I’m taking a class this semester called Tools for Wildlife Observations. I’m pretty excited, mainly because it involves solving real-life challenges faced by biologists in the field. I’ve got to admit, I’m a fan of the inherent practicality in designing and making things to solve actual challenges. Plus, next week we get to talk about GPS and tracking! Exciting.
But before getting to all of that interesting stuff, we had to have our briefing. We had to get an understanding of what it’s like being a wildlife biologist out in Ecuador, trying to categorize the behaviors of primates in realtime. We had to sit in McDonald’s and watch people.
Okay, that demands clarification. Basically, most of the groups in our class were watching primates, but a couple groups were assigned to record the behavior of humans (for comparison). Jacki and I chose McDonald’s as our field of study. Click below to see our focal and scan samples, plus behaviors, definitions, and catalogues of states and events. They’re not the most interesting thing to read, but trust me, it was far more tedious to record. On any account, it definitely says something about the difficulty of recording and classifying behaviors of any species.