Last few Weeks at Mote

Today was my last “official” day at Mote Marine Lab. (So this WAS the case when I originally started writing this post…) However, my research is no where near finished. My last weeks at Mote were hectic and stressful. I finally got through all of the site mapping and data file shuffle-ing and got into the actual analyses in R… and then everything just kind of blew up for a while, as research likes to do sometimes. I found no significant difference in the spatial patterns using the Komogorov-Smirnov test… SO Dr. Muller and I decided to try fitting the distributions and then running statistics on the fits. However, I have never done this before and had to start from scratch on figuring out how to go about distribution fitting in R, learning the “lingo” for distribution fitting, and determining just what everything means. I also ran into problems trying to run my old disease transmission model code with the new data. R kept throwing up error after error after error. For about two weeks, I was completely lost. I felt overwhelmed and incapable to solving all of my questions. It took a pep-talk from Dr. Muller over a couple of beers after a 5K put on by one of the local bars to get me to push past my “research plateau.” Sometimes, you just have to fall down and then pick your self back up piece by piece in order to push past problems that occur in your research. When I was driving the struggle bus, I went back through everything I had done to date and wrote everything down step by step and I also went back and re-read a lot of the R instruction manuals. This really helped me understand what I am doing even better than before. I think encountering difficulties during research forces scientists to re-evaluate and refocus to better continue on in their project.