Spacial Analysis in Macroecology

It’s my turn to teach a lesson next week for the stats class I’m taking this semester (everyone has to do one; my topic is analyzing spacial data). This class was supposed to focus on SAS, but so far we’ve done almost nothing in SAS (which is fine with me since I don’t really care that much about learning SAS at this moment; I think JMP will be fine for most of my thesis needs). Especially since it looks like next week I might not do anything with SAS at all; instead, my professor wants me to play around with a program called SAM (Spacial Analysis in Macroecology), so I did a bit of that this evening.

And so far it looks pretty cool! I think I might be able to do some of the things I planned to do in ArcGIS in SAM instead, and a bit more easily. We shall see. It took me all evening to import a data set (for a really stupid reason I should have caught a lot sooner, but OH WELL :D. I thought it was a Mac to PC problem, and part of it was, but mostly it was that I had a numeric value in one of my column labels and apparently the program hates that).

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ANYHOODLE there they are. Those are ALL the nests we’ve found for this particular population of turtles in six years of field research. (Including viable nests, nest attempts, and predated nests). This isn’t the data set I’ll use for the meat of my analysis; I’m just going to use these to calculate a mean nest distance value for this population. But this was a good place to start with SAM, I think. Tomorrow, I’ll play around with this a bit more and see what cool stuff I can do. For now though, I like it. And I guess I can put together some sort of presentation about it, assuming this is what my professor decides he wants me to teach. Even if he ends up having me do stuff in JMP (or even SAS), it’s okay – I’m glad to be having the opportunity to learn a bit about SAM. I think it might be really useful to me down the road.

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