Winter break data analysis

Hi Flog,

It’s Emma Greenlee back for part 2 of my independent project, data analysis! My project draws from the Sling project, in which Team Echinacea annually tracks the survival of Echinacea seedlings that originated between 2006-2013 for an extensive record of survival and mortality in these seedlings. During my internship with the Echinacea Project this past summer I collected data in the hopes of finding out whether Sling seedling survival varies with microhabitat characteristics. Now that Carleton is on our 6-week-long winter break, I’m analyzing that microhabitat data with the goal of putting together a poster to present at an ecology conference next summer.

After a week of working on this, starting from a fairly low level of R knowledge, I have learned a lot and feel like I’m still very early in the process. I started the week doing some R tutorials and lessons and checked in with Mia daily on Zoom to talk about any questions I had. She set up a nice outline to help me get started and has been really helpful, so shout out to Mia! I have spent most of my time cleaning my data, which is separated into two data sets, one containing microhabitat data on litter depth, vegetation cover, slope, aspect, distance to roads and fields, and plant community composition in each sling circle, and the other containing records of all flowering species and number of inflorescences at each sling circle. Once it’s formatted how I want I will start some exploratory data analysis, hopefully at the start of next week.

I also got to go to the Echinacea Project’s zoom lab meeting this morning, where the group discussed an outline for the introduction to the sling paper Lea is working on. It was nice to see everyone, and to hear about how the sling research will translate to papers and the kinds of decisions that are involved in thinking about how to set up a research paper. This morning there was also a seminar put on by the CBG where speakers representing Plants of Concern, restoration research at the garden, the Dixon National Tallgrass Prairie seedbank, and Budburst presented a little about their projects and how other collaborators can get involved. A common theme among the presenters was an emphasis on citizen science and even “community science,” a term I hadn’t heard before but thought was awesome.

Just looking at the vegan package for R made me feel like a real ecologist this week, looking forward to continuing to build on what I know next week.

Emma 🙂


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