Reading Recommendations for Keeping a Nature Journal

In our most recent webinar, How to Keep a Nature Journal, Eric Heil and Peter Vitz expose the importance of journaling. They talked specifically about why and how nature journaling, the act of recording observations of the natural world in a notebook, can be of benefit to children and adults.

A recording of this webinar (as well as past webinars) is available for free on The Heights Academy Webinars Archive.

During the webinar, Eric and Peter list some reading recommendations for parents and teachers for studying, reference, or lesson-planning. That list is available below, along with some additional resources that Peter and Eric didn’t include in their slides.

Any and all of these books will be a help to the beginner or expert nature student and journal-keeper, but not one of them is necessary to get started on your own effort. Just getting outside with an open eye to many little things will get you on your way!

Eric Heil

About the author:

Eric Heil


Eric Heil is originally from the Napa Valley in northern California. He studied Spanish language and culture for one year at the University of Navarre, in Spain, and then he completed his B.A. in biology at the University of Dallas. In 2001, he joined Teach for America and taught middle-school math and science in the Bronx for two years. He was the Robert G. Engel Mammalogy Fellow at the Bronx Zoo before moving to Washington DC to work for the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park. At the National Zoo, Eric investigated the nutritional ecology of the California sea otter. He taught in the lower school for eight years before taking a sabbatical year. He returned to the Valley having attained an AMI diploma in Elementary Montessori education. Eric also received his M.Ed. from Loyola University Maryland.

Peter Vitz

About the author:

Peter Vitz


Peter Vitz graduated from New York University, a stone’s throw from his Greenwich Village home, with a B.A. in psychology. After several years working in advertising, architecture, and design, he now builds young men of character. He joined the faculty in 2007, teaching fourth grade homeroom for seven years. He now shares his artistic talent teaching art in the lower and middle school. Peter has also coached Junior Varsity Soccer every year since beginning at The Heights. He and his wife, Ann, live in Rockville with their five children.

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