Designing a Fieldwork Project
DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS, ALL FIELDWORK IS TO BE DONE VIRTUALLY, BY VISITING THE
WEBSITE OF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY CULTURAL HALLS.
Virtual Fieldwork Instructions.:
1. Go the the website of the American Museum of Natural History www.amnh.org
2. Click on “Exhibitions” and then scroll down to “All Permanent Exhibitions” and click on that.
3. Scroll down to “Human Origins and Cultural Halls”
4. Click on the various cultural halls and choose either the Northwest Coast (which has a lot of information) or
two of the other cultural halls (which have less information) to write about in your virtual field report. Do not
choose the Hall of Human Origins. Take enough notes from either some of the cultures in the Northwest Coast
exhibition or from two of the other cultural halls to write one page in the virtual fieldwork report.
5. Then, return to “Exhibitions” and scroll to “Past Exhibitions” and click on that.
6. Find the Past Special Exhibition “Cuba!” and click on that.
7. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to where there are photos of “Cuba’s Caves”. Find the right-pointing arrow
after the photo titled “Humboldt National Park”. Click on that arrow.
8. Scroll to the right to get to the cultural photographs: Cuban Avenue, Cuban Art, Afro-Cuban Religion, and Tobacco
in Cuba. Take enough notes on two or three of these to be able to write one page in the virtual fieldwork report.
PLEASE READ THROUGH THE FOLLOWING IN BRACKETS, WHICH WAS APPLICABLE BEFORE THE COVID-19
CRISIS TO ACTUAL FIELD REPORTS
[In that same attachment (“How Fieldwork is Done”) there are important considerations in any field project
design, such as selecting a “do-able” research project (be it a re-working of an previous project or a novel
research project), designing research methods with all the necessary materials to collect data (be it a
purely descriptive project or one that tests a hypothesis), how to analyze the data, and finally interpret
the findings as conclusions. Your field projects will be small in scope, local, and will entail having a brief
experience with a culture other than your own. You might visit a religious service from a different culture
(with advance permission or with a friend who is a member), survey an ethnic enclave, experience the
cuisine of a very different culture, etc. In any case, the decision as to which project you will do will be
made in concert with the professor, who can make suggestions in the form of Plan A and Plan B . The
attachment “How Fieldwork is Done” also discusses how to have “Plan B”, which should be equivalent
to the first plan,ready in case the first plan can not be implemented.]
Writing the Field Project Report
The attachment “The Little India in Hicksville’s Central Business District” is a model for you as to how
to structure your field project report. Your report will be shorter, with the Results section only two pages,
rather than four pages, of text. You are not required to have photographs or maps, as the Hicksville
report has. However, the outline of the report will be the same. PLEASE READ ALL OF THE FOLLOWING
TO WRITE THE VIRTUAL FIELDWORK REPORT
Introduction — two paragraphs, the first paragraph will be an objective description of the project area’s
history or historical context; the second paragraph will be a subjective discussion of
why you were interested in this project. VIRTUAL FIELDWORK: THE FIRST PARAGRAPH
WILL BE A SHORT HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY;
THE SECOND PARAGRAPH WILL BE WHY YOU CHOSE TO RESEARCH THE PARTICULAR
Methods An objective paragraph of where you went (address, or extent of the project area), the date
and time you visited the project area, and how you did the research (took notes, photos,
interviewed someone, etc.) VIRTUAL FIELDWORK: PROVIDE THE ADDRESS OF THE
AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY, AND THE DAY(S) AND TIME(S) YOU
ACCESSED THE WEBSITE.
Results Two pages of objective reporting of observations.
VIRTUAL FIELDWORK: ONE PAGE OF INFORMATION DERIVED FROM THE PERMANENT
CULTURAL EXHIBITION AND ONE PAGE OF INFORMATION DERIVED FROM THE CUBA!
Conclusions A paragraph of subjective experience as to what you learned from the field project/VIRTUAL