Diversity studies and interviews

Good Morning, everyone! I’m so thankful to Anika Dane for interviewing me about my ConnectiCon 2016 panel and about Pokebiology! I’m humbled about the response I’ve gotten, mainly because I wasn’t expecting one! Please go check it out here!

Because I’ve had such a busy work week, I haven’t gotten the chance to type up a new post. However, I have a little activity for those of you playing Pokemon GO:

Mini diversity study- Although the algorithm is specifically random, which means that the Pokemon around you are randomly spawned within a certain group, it’s a good way to introduce what ecologists and environmental biologists do in the real world.

The goal is to see which Pokemon spawn in which area, how large they are, and maybe (if you get ambitious) the types of moves they have.

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All of this information is handily given to you when you catch the Pokemon! This includes the general area that you caught your Pokemon in as well and the date of which it was caught!

Here’s the quick steps for this study:

  1. Choose an area to do your study in. It can be a park, or a downtown area, or a beach! Make sure you write down what kind of environment it is; is it a forest, a grassland, does it have a pond or a river? You could even sketch a map of it!
  2. Catch Pokemon! Remember to be careful about other people and animals in your chosen field site. Write down how long you are catching Pokemon- if you are doing this over a span of days, keep track of which days you caught which Pokemon.
  3. Go through the Pokemon you caught; you could give them certain names or labels after you caught them, or you can look at the GPS figure down on the bottom of the information screen.
  4. Open up a spreadsheet (or, make a table in your lab notebook!)
    1. You’re going to want columns for Species (Pokemon type), Weight, and Height. Moves are optional! That can get very hard to organize, but if you’re up to it, put down moves!
    2. Now, record all the Pokemon you caught for that area! You can now do whatever you want with those Pokemon.
  5. At this point, you’ll want a break. Excel is a cruel mistress who preys on eye strain headaches. Have a popsicle.
  6. Now go back through your data- Excel has a neat sort feature I like to use. You can now see the most common Pokemon you caught, how many different types of Pokemon you caught, and their sizes!
  7. Now, you can do a neat little write up or question session:
    1. How many different “species” did you find?
    2. Do the species make sense in the environment you chose? (Were there Magikarp in the street?)
    3. What was the most common Pokemon you found? Were they small or large?
    4. What are some questions you have about the Species or Pokemon you found? What are some ways you could answer those questions?
    5. Would you do another study? How would you change what you did out in the field?

So, this can take weeks or hours, it all depends on how you want to develop your own study! I suggest having a notebook with you to take notes or sketch interesting things. Don’t forget to learn about the area you’re working in! Maybe describe a bird you saw, or learn about a native plant. Keep it in your journal! You might find an interesting correlation!

I plan on doing a mini study this weekend; I look forward to everyone going out and trying it on their own!

Have a great day and an awesome weekend!

Connie

 

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