Save Our Catchment – EP10 – In The Field – Data Analysis

(upbeat music) – [Instructor] Once you’ve collected data in the field, what do you do with it? You will probably have ended up with figures written down
on a page for each location. Now you need to record the
data formally and present it in a way that helps identify
any patterns or trends. The role of our field work is to assist local Landcare managers in targeting locations for
Cat’s Claw Creeper management. In this episode, you’ll be learning how to conduct data analysis, calculate average percentage cover, present data in the right choice of graph, identify patterns in the data. Once you have gathered your results, you need to calculate the
average percentage cover at each location. Step one, draw out or
design a results table and record all of your raw data into it. This makes it nice and clear to calculate your average percentage cover from each location. You should now complete your data table. Step two, calculate an
average for each location. You should have 10 percentages
along the 10 metre transect for location one. Add up the 10 figures you have
and divide this figure by 10. This will summarise the percentage cover of Cat’s Claw Creeper for one location and give you an overall picture of what is happening at
that target location. Calculate the average for
location two and three along the Clarence River. Record the average figures
in your results table. Why should we calculate the
average percentage cover for each location? The three average percentage
cover figures allow for an easy comparison between
the different locations to enable Landcare managers to decide which place is in need of
urgent environmental management. You are learning about the
geography of the Clarence River. But these skills are also linked with what you learn in science. In science and geography, it is a skill to decide whether you draw
a line or column graph, depending on the variables you are using. As the data we have collected has been from three separate locations, it is known as a discontinuous variable. This means the data should
be presented as a bar graph. You can draw out a graph using pencil and a ruler on graph paper or create one on your computer using
Excel or Google Sheets. You should plot average percentage cover on the Y axis, vertical, and
location one, two, and three on the X axis, horizontal. Make sure your scale is easy to read. You should also label each axis clearly and include units where appropriate. The graph gives an easy overall
view of the distribution of Cat’s Claw Creeper at three locations. (upbeat music) Identify patterns in the data. This may need to be done
after the data collection. There are a variety of ways we can use the
information we have collected in the field. After identifying
differences in distribution of species in two areas,
you can develop a hypothesis that might explain the
differences in distributions. Questions that may be considered in the future could include,
one, is there a difference in distribution of the Cat’s Claw Creeper at depositional sites and
removal, erosion, sites? Or two, how far inland in the riparian zone are
the infestations spreading? Or number three, why does the Cat’s Claw
Creeper occupy certain areas and not others? By completing this field work
we are maintaining a database. The information can be
kept over a number of years to assist Landcare managers
in their decision making in regards to control measures and management in the
Upper Clarence catchment. (upbeat music)

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