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 Post subject: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 18th, 2014, 10:53 am 
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I proposed the idea of organizing an annual herp count that would take place roughly the same time, year after year, inspired by Audubons Christmas Bird Count. See here for the older discussions. viewtopic.php?f=12&t=18507&hilit=summer

I would like to open up a second round of discussions prior to organizing a second herp count.

1. Should this be officially NAFHA sponsored with NAFHA outings, or should it remain more casual? Would the IB & NAFHA approve to use their logo and name on flyers. I know last year I went ahead and did it, but this year I'd like it to be official.

2. I thought working with 2 weeks of data would be a nightmare, but it really wasn't that bad, so I'm fine with another Fortnight of Field Herping . Any other thoughts on how long it should run for or names for it?

3. I am proposing the 2015 summer count begin May 30th and run until June 12th. Last year it was split over a weekend and I'm not sure that was a good idea, so this year I'm proposing that it start on a Saturday and end on a Friday. Agree, disagree? Why or why not?

4. I vow to be more speedy with the data analysis this next time. :)

5. Any other questions, comments or concerns. :?:


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 5:59 am 
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I think this is a great idea. Your date range sounds fine to me. Perhaps a bit more promotion this year will get better results. Post on facebook, get Herp Mapper and other partners involved, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 10:31 am 
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Snake Days this year kicks off June 12th, so there won't be any data from that incorporated into the Summer Herp Count as an event per se (but participants still upload their observations). But that's not necessarily important. The Count is a separate endeavor with potential for (beneficial) overlap with other events. IHS is in San Antonio May 28-31, so there could be some folks doing their part for the Count from that event as well.

For sampling consistency's sake, would it be beneficial to have it run the same general Saturday-through-Friday each year (understanding the calendar date may fluctuate a day or two)? Maybe based on lunar cycle?


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I'm fine with another Fortnight of Field Herping . Any other thoughts on how long it should run for or names for it?


Two weeks should be enough time for people that wish to participate, to find time to do so for one or more days.

As far as the name goes, I'm partial to "A Fortnight of Field Herping" for some reason. 8-) Personal preferences aside, it has a good rhythm to it when spoken. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 11:08 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 am
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Location: Los Angeles County
what about April?


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 19th, 2014, 1:04 pm 
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Fundad wrote:
what about April?


You mean adding an annual SPRING Herp Count? :P

That being said, the first half of June isn't really summer either. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 20th, 2014, 8:35 am 
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June isn't really summer, I'll agree, but I've always felt like June was more summer than spring, largely because school let out around that time. I was thinking anything in April, May, or June (partially because of the data shown here)
viewtopic.php?t=3602

It seemed like for Kentucky, May was the best month. June would hopefully make it nicer for some of the more northerly climates, and it usually isn't unbearably hot here in the south. I think April would shut out too many people of the north. I don't know what herping in Minnesota or Maine would be like in April. Can somebody weigh in on this? Plus, as mentioned earlier, school is usually out around June, which I think could be beneficial for bringing in younger generations.

The selection of June was more to include as many people as possible, with maximization of counts and species as secondary. It seemed like June is all around pleasant time for most people in the country, but I could be wrong here.

Similarly, the Audubon Christmas Bird count certainly isn't the best time for diversity - many of your migrant birds are gone by Christmas. Though, the Christmas Bird Count has other historical origins.

I'd be more supportive of moving it back to May, or even April if I knew that these were good months for most folks.

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For sampling consistency's sake, would it be beneficial to have it run the same general Saturday-through-Friday each year


This is not something I had really thought about. The trimodal distribution kinda bothered me at the time, but this makes sense. Last year it was Sunday - Saturday, so if we want to maintain that, this next would run from May 31 - June 13. I'm fine with this. Anybody else have arguments for or against?


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 20th, 2014, 10:53 am 
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captainjack0000 wrote:
Quote:
For sampling consistency's sake, would it be beneficial to have it run the same general Saturday-through-Friday each year


This is not something I had really thought about. The trimodal distribution kinda bothered me at the time, but this makes sense. Last year it was Sunday - Saturday, so if we want to maintain that, this next would run from May 31 - June 13. I'm fine with this. Anybody else have arguments for or against?


I mean "the same general (day through day)" as "the 23rd and 24th weeks of the year." In other words, if it's May 30-June 12 this year, the corresponding time in 2016 would be May 28-June 10 (depending on how you count the weeks, like if January 1st falls in the middle of the week etc.).

That being said, the 2015 count weeks (May 30-June 12) are centered on a full moon, whereas the corresponding weeks in 2016 (May 28-June 10) are centered on a new moon...interesting.

But as you discussed, the overarching concern may be not one of actual dates/weeks of the year or moon phase, but of participant availability.


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 20th, 2014, 11:19 am 
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Based on last years being June 1-14, where would you put this years? I think I understand what you are saying, but trying to count out 23 weeks, and how you split the week, gets a bit more complicated than I was thinking.

I think I had originally thought it could be first 2 full weeks of June, but that would put 2015 starting on the 7th which is a bit late.
So if we modify it to the first couple of weeks of June, it might actually start in late May.

The moons fall where they fall. Thinking longitudinally, it might be more interesting that way anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: December 20th, 2014, 3:54 pm 
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captainjack0000 wrote:
So if we modify it to the first couple of weeks of June, it might actually start in late May.[/quote[

That sounds reasonable. There may be a year here and there looking forward, where the count will encompass Memorial Day. There are advantages and disadvantages to that.

Quote:
The moons fall where they fall. Thinking longitudinally, it might be more interesting that way anyway.


I agree. People that say "you can't find snakes on full moon nights" may be exhibiting some selection bias, and consistent data for a date range (vs. chasing the moon) may prove or disprove that.


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: January 12th, 2015, 7:14 pm 
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Quote:
Quote:
The moons fall where they fall. Thinking longitudinally, it might be more interesting that way anyway.


I agree. People that say "you can't find snakes on full moon nights" may be exhibiting some selection bias, and consistent data for a date range (vs. chasing the moon) may prove or disprove that.


But there are unbiased data that support idea of increased activity around the new moon and decreased activity around the full moon. The years it falls around the new moon would produce more data than those years around the full moon. Makes comparisons difficult.

Why not define the annual the count period around the moon phase annually? Calendar days are human constructs that have no bearing on biological organisms. But defining the period as the last new moon before the summer solstice is more likely to be "biologically consistent" and meaningful.

The problem we run into is that "early summer" is peak herping in some areas, but not in others. Maybe each chapter could define their own 10 day period?


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: January 14th, 2015, 8:13 am 
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For consistency, it should be the same time period each year. If we're chasing new moons that doesn't help much with time series analysis. If anything, if this is sustained over a long enough period, the results from the count could add to the data showing the importance of moon phase. Having each chapter define their own period makes things even more messy.

Quote:
Why not define the annual the count period around the moon phase annually? Calendar days are human constructs that have no bearing on biological organisms. But defining the period as the last new moon before the summer solstice is more likely to be "biologically consistent" and meaningful.


The short answer is this is because this is too complicated. I would like to see this event run for many, many years and involve many, many people. Trying to explain that to your casual herper (I think) would turn more away than it would attract. Calendars are useful tools for organizing data, and pretty much anybody can read one. Simplicity is the key.

I do think shifting it one day forward or back so that it starts on a full weekend is fine. The basic aim is the event runs during the first 2 weeks in June, but even defining it as the first two full weeks in June makes it hop and skip over the month too much IMO.


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: May 27th, 2015, 1:58 pm 
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This is coming up. Is your chapter ready? I'll be putting the results together in a few weeks!


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 Post subject: Re: Second Annual Summer Herp Count starts May 30th???
PostPosted: June 16th, 2015, 7:57 pm 
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Alright, so the fortnight of field herping is over. Make sure to get your finds into HERP soon!


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