Science and Teaching for Field Instructors


A Few of our Favorite Field Guides

Field guides and keys are a useful, student-centered strategy for introducing content to students. Below is a list of field guides we’ve used, we’ve created, or that come highly recommended from partners.

Intertidal and Sandy Shores


  • Sibley Birds West: The Sibley Field Guide to Birds, by David Sibley
  • Sibley Birds East: The Sibley Field Guide to Birds, by David Sibley
  • Sierra Birds: A Hiker’s Guide by John Muir Laws
  • Bird Tracks & Sign: A Guide to North American Species by Mark Elbroch
  • The Sibley Guide to Bird Life and Behavior, by David Sibley


  • Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates: A Guide to North American Species, by Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney

What other guides have you successfully used with students? Let us know in the comments below!

We also recommend making your own simple keys to organisms and stuff specific to your site. Inspired by the simplicity of the BEETLES Lichen Key, Juita “Trillium” Martinez of San Mateo Outdoor Education made this key to amphibians at her site:

Camp Jones Gulch Amphibian Key
Camp Jones Gulch Amphibian Key

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