Field Guide Recognized with Prestigious Award

December 7, 2017 at 10:25 am

From left, Dr. Jon Storm receives the William F. Palmer Award from the South Carolina Science Council.

A free, online field guide produced by a group of University of South Carolina Upstate faculty members and one student has received the prestigious William F. Palmer Award from the South Carolina Science Council.

The award was announced in November during the science council’s annual conference.

The e-book, titled “Field Guide to the Southern Piedmont,” includes entries on organisms – from birds to slime mold and more – that are found in the Piedmont region of the Carolinas and Georgia. It is available for download at no cost, according to Dr. Jon Storm, who said he realized the need for such a book after taking his young daughters on nature walks.

“I wanted to create an easy-to-use field guide that would help the general public identify common, distinctive organisms they might find in this region of the country,” Storm said.

Storm’s collaborators on the field guide included Dr. Briget Doyle, Julie Smoak, Melissa Storm and student Rachel Furman.

Storm said he was excited to learn that the book had won the annual statewide award from the science council, which is the South Carolina chapter of the National Science Teachers Association.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized for our contribution to science education in South Carolina,” Storm said. “To know that teachers around the state are finding it to be a useful resource, that means a lot to us. The guide was not produced just for teachers, though; it is also a useful resource for gardeners, parents and nature enthusiasts. ”

The guide has a range of information on organisms and how to recognize them in an outdoor setting.

“The field guide includes animals such as birds, snakes, turtles, mammals – plus fungi, plants, slime molds; rocks and minerals; various animal sounds that you might hear for birds and insects; natural-history oddities that you might find out in the woods like deer bones or animal skulls,” he said.

The guide is available for download at uscupstate.edu/fieldguide, and is also optimized for viewing on a tablet. There is no charge to download the guide.