Norris's vast publications and work on dolphins were the product of various modes and practices of observation. One of the most prevalent material practices that informed Norris's dolphin research was note taking. He wrote comprehensive and detailed field notes that documented his observations of dolphins and their behaviors in sites throughout the globe, from the waters off of South America to California and Hawai'i. In his aerial behavior logs, Norris used charts and timed periods of observation to record the occurrence of different dolphin behaviors. He also relied on visual mediums in order to better understand dolphin anatomy, formations, and interactions. This ranged from his own hand drawn sketches to photography and labelled diagrams. These distinct practices of observation helped shape the larger terrain of Norris's dolphin research, as the various possibilities and constraints posed by different methods of observation ultimately influenced his findings and lines of inquiry.