Science Diary: Asia Bat – Data

music; ambience: Insects, Forest sounds, Hornbill

“It’s now 9:05 in the morning, and we’ve just got back from releasing our hordes. I’m a little bit spaced due to severe sleep deprivation, got a whopping hour and half last night.”

Precision and accuracy in the face of sleep deprivation? It’s all is a day’s work for a field biologist. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Texas Tech Biologist Tigga Kingston is in Indonesia training students to collect data on the local bat species. After a long night in the field catching and tagging bats, Tigga and her team must get to the demanding task of compiling data.

“So this afternoon, when we’ve all got a few more firing brain cells, I’m gonna get the students entering data because it’s important that one is rigorous about correct data entry. It’s easy to make mistakes every step of the way when we’re collecting data. You can write it down wrong, or you can say it wrong, actually you can misidentify the thing right from the beginning, you can get the sex wrong, you can get everything else wrong. So that would be error on behalf of the person initially collecting data. The person recording has to stay really on the ball. And that gets quite tricky at two o’clock in the morning. Then the next source of error is entering the data into the computer. So, we have to be as diligent as we can at each of those steps. Nonetheless there’s inevitably going to be some errors in the data. And its better to throw the data out than keep inaccurate data in.”

While not as exciting as capturing bats, accurate data collection is what allows scientists to build conclusions and answer research questions. Our thanks to Sonopak for the microphones used to make the field recordings in this program. Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation.

Science Diary: Asia Bat - Data

What's more difficult that catching and tagging bats? Catching and tagging bats while drowsy!
Air Date:10/26/2010
Scientist:
Transcript:

music; ambience: Insects, Forest sounds, Hornbill

"It's now 9:05 in the morning, and we've just got back from releasing our hordes. I'm a little bit spaced due to severe sleep deprivation, got a whopping hour and half last night."

Precision and accuracy in the face of sleep deprivation? It's all is a day's work for a field biologist. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside. Texas Tech Biologist Tigga Kingston is in Indonesia training students to collect data on the local bat species. After a long night in the field catching and tagging bats, Tigga and her team must get to the demanding task of compiling data.

"So this afternoon, when we've all got a few more firing brain cells, I'm gonna get the students entering data because it's important that one is rigorous about correct data entry. It's easy to make mistakes every step of the way when we're collecting data. You can write it down wrong, or you can say it wrong, actually you can misidentify the thing right from the beginning, you can get the sex wrong, you can get everything else wrong. So that would be error on behalf of the person initially collecting data. The person recording has to stay really on the ball. And that gets quite tricky at two o'clock in the morning. Then the next source of error is entering the data into the computer. So, we have to be as diligent as we can at each of those steps. Nonetheless there's inevitably going to be some errors in the data. And its better to throw the data out than keep inaccurate data in."

While not as exciting as capturing bats, accurate data collection is what allows scientists to build conclusions and answer research questions. Our thanks to Sonopak for the microphones used to make the field recordings in this program. Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries are made possible by the National Science Foundation.