NAOC Workshop: Survey Responses
last updated: 11 August 2016 16:45
First, a “thank you” to everyone who filled out the questionnaire that we had set up with SurveyMonkey. What you told us has helped us to put together materials and presentations that we hope you will all find useful and informative.
Here are some thoughts that we wanted to share with you, after looking at the results from the survey:
- Almost everyone has some knowledge of eBird: That’s a good thing! Some of the particularities with eBird’s data come from its dual nature as both: a tool for gathering research data, and a resource for birders. To the extent that most of you have experienced the “birder” side of eBird, it will be easier to understand the data and how to work with them.
- You are a diverse group: Our intent is to present a broad array of information rather than diving deeply into any specific topic. If some of you are coming with specific questions for us and we don’t present the answers anywhere in our presentations and example computer scripts, we hope that there will be enough unstructured time in the workshop for you to get the answers that you want. We will also all be around for the duration of the NAOC, so hopefully one way or another you can get your questions answered.
- Most of you use R: Regardless of the software that you use to analyse data, you should get a lot out of the workshop. While our main target audience is R users, and many of the computer scripts that we have created are for R, the workshop isn’t a course in how to use R. Instead, much of the information that we will be presenting will be agnostic to the software that you use for data analysis; this is particularly true for the morning’s discussion of data extraction.
- Many of you have somewhat limited computer resources: We asked the question about the amount of memory (RAM) in your computer, because this memory is probably the most limiting resource when working with large data sets like those from eBird. This is especially true for the process of narrowing down the large quantity of raw data to just the subset that you actually want. You will be happy to know that the process that we will be describing for data subsetting was initially motivated by our own need to accomplish this task on a laptop probably older and more decrepit than yours.
Finally, we thought that you might be interested in seeing the mix of responses to the questions, so we have provided summaries below.
Question 1: Operating system (multiple answers were possible)
- Mac OS: 52%
- Windows: 62%
- Linux or other *NIX: 7%
Question 2: Maximum computer memory (RAM)
- 4 GB: 33%
- 8 GB: 30%
- 16 GB: 15%
- 32+ GB: 22%
Question 3: Statistical software most used
- R: 79%
- SAS: 13%
- Other: 8%
Question 4: Largest geographic area of interest
- County: 7%
- State/Prov: 17%
- Single country: 7%
- Multiple countries: 55%
- World: 14%
Question 5: Temporal scope of interest (multiple responses possible)
- Part of single year: 25%
- Full single year: 29%
- Multiple years, date range: 75%
- Multiple years, all dates: 64%
Question 6: Largest taxonomic scope (multiple answers possible)
- Single species: 66%
- Subspecies: 21%
- Multiple species: 76%
Question 7: Types of biological questions of interest (multiple responses possible)
- Phenology: 62%
- Habitat associations: 76%
- Species distribution models: 83%
- Population trends: 76%
- Unusual events: 28%
- Other: 10%
Question 8: How have you engaged with eBird (multiple responses possible)
- Looked at summary output: 96%
- Entered data: 85%
- Downloaded data: 37%