Weeks 7-9 Recap

“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to do.” -Kahlil Gibran

I was in the field on my other project for a few weeks, so this recap covers an analysis of the last three weeks’ data. I actually did try to run these analyses from abroad, but I kept running into minor data issues that required access to your physical datasheets. Turns out, those datasheets are pretty valuable! There was also a data issue that puzzled me for while – it looked like there was missing data in R, but I couldn’t find it in the spreadsheet. I eventually found a typo where the year was recorded as “2106” for a set of observations, and I had asked R to only analyze up to week 9.

The patterns in the data continue to be interesting:


It looks like there might be a second, smaller wave of eggs coming? I’ll be interested to see if we see more larvae coming – it doesn’t look like those eggs are getting much farther yet. Compared with Weeks 2 and 3, it looks like perhaps we are seeing mortality of eggs and/or early instar larvae. We’ve actually seen this pattern in previous years – there seems to be something that is reducing larval success in the mid-summer. Any ideas what could be happening?


Here’s a mystery I haven’t solved yet – why are the total plant counts down? In theory, we should have 318 plants observed each week, but we sometimes seem to be down by dozen or more. I don’t see any big gaps missing, so perhaps this is just a few overlooked plants here and there? Interestingly, the number of alive plants seems to be holding steady, so I’m guessing the missing ones are NE plants that people are forgetting to note.

Hey, has anyone else noticed the western fence lizards (Sceloporous occidentalis) out at the site? Once I starting looking for them on the ground and low tree trunks, I started seeing them everywhere.

Minor issues: 1) If you run out of white blank datasheets, please ask Mr. Bastin or try to make copies yourself; please avoid using the green Rite-in-the-Rain sheets if you can. 2) I’ve been noticing a little continued data entry weirdness, mostly missing times, blank cells/lines, typos in the time/date fields, or extraneous percent symbols in the data. I can usually find and correct these myself, or sometimes we’ll message you to clarify stuff we can’t figure out. However, if you can doublecheck your data entry before you logoff, that would help avoid a lot of this weirdness.

Looking ahead, the last day for the DHS part of this project will be June 12 – the end of Week 11. We will continue monitoring these plants for the rest of the season into the fall, in partnership with the Growing Green intership at the Center for Land-Based Learning. Karen Swan is coordinating the Growing Green program. If you are interested in continuing into the summer, please email me and Karen ASAP!

We are also hoping to organize a gathering of the DHS and the GG programs at some point soon – please stay tuned for more info about that coming soon. 

Finally, here are some photos from my other field project in the Bahamas – the field research out there is much harder than most people imagine it is, but it is still pretty fun, and there are lots cool things to see. It is good to be an ecologist. 






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