan for the organization of studies is given, as well as a technique for sampling (catching animals), processing, and representation of data. This field study has instructional video.

Environmental monitoring and Bioindication

Assessment of Air Pollution by Lichen Indication Method. This manual contains procedures for the application of bioindication research using lichens for the assessment of environmental conditions. The focus is on methods of quantitative evaluation of lichen species in biological monitoring based on the use of poleotolerance classes and lichen bioindication indexes. This field study has instructional video.
Assessment of the Vital State of a Forest Based on Pine-tree Analysis. This manual contains a procedure for environmental assessment of forests based on the analysis of the morphological state of Scotch pine trees (Pinus sylvestris L). Key characteristics chosen as the main integral criteria are: the degree of crown defoliation, needle discoloration, number of cones and growth of end shoots. This field study has instructional video.
Assessment of Ecological Features of Meadows on the Base of Vegetation Cover. This manual contains a procedure for bioindication of ecological conditions in meadow plant associations according to the species composition and abundance of plants. Without any geographical, physical, chemical or historical studies, it is also possible to determine important characteristics of habitat physical conditions. This field study has instructional video.
Assessment of Environmental State of the Forest Based on Leaves’ Asymmetry. This manual contains procedure for assessment of environmental state of the area, in particular, forests, based on integral characteristics of asymmetry of tree leaves. The procedure is based on the theory that difference between the left and the right halves of a leaf correlates with the degree of total environmental disturbance. This field study has instructional video.
Complex Environmental Assessment of Human Impact on an Area. This manual contains a procedure for human impact study, which allows us to quantitatively evaluate the degree of disturbance and the influence of human activities on the main landscape components: relief, vegetation and soils. This study is based on the route counting of local objects of human impact. The procedure is applicable for forested zones. This field study has instructional video.

Other

Making a Campfire. This manual describes the rules of choosing a campfire site, the technique for starting the bonfire and preparation of fuel in field conditions. The manual describes different types of bonfires used for different purposes. The activity is arranged in a form of a game with elements of competition. This field study has instructional video.

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.

For the goals of  the MSU distance courses the set of these 40 manuals are divided into appropriate seasons with 10 manuals for each season of the year. Ecological field studies begin with basic skills in Autumn, proceed through Winter and Spring with appropriate seasonal activities and culminate in advanced studies in Summer:

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

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





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