The basic map for Iowa NatureMapping is the 1:24,000 (also called a “7.5 minute quad”) map. These maps are available for every part of Iowa. The 7.5' quadrangle will be used to find the coordinates (location) of your monitoring site. The UTM system is used to find your location.
• Field Guides
Field guides are extremely helpful for wildlife and plant identification. There are many field guides available. School and public libraries should have sets available for reference. They are also available for purchase at many bookstore outlets.
• Binoculars and Cameras
Binoculars are extremely useful. The prices for good 7x35 or 8x20 power binoculars are very affordable. They will help you see wildlife closer up and add to both your enjoyment and identification skills. Cameras are very useful for long-term projects. Pictures of before, during, after, and annual updates are valuable for project assessment. Pictures can be extremely useful for data submission and confirmation of an identification.
• Field Notebooks and Data Collection Form
Field notebooks should be used for monitoring projects. It is important to record detailed information, whether you are conducting a scientific experiment in a lab or out in the field. Writing notes (i.e. documentation) is a critical component of the learning and scientific process. A sketch of the field site (or a photograph) is a handy way to remember your visit. Field notebooks are important if a question arises after you return from the site. It is much better to have notes than try to guess. Data collected in field notebooks can be transferred to the NatureMapping Data Collection Form and submitted on-line.
• On-line Data Submission Form
Our Data Submission Form is now on-line. Just navigate to "Submit Data" on our website (www.extension.iastate.edu/naturemapping), and follow the directions. At this workshop, you will receive a NatureMapper Number that will allow you access to the data entry process. The first thing you will need to do is register a site location. Information associated with this site includes the city and county it is in or near, location information (UTM coordinate, zone, and source-how you found the coordinate), and habitat type. Each time you log on using your NatureMapper Number, you can choose from your list of registered sites or register a new one. Each time you pick one of your sites, you will be able to choose the class of vertebrates (i.e. mammal, bird, amphibian or reptile) you are reporting. For example, if you recorded a list of mammals you saw on a given day and wanted to submit those records, you would choose the mammal form.