Time to get statty

Most of us in the lab have officially finished our field work with both milkweed and insects! For the remainder of the summer I will be going out into our nearby field site 1-2 times per week to collect some final data on insects. I have read that different types of milkweed herbivores will be emerging late in July (around this time). Our nearby site has relatively low insect density in general so I am unsure how much insect activity I will actually record, but it will be interesting to see! I am hoping to collect more samples for my insect teaching collection though I am doubtful that Yorktown has enough individuals for collection.

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Progress

I’ve created a regression for converting dbh to height and it’s working pretty well. One issue with it is that when I combine the data for young trees (which were measured in height) and bigger trees (which I converted), there is very little variance among the heights of larger trees; the conversion has served as a smoother of the data. This makes a regression for growth fit much more nicely, but unfortunately also creates an uneven distribution of residuals. I have attached a variance to the conversion to add some variance among its outputs, but there is still a skew in the residuals. I am currently looking into implications this may have.

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Some Direction

I was a little hazy on what I’d actually be doing this summer. Would I be helping someone else with her research? Would I be using data that was already collected? Or would I be messing around until I had the opportunity to head to Maine and Vermont to collect new data? It turns out I’m doing a little bit of each. There is an incredible amount of data being used for a matrix model that has been in the works longer than I’ve been at W&M, and I am helping sort through it, picking out funky pieces of data and marking them so they can be checked with the real trees when we take the trip to Maine. I am also using the current data to practice my modeling skills. One goal for the summer is having a functional model for the Maine data. I am using a statistical program, R, that is very different than Python ( the language I’ve used so far in my CS classes), and I spend a significant amount of time just trying to find proper syntax and functions for the things I want to do. Once more data is collected, there will be two years of data collected from the Vermont site, and I spend time this fall building a new model for a new set of data.

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Text Mining with R

Made with R

Word cloud made with R

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