The learning objectives are: 1) find the average bird densities at each observation point, taking into account variation in the estimates among different observer groups, 2) find the average values of each of the habitat characteristics among observer groups at each observation point and correlate them with the average bird densities, 3) build plots to demonstrate the patterns found in 1 and 2, and 4) execute general data analysis techniques.
This Swirl course uses simulated ecological data to explore the concepts of interobserver variability and relationships between birds and environmental parameters. The specific dataset included in this lesson is simulated counts of birds at 12 locations. In addition to bird counts, the dataset also includes the simulated number of shrubs, trees, structures, people, and percent vegetation cover at these 12 locations. These data are counts and estimates from several groups of observers, with 4 independent groups observing birds and habitat variables at each location. This Swirl course was implemented in an ecology laboratory setting at CSUSM after conducting observations of these variables around campus in a previous laboratory session.
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