Office Hours: See calendar link
Week 1: Jan 25
- Introductions, overview of field research in Ecuador.
- Discuss open questions, Q&A
- Discuss technologies currently in use in the field:
- Radio Collars
- Camera Traps
- open questions Read the rest of the class website as well.
- Project Ideas
- Measuring Behavior, Paul Martin & Patrick Bateson, chapters 1 & 2 (online)
- Read Tony's https://webspace.utexas.edu/ad26693/www/ and notes on the field site he works at
- Read Tony's Notes from the field
- Read Mike and Arturo's Report on Remote Measurement of New World Primates
- Browse Tom's blog postings from Tiputini
Assignment: join the class NYU Google Group.
Week 2: Feb 1
- Q&A on the reading and the questions and application ideas
- Intro to current wildlife research methods and practices
- Data collection and management
- Camera observation
Observation assignment: We'll break the class into groups of three. Half the groups will go to the zoo to observe monkeys and take notes. The other half will go public gathering places and observe humans and take notes, using principles laid out in class and in Measuring Behavior. Use the guidelines given out in class.
Week 3: Feb 8
- Data collection in the field: Notebooks, PDAs, and other collection tools
- Telemetry: radio collars
In-class Assignment: In four groups: Take a radio receiver or a collar and a GPS unit or phone. If you have the radio collar, you're the animal being sought. Based on what you've been told, think like that animal, and go about your day. Constrain yourself to the area around Washington Square Park. If your group has the receiver, find the other groups. When you find a group, note the location, and give them the radio, and return to class. When you return to class, note your path and location on the map. The collar groups will get a five-minute head start. We will take an hour for this exercise.
Field Assignment: take one of the GPS receivers from school, or your phone or any other GPS receiver you have. log an hour's travel through the city. Export the data as a KML file and display it in Google Earth. Show where the greatest errors occurred. Be prepared to explain in class why those errors occurred.
Week 4: Feb 15
- GPS & GIS
- Understanding GPS and GIS: Data files and formats
- Possible guest TBA
Week 5: Feb 22
- Electronics in the wild
- Robustness and power
- power calculation
- motion sensing
- Assignment: Given what you know about the strengths and limitations of camera traps, design your own camera trap. Come up with a system design by next week. Describe the features and interface of the particular devices you plan to use. Explain your work plan, including what has to get done and how long you think it will take to do it.
Week 6: Feb 29
- Present camera trap designs
- Guest presentation: Doug on GSM networks
Spring Break: March 14
Week 7: March 21
- Present camera trap plan revisions, or works in progress, as appropriate.
Week 8: Tuesday March 27 - Make-up class
- Present camera trap projects
Final Assignment: work in groups of 3 + or -1 Summarize one of the aspects of your work this semester in a practical project, recommending an approach to wildlife telemetry. Possible approaches:
- Build a prototype of a new device or system for tracking, observing, or measuring (radios, cameras)
- Assemble detailed research on a topic with specific recommendations and/or tutorials (power management, data management).
Your final project need not be a fully working prototype, but it must be fully useful, and contain material that others could act upon. It should describe your solution in terms a practicing biologist can use. What do they need to learn to make it happen? What kinds of partnerships can they form to do so? What materials will they need? What costs will they incur?
Initial concept presentations due week 11
Final presentations week 14
Week 9: March 28
- Discuss final ideas; present initial research
Week 10: April 4
- Final project concept presentation with guests
Week 11: April 11
- Present final project system research, initial system diagrams, and work plan.
Week 12: April 18
- Final project development
Week 13: April 25
- Final project development
Week 14: May 2
- Final project prototype presentation with guests
Participation & Attendance: 33.3%
Production Assignments: 33.3%
Participation & Attendance
Showing up on time, engaging in the class discussion, and offering advice and critique on other projects in the class is a major part of your grade. Please be present and prompt. Lateness will hurt your grade. If you're going to be late or absent, please email your instructor in advance. If you have an emergency, please let your instructor know as soon as you can. Please turn in assignments on time as well.
Laptop use is fine if you are using your laptop to present in class, or if we're in the middle of an exercise that makes use of it. Whenever classmates are presenting or we're in the midst of a class discussion, however, please keep your laptop closed. The quality of the class depends in large part on the quality of your attention and active participation, so please respect that and close your lid.
Please put them on vibrate or turn them off before you come to class unless they are part of your project. If you have an emergency that requires you to answer your phone during class, please tell your instructor ahead of time.
For production assignments, you'll be expected to present your project in class on the day that it's due. All group members should be present, on time, and should participate equally in the presentation.
Good documentation habits for this class:
Please keep a project page for your projects in this class on this wiki. You may also keep an external site, but we would like to gather summaries and overviews of all projects on this site for future reference. Make sure to identify the project members in your project pages, of course. See Morgen & Christina's Accelerometer progress pages linked off the Projects page or Mike and Arturo's Report on Remote Measurement of New World Primates for examples of good documentation style.
Always cite the sources of your work, including code, the places you learned techniques from, and the inspirations of your ideas. Few ideas come out of the blue, and your readers can learn a lot from the sources you learned from or were inspired by.