Mid-Atlantic Sustainable School FieldScope Project Help

Is registering for a FieldScope account free?

Yes, registering for a FieldScope account is completely free of charge.

Submitting Feedback

We value your feedback and would like to hear from you. Please email your feedback to info@fieldscope.org

Contributing to a FieldScope Project

To contribute to a FieldScope project, you must first sign up for a FieldScope account and register with a project. Once approved, you will receive an email. To sign up for a new account, click the Login prompt located at the top right of a FieldScope project.

Finding Other FieldScope Projects

Find an index of all projects you can join that are using FieldScope here.

FieldScope and BSCS

BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study) is a non-profit curriculum study committed to transforming science teaching and learning. We have a long history of developing exemplary curriculum materials, offering transformative professional development services, and conducting rigorous research and evaluation studies.

As we continue in our commitment to transform science education, we are building upon the foundation of our past while seeking innovative opportunities to lead the science education community. We are committed to generating and using research to develop products and services that improve science teaching and learning for all.

FieldScope is an interactive mapping platform that puts the tools of exploration and investigation in the hands of science enthusiasts. This digital tool enables citizen scientists to document and understand the world around them––both in the classroom and in outdoor settings. Using FieldScope, enthusiasts work together to share, analyze, and interpret data. Overlaying that data on a geographic mapping tool such as FieldScope helps identify larger trends and answer important questions.

DATA OVERVIEW

Below is guidance on entering data into the Mid-Atlantic Sustainable School website—organized into frequently asked questions (FAQ). We have also created video tutorials with step-by-step guidance on entering, editing and update your data. If you have specific questions about the Maryland Green School program, please contact MAEOE at greenschools@maeoe.org.

VIDEO TUTORIALS

  1. How to log into FieldScope

  2. How to add my school’s location

  3. How to enter data the first year

  4. How to edit data within an academic year

  5. How to enter data after the first year

  6. How to flag data that looks incorrect

  7. How to create a map

  8. How to explore a map

  9. How to explore a table

  10. How to explore a graph

FAQ (click HERE to download a PDF of this text)

MOST IMPORTANT FAQs
I started entering our sustainable practices data but didn’t have time finish. I’m now ready to finish entering these practices. Should I open my existing record with these practices or start a new record?

You should open the existing record. Note you should only have one record (or row) per academic year for your school. If you can’t enter all your practices at one time, you need to open and edit the existing record to finish entering your data. Do NOT create a new record. When you are done, you should also check your data to confirm you have only one record (row) per academic year.

How often should I update our school’s sustainable practices, and should I make a new record for this update?

Annually, and yes. You should update your sustainable practices once per academic year if possible. You will have to create a new record when you do this annual update. Because this is a new record, you will have re-enter all your data (even if it did not change).

GENERAL FAQs
Why should I enter my school’s sustainable practices data into the Mid-Atlantic Sustainable School FieldScope website?

The Mid-Atlantic Sustainable School FieldScope provides an opportunity to showcase your schools’ sustainable (or “green”) efforts! It’s also a resource that you can use to locate other schools that might advise on your own efforts. And, it’s an educational tool that your students can use to explore environmental and social studies questions (for example, are sustainable schools more common in some regions, and why might that be?). Do I need to be a certified “Green School” to add my data? No. All schools in the Mid-Atlantic region are eligible to enter their data—no award or certification is required. However, only schools are eligible to provide data (no homes or businesses). Additionally, all Maryland Green School applicants are required to add their sustainable practices into the Sustainable School FieldScope website; existing Maryland Green Schools are also encouraged add their schools to this important resource.

How often should I enter my school location in the Mid-Atlantic Sustainable School FieldScope website?

You will only add your school location to FieldScope once.

What type of data are entered into the Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Schools FieldScope website?

These data are typical school sustainable practices that align with existing state and federal sustainable school programs (such as Maryland Green School). Download this Sustainable Practices Datasheet for more information.

What information should I gather before I start entering data into Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Schools FieldScope?

We strongly recommend you gather your data using the Sustainable Practices Datasheet (click here to download this datasheet) before starting on FieldScope. Note this datasheet was developed in collaboration with the Maryland Association for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE), but it is useful for all schools in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Do I need to login to enter my school and our sustainable practices?

Yes. If you have a FieldScope account that you use for other FieldScope projects, you can also use it for Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Schools FieldScope. If you don’t have a FieldScope account, see the guidance below.

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDANCE FAQs

How do I log into the Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Schools FieldScope website?

• Go to http://sustainableschools.fieldscope.org and click Login. • If you have a FieldScope account, enter your username and password here. • If you do not have a FieldScope account o In the Log In to FieldScope window, click the New to FieldScope? Click Here to Register link. o Complete the registration form, and click Register. Your request will be sent to project administrators, who must accept it. o Once your request is accepted, you will receive an automated confirmation email from National Geographic within 5 business days (watch your spam/junk folder for this message!). Click on the link in the message as directed to activate your account.

I am entering my school’s data for the first time and have already logged in to FieldScope. How do I enter my school’s location and sustainable practices data?

• Log into FieldScope and click on the Enter Data tab at the top of the page. When the Learn to Enter Data window pops up, just select the appropriate response. • In step 1 Select School, click on the Create New School tab. o In the Name: box, type the name of your school. o Select Click on a point in the map at the right; and then zoom and pan to find your school on that map, and click on the map at that location. A black dot will appear indicating where you have placed your school on the map. To move the dot, click on another location on the map (do not try to drag it). You may use the search tool (magnifying glass) to search for and zoom to your school’s address; note the result is a red dot that only shows the general location of your search result – you must still click on the map to get the black dot indicating the location of your school. o If you would like to add a photo of your school, click the Add Photo… button, navigate to the photo, open it, provide a title and description, and then Save it. o After adding your school and, optionally, a photo, scroll down and complete the School Information form. When finished, click the Save School button; you will receive a notification that your data is saved, and you may opt to save an image of the data form for your files if you wish (not required). Notice the dot at your school location will turn to a schoolhouse icon. • Click the Next > button to Enter practices data. Use the pull-down menus and text boxes to complete the form with your data. Note you should gather all these data before entering data into FieldScope (click here for the Sustainable Schools Datasheet that will help you gather the necessary data). After you have completed the form, click on the Save button. Note the new record with the date listed at the right.

I wasn’t able to finish entering all my school’s sustainable practices data. I’m ready to do this now. How do I finish entering these data?

You must edit the existing record (row) that you already started. Do NOT start a new record. Complete the following steps to open this existing record. • Go to the Enter Data tab, click on Select Existing School and use Select from a list of my schools to locate and select your school. • Then click the Next > button (only the user who entered the data can edit it). • At the right of the page under the list of Records, click on your Record Date for the record you wish to edit. Your data form will auto-fill with the data for that record. Edit as desired, and then click Save.

How do I enter data for a new academic year?

You will add a new record of sustainable practices data for your school once per academic year. Do NOT edit an existing record in a new academic year. Because this is a new record, you will have re-enter all your data (even if it did not change). Complete the following steps to add a new record. • Go to the Enter Data tab, click on Select Existing School, use Select from a list of my schools to locate and select your school. • If you are the user who placed the school on the map initially, click the Next > button; if you are entering a record for a school created by someone else, click on step 2. Enter records at the top of the page. • Enter and save your data as described earlier.

What should I do if I see data that looks incorrect?

The quality of the Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Schools FieldScope website depends on everyone keeping an eye out for erroneous data. If you have made an error or believe someone else made an error in their data, you should flag it for review by a FieldScope administrator. Complete the following steps to flag your record or someone else’s record. • If a school is in the wrong location or was added to the map more than once, go to the Enter Data tab and select the school in step 1. Select School. In the School Details section below that, click the Flag button to the right of the School ID. In the comments box that opens, explain why you think the school location needs to be reviewed by an administrator. • If a school’s record of sustainable practices data is incorrect or was added more than once, go to the Map Data tab and view the Table. Click on the record in question, and then click the Flag button to the right of the. Again, in the comments box that opens, explain why you think the data need to be reviewed by an administrator.

How can I look at all the data in Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Schools FieldScope?

You can examine sustainable schools data (your own or others’) under the Map Data tab. As a registered user, you can see just your data under the My Project Content module on the home screen of a project. By clicking on an observation or a location in these lists, here you can also edit or erase the data. You can also filter data on a graph, map, or table by using the Filter by Observer function in Map Data or Graph Data mode.

Can I download data from Mid-Atlantic Sustainable Schools FieldScope?

Yes. You can download a CSV spreadsheet of any of the data. CSV, or comma separated files, have the file extension .csv and are spreadsheets of data that can be opened in Microsoft Excel and other software programs that handle spreadsheets.

Below are links to information on several sustainable school certification programs throughout the mid-Atlantic.

Maryland Green Schools: http://www.maeoe.org/greenschools/application/2014/index.php

New York Environmental Excellence: http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/41746.html

NWF Eco-School USA: http://www.nwf.org/eco-schools-usa.aspx

PLT GreenSchool: https://www.plt.org/greenschools

USDE Green Ribbon School: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/green-ribbon-schools/index.html

Virginia Naturally School: http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/virginia_naturally/

West Virginia Sustainable Schools: http://wvde.state.wv.us/sustainable-schools/

Check out other sustainable education projects through the Appalachian Laboratory Environmental Science Education program through this website: http://alese.al.umces.edu

Data Collection Protocols

If specific data protocols exist, they will be listed in the project FAQ tab.

Exporting Data

In most projects, you can download a CSV spreadsheet of observation data you are working with. CSV, or comma separated files, have the file extension .csv and are spreadsheets of data that can be opened in Microsoft Excel and other software programs that handle spreadsheets.

Observation Data

The FieldScope community is set up to facilitate citizen scientists contributing to scientific research projects. Most projects are open and both interested participants and scientists can work with the contributed observation data. For project specific information on the use of contributed data, see the project FAQ tab.

See Your Data

A registered user can see a listing of all the observations and locations they have input through the My Project Content module on the home screen of a project. By clicking on an observation or a location in these lists, you can edit or erase the data. You can also filter data on a graph, map, or table by using the Filter by Observer function in map or graph data mode.

Adding Data Through A Mobile Device

The FieldScope Data Collector app allows you to enter and submit data to a National Geographic FieldScope project. Find it in the Apple Store or on Google Play Marketplace.

Adding Data in Bulk

You can add data in bulk from spreadsheets that follow a simple, but specific, formatting. E-mail info@fieldscope.org to request bulk upload permission. Please include the name of the FieldScope project with which you are associated.

There are a number of different graph types you can create in a FieldScope project:

Saving Graphs

To save graphs, you must first log-in to FieldScope. Once logged in, you can customize graphs and save them to your user account. Saved graphs can be accessed from the project homepage or in your project settings.

Time Series

A time-series plot displays the time-based frequency of a variable in a graph. The y-axis (vertical) will display number-based variables you choose. Colors will distinguish the variables if you choose more than one. The x-axis (horizontal) will always display a time period.

Histogram

A histogram displays the frequency of a variable in a bar chart. The y-axis (vertical) will always display the number of observations. The x-axis (horizontal) will display the number-based and category variables you choose. Colors will distinguish the variables if you choose more than one.

Scatter Plot

A scatter plot displays two variables on a graph. Both the y-axis (vertical) and x-axis (horizontal) will display number-based variables you choose. If you choose a category variable, the information will appear as you mouse over a point in your graph.

Range Comparison Plot

A range-comparison plot (sometimes called a box plot) displays variables in their quartiles, or rectangular-shaped sets of data values. The y-axis (vertical) will display a category variable you choose as a list. If you choose more than one category variable, the information on variable will appear as you mouse over a quartile. The x-axis (horizontal) will display a number-based variable you choose.

Save a Map

To save maps you create in FieldScope, you must first log-in. Once logged in, you can customize maps and save them to your user account. Saved maps can be accessed from the project homepage or in your project settings.

Search on Map

To find a location in FieldScope, use the Search feature available on the bottom right of the application by clicking on the magnifying glass icon.

Map Projections

All maps you see and interact with in FieldScope are projected in the Web Mercator projection. This is a common map projection used with maps on the web today. To read more about map projections, read this encyclopedic entry from National Geographic.