Sunday, October 18, 2009

Dealing With Data

Part of the reason I made an effort to get a bachelor's in science is my love for data. I love Excel, spreadsheets, numbers, lists, and anything else you can think of related to dealing with data. I even enjoy applying arbitrary guidelines to data just to get an idea of info that can be gleaned from the raw.

But even I, sometimes, cannot tolerate the long hours it takes just to do anything with data. My field notebook, begun in April and trailing through multiple little composition books (they are 4 1/2 x 3 1/4 inches) and sometimes loose pieces of paper, logs nearly every bird I have seen since then. And boy, have I seen PLENTY of individuals. I am always, always birding.

I have spent most of today, minus eating, attempting to input my data from my field notebook from August up to the current date into ebird.org. I am now tired and cranky and not even near finished, and realizing that I have lost some recent loose pieces of paper that show some rather high counts of geese in local cornfields. I will probably not be able to find these papers. These feel like newb mistakes, which is highly irritating. Oh, the woes of going through all the little mistakes of something that is still a bit new to oneself, so that one can become a better birder over time.

2 comments:

suep said...

hey don't be too hard on yourself.
On a Thoreau list yesterday, in a discussion on science, one member (who is from Iran) quotes an ancient Persian mystic, and adds his own remark :
"The Shams of Tabriz said, 'Science takes you to the
door. It does not take you inside.' This is very important to reach the door, of course, but if there is not any kind of love in your heart and the one who is behind the door, it will never open."
Well you've certainly got the love for those birds, so things will work out eventually!

Lindsey said...

It's frustrating, though I got to log those 500 geese into ebird finally! I absolutely love those birds so much! And they seem to love me at times. :)