September Update: new season, same research

September has been productive, but frustrating month for my research. With the hurricane evacuation there have been several setbacks. At the beginning of September, our goal was to have the diamondback terrapin nesting habitat model solidified by the end of the month. However, after having been working in GIS the last several months I have accumulated numerous amounts of data. It was impossible to transfer the data onto another computer to have during the evacuation. However, once coming back to campus I spent an entire day working out the last few environmental layers that needed to be edited before the nesting habitat model could be complete. I sent a copy of the environmental data to Robert Isdell at VIMS so that he could run a correlation test in R. Dr. Isdell recognized that some of the terrapin observation points recorded him as the source. This is not good, because he has never made terrapin observations that were on land (where the terrapins would be nesting). This means that there could be other terrapin observation points that we assumed were nesting and are not. Therefore, in order to ensure that the data is accurate, we have decided it would be best to contact each source and ask them whether they know if their observations were nesting or water observations. While this is a disappointing setback, I am glad we recognized this issue now and not several months from now. The good news is that I can continue to work on preparing the sea level rise environmental data. Additionally, the environmental data is finished and once we know which observation points are truly nesting points, it will not be difficult to finalize the nesting habitat. This setback is disappointing, but it would not be research if there were not some difficulties!


This is a picture of the current terrapin nesting habitat model. This may change once we have the correct diamondback terrapin nesting observations. However, in the mean time, it is still interesting to consider how the environmental data is impacting the model and what that could mean with the sea level rise!

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