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  • Magdalena Ramos

Maggie's Recap - Week 6

We are nearing the end of week 6. I am especially excited because we have one deployment left! Next week, Tuesday, we are set to deploy our last set of models. So far, I can say with confidence that our attack rates have surpassed 20%. I have been practicing with the program R (a free software) for a bit, and I am looking forward to plugging in all the data for output. I am so new to the program that I have to google everything. Sometimes this task is tedious and takes a while. Always when I make a break-through I feel accomplished and proud of myself. Just comes to show how dedication can pay off.

Monday we were not able to deploy because we were participating in an event called PALS, for underprivileged youth. The day was split in half. The morning was reserved for kids ages 8-10. These kids were full of energy and so sweet. I enjoyed working with these kids a lot. They were so curious. Their brains had tons of ample space to be filled with knowledge. Some were sassy and needed a nap. The second group was composed of children ages 11-14. These kids were a bit more seasoned in critical thinking and science, so they contributed to our conversations about predation and coloration a bit more than the first group.

No matter the experience, both groups were given the same task of playing our “Capture the Flag”-inspired game and guessing predators on our game board. Both groups loved the activities. They loved the glitter frog prizes even more. The more experience I have interacting with kids, the more enjoyable it becomes. I think a person becomes more well-rounded when they interact with a broad age group. I’m thankful for this experience.

Tuesday, we put out our second to last deployment. So close! We were able to finish 6 transects in the morning with Nigel. Lunch came and ended, and Nigel left. We had the lovely Jenny work with us to finish. With Jenny, we plowed through tall grasses, annoying branches, and even climbed over and through trees. Yes. Climbed. We finished by 2PM. Upon arrival to the Wright center we began writing our manuscript and filling out our final presentation. We are at the point where all that is left of it, is the results and conclusion/ discussion portion. Our biggest task left in our research project is to input all our data into R. I can’t wait.

Wednesday, we wrapped up what we could of the rest of our manuscript and final presentation. After lunch we decided to take a break. We strapped on our waders and went for a creek hike. I definitely love the water FAR more than the forest. Mae takes wonderful photos:

Maggie, Jenny and Mae in stream

Thursday, we picked up what we had deployed Tuesday. It was rough. It had rained yesterday morning so everything in the forest had ample time to grow. I won’t lie, I was in an awful mood. There were multiple highlights to my day, however. One highlight of the day was that I saw this extremely cute critter resting on a stalk!

caterpillar on a stem

Another highlight was that somehow, we managed to speedily retrieve all of our frog models, AND conduct vegetation surveys before lunch with 20 minutes to spare. Talk about efficient. The third highlight was that when walking through our third transect I noticed a little snail buddy had slimed its way onto my arm. It was so cute. I wish I had taken a picture to show you all, but I was scared to take my gloves off because of poison ivy contact.

That’s all I have for you guys this week! :) Tune in next week to read about how our excursion with R data input and last transect went.

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