Terrapin Study: A Summary

Alas, our journey together has come to an end. It seems like a daunting task to draw a summary of such an enlightening and fun summer, but here we are. Just to lay out the setting of our summary…

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Going Turtling! Weeks 8 & 9: Wrapping up & Exciting Discoveries!

Weeks 8 & 9 were fairly uneventful by capture standards, save for one interesting discovery. In week 8 we captured 10 turtles in total, with the sex ratio being 7 males to 3 females. On week 9, we captured 3 turtles total, with the sex ratio being 2 females and 1 male. Overall, it was a good way to end the field work portion of the project.

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A Sad Introduction to the Terrapin Project

After many weeks of fieldwork, it is time to tell the long story of the research that has been done. While the entirety of the research itself has been overwhelmingly positive, The first day of surveying the work site was cast in a grim light upon a depressing finding. My research partner and I, along with our lab professor and his assistant, paddled out to the Catlett Islands to evaluate where the best spots for pots would be. It was a windy, sunny day, and our spirits were light as we made our way out of Cedar Bush Creek to look for both suitable sites and Terrapins. When entering one of the many small bays of the Islands, we found several old crab pot buoys, with rusted metal rings attached. Luckily enough, nothing was caught in the first few, but the last one we pulled up was a new crab pot and had yet to deteriorate to the level of the others. Sadly, when we pulled it out of the water, it was filled with Diamond-backed Terrapins.

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Week 5 Update

This week I’ve been wrapping up my secondary research. The largest challenge I face when formulating my final essay will be providing a concise yet comprehensive history of blackface in America. The history of minstrelsy in America is complex, and it is important that I examine every facet of minstrelsy’s past and legacy in order to provide proper context for my primary evidence. From the sources I’ve examined, I’ve seen how different factions of society produced and consumed minstrelsy with diverse goals and intentions. The authors of these sources also examine the legacies created by minstrelsy and how different groups over time have interpreted the practice.

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Week 6: making graphs

I have made some progress with R, mostly because of one particularly helpful site called “Cookbook for R” that had good examples of how to make plots in R.  In particular I had been struggling with making a plot that showed the number of similar observations.  I could easily graph each individual observation independently, but it didn’t tell me anything new.  I could also graph the number of similar observations as a histogram.  This was somewhat useful but what I really wanted to produce was a line graph that showed me the distribution of my data.  My PI showed me a page on Cookbook for R that had detailed examples of how to produce the graphs that I wanted.  It was easy to modify the code to suit my data.  There were even options for making the graphs prettier or adding keys and lines to show the means.

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