PARS and NAHERP

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brick911
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:52 am
Location: Morrisville, PA

PARS and NAHERP

Post by brick911 »

NAHERP’s role and relationship with Pennsylvania Amphibian and Reptile Survey

I apologize as this is a bit overdue. PARS has recently commenced and is a 10 year, funded PA Herp Atlas. I know there has been some concern and confusion on what this means if you are an NAHERP contributor.

“Do you have to enter in both databases?” seems to be the biggest question. The answer is NO.

As NAFHA members, we have been using HERP as our one-stop depository for our data. This does not need to change. Jason Poston built PARS database and has worked closely with Don Becker (psyon), our database coordinator, to make sure our records can be transferred. I don’t understand all the terminology, but Jason worked hours on developing a script to easily upload our HERP records into the PARS database.
So what do you have to do if you want to contribute to PARS via your HERP records?
If you are proactive, I would suggest downloading your records into a csv file monthly and emailing them to Jason. He has agreed to upload them into PARS database as he receives them. This will provide PARS with a “real time” update which can be essential to field-trip planning when coordinators are trying to fill in blocks.

Step by step export:

1. Sign into naherp.com.
2. Click “Export My Records” button to the left side of the screen.
3. Change Country and State to United States and Pennsylvania and click csv under “Export Format.”
4. Click the “Export” button at the bottom and an Excel spreadsheet will be uploaded to your computer.
5. Save the file with your name and date. Make sure to save it as a .csv file.
5. Email this file to Jason Poston, along with your PARS user id: [email protected]
6. He will upload your records to the PARS database and you can feel like you have done something good for the herps we love!

*At this point, don’t worry about putting in times. PARS will accept historic records. If you have already contributed to both, no problem. If you have added past records since your last csv file, no problem. Each record is given a uuid (universal unique identification). You will NOT have your records duplicated. This is an easy way to make sure none of your records are left out, which leads me to my next statement.

At the end of the year, we will do a traditional data release proposal to the members. This is to ensure anyone who wants to contribute gets their records to PARS if they have not taken the time to do it manually on a monthly basis as suggested. As stated above, I would advise you to vote yes to a data release regardless of whether you manually sent data over monthly (unless you are sure you were diligent). With the uuid on the records, nothing will be duplicated, but you can ensure all your data is utilized. (Jason planned this extremely well!)

There’s more…

PARS is state funded. To remain afloat, the state must see a minimum amount of time volunteered. Please, immediately start adding your “Search Time” to your NAHERP records. The past ones shouldn’t be an issue, but going forward, the powers-that-be need to see 600 collective hours of volunteer time per quarter to continue funding this project. Search time is an essential field for any PA records from here on out.
This isn’t as simple as above, but only takes a few additional steps. This IS necessary. To make sure your volunteer time is included, you must do the following.

Step by step volunteer time accounting:

1. Fill in your search time box on naherp for each record. This can be a bit confusing, but here is how it is suggested to be calculated. If you herp at one park, add all that time into every record. This includes preparation time, travel time, and herping time. The best way to describe this is in an example.

It’s Friday and you have tomorrow off. You are planning on herping the morning at Hognose State Park. You spend a half hour scouting the place on Google Earth for possible habitat. The park is 45 minutes away. You end up herping it for three hours. Your total time for this trip is 5 hours (30+45+45+180). You will put 5 hours in every record from the day. On the back end (in PARS), it will be split up accordingly per block.

2. Go to http://paherpsurvey.org/signup.php and sign up for an account. Even though you will not be directly entering your finds here, you will need to have an account.

3. At the end of every month, you will need to electronically sign a time sheet to have it be counted toward the state’s funding requirements. I will provide a reminder for this as well. If you are diligent, here is where you can access it:

http://paherpsurvey.org/user/timesheet.php

That is all you need to do to be part of a large scale effort to determine a baseline for Pennsylvania’s herps. This will lead to species and land management heading into the future. This is your chance as a citizen scientist to make a difference, doing something you love!
If there are any questions, please ask. If I don’t have the answers, I will get them.

Bob

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The Jake-Man
Posts: 224
Joined: June 25th, 2012, 3:08 pm
Location: Lebanon Pennsylvania

Re: PARS and NAHERP

Post by The Jake-Man »

Thank you for the very helpful post, it answered pretty much all the questions I had. I will be sure to record my search time from now on, now that I know how important it is to keep track of. Do you think it would be worth it to retroactively record time spent searching by editing my past NAHERP records to reflect the time I spent searching? This year I started recording travel times, and total time spent in the field, just for my own use, but now I realize that they could actually serve a purpose beyond that.

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brick911
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Location: Morrisville, PA

Re: PARS and NAHERP

Post by brick911 »

When I sent my records to Jason, he only asked that I updated the June records. If you want to put in that time, feel free. I added it after I uploaded the csv file to my computer though. It was much easier. If you take that route, add it to your Excel file in minutes only. Resave, email, done. :)

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spinifer
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Location: Delmarva

Re: PARS and NAHERP

Post by spinifer »

they only need time for the atlas period, so beginning June 2013. no historic.

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brick911
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Location: Morrisville, PA

Re: PARS and NAHERP

Post by brick911 »

spinifer wrote:they only need time for the atlas period, so beginning June 2013. no historic.
Ah. Makes sense.

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brick911
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Re: PARS and NAHERP

Post by brick911 »

August Reminder - Follow the instructions above, email in an update of your records, ask me any questions. DO IT!

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The Jake-Man
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Joined: June 25th, 2012, 3:08 pm
Location: Lebanon Pennsylvania

Re: PARS and NAHERP

Post by The Jake-Man »

I got my historical records sent in last week.

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brick911
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Location: Morrisville, PA

Re: PARS and NAHERP

Post by brick911 »

Guys, if you haven't - send your August records to Jason Poston. Just a reminder...

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Herpin_Time
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Re: PARS and NAHERP

Post by Herpin_Time »

My records are sent to PARS

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