Saturday, June 9, 2018

early June update

I've been back out in the field since Memorial Day and it's been crazy busy. Julien has been visiting and we're all working on a new workflow to use tablet computers to save time updating all the trap bags. I've always been skeptical of using tablets for data collection because if you collect data and they break before they can be backed up you've lost everything, and because you can do a lot with data sheets and notes which then later get abstracted into formal electronic data sheets for analysis. Anyway, after a lot of discussion, we're taking the plunge. Data will still be written down on paper when we're trapping animals but it will be entered into the computer immediately upon return to the lab and all the tablets will sync with the newest trapping data. This should save a lot of time. Julien has programmed in a lot of checks on data to hopefully reduce entry errors. Fingers crossed.

Gizmodo was here the other day filming the marmot project as part of a series on field stations around the world. Excited to see what emerges from that.

Trapping is going well, but since there's so much delicious green food around, marmots are a bit less interested in our bait. Oh well. The challenges of fieldwork.

Ipek Kulachi, a postdoc who studies cognition in the wild, has been visiting. We've been talking a bunch about possible projects.

We're still training new people as they arrive. Julien came with his graduate student Alex, who will introduce herself shortly. Three more new folks to go!

RMBL summer program is officially beginning today. The valley is beginning to get busy and I'm spending my 'day off' catching up with correspondence and other projects. Back to that!

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