Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

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Brian Hubbs
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Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 30th, 2012, 2:28 pm

This topic is directed at those who are aware of the database, but do not put their finds in it. We need your help people, and I hope this topic stays here for awhile so those who are not aware of this project can learn about it.

Why don't some of us enter our finds in the database? This a good question. I know many of us see a lot of stuff, yet some have only entered one snake or nothing at all. What's up with that? Many could be power house's of data for NAHERP.com...and I'm not just talking about ego thumping contests (I'm picking on everyone who hasn't put their sightings in). The database is a powerful tool for conservation, mapping, and changing stupid laws. We need to show where, and how many of these animals are out there. We need everyone to do as much as they can.

What are the reasons some of you have not joined us? Are you ignorant of how the database works? Do you think it's too much trouble? Too hard?

Here's a fact: It takes 30 seconds to enter a photo, even less time if you know how to open several windows at once, re-size your pics, and enter several species at the same time. The gps is easy too...just click on the wrench tool, dial down to the spot and "click".

We need more entries. That's the bottom line. :!:

No one can see your localities online, except you. No one can take your data unless you permit it. What's the problem? I'd love to hear why we all aren't dumping hundreds or thousands of entries into the NAHERP.com database. This is your lifetime opportunity to make a difference and contribute to a worthwhile cause. Many already do, what's up with the rest of you? :roll: If you have time to post your finds here, you have time to enter them where they will make a difference!

Here's a few more facts (and this is not to brag):

We have over 107,000 entries right now. We have over 600 people who have entered something. I have over 5,500 entries in the database. Fundad has over 4,200 entries in the database. Pingleton has over 3,300 entries. However, over 300 people have lass than 10...and many of us have never entered anything. Many of those people spend a lot of time in the field and posting their finds on FHF. Is the problem a lack of understanding of why the database is important?

I think we need some help...

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by SnakeDude » June 30th, 2012, 2:32 pm

I enter mine! ;) just sayin

Ian

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 30th, 2012, 3:02 pm

I wasn't talking to you... :lol: Thank you for your support. We appreciate it. ;)

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Don Becker
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Don Becker » June 30th, 2012, 3:18 pm

1. It's too much work.

2. They don't trust the project or the people involved with it.

3. They think it's a waste of time.

4. They don't know that we want them to.

5. They don't agree with the principals of NAFHA.

I am sure there are plenty of other reasons as well. Everyone has their own reason for doing it or not.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Russ_Jones » June 30th, 2012, 3:45 pm

6. There is a regional atlas that is doing the same thing

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Don Becker » June 30th, 2012, 4:02 pm

Russ_Jones wrote:6. There is a regional atlas that is doing the same thing
I was counting that under #1, since they wouldn't want to enter data twice.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 30th, 2012, 4:10 pm

There are many regional atlases. The problem with those is that they are public...and the public can see the locations of the data entries (dots on a map, or gps coordinates). We OWN our data individually, and control it. The public cannot see my record locations, and never will, unless I want to give the data to a project that would make it public. I probably won't do that. I will reserve it for projects that will guard that information.

Also, our project is the entire continent of North America. Our project will dwarf any regional atlas in a few years, and eventually will dwarf all museum collections. Eventually, museums might want to put their vouchers in our system too - like a central clearing house. Since we do not rely on actual specimens, it is much easier to contribute to naherp.com than to some institutions. In addition, you can see you entries (with pics) on your google earth map at home, to understand and remember where you've been at one glance.

Like this:

Image

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by kyle loucks » June 30th, 2012, 4:20 pm

You found a salamander?

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 30th, 2012, 4:32 pm

I have 68 salamanders in the database, dude... :lol:

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by kyle loucks » June 30th, 2012, 5:02 pm

Very nice... The google earth feature is an awesome benefit of using the database.

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Brian Hubbs
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 30th, 2012, 5:24 pm

Yeah, I really like it. It helps me target new areas I haven't covered in the past. Too bad so many of the icons get covered up by others until you scroll inward.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by soulsurvivor » June 30th, 2012, 5:28 pm

I enter everything I have a photo voucher for. I could do more in the way of frogs, but I just don't feel like stopping for every frog I see when I'm out road cruising. I'd never get anywhere! :crazyeyes:

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by bgorum » June 30th, 2012, 5:36 pm

soulsurvivor wrote:I enter everything I have a photo voucher for. I could do more in the way of frogs, but I just don't feel like stopping for every frog I see when I'm out road cruising. I'd never get anywhere! :crazyeyes:
I’m in the same boat. I enter whatever I photograph, but when I’m in the field I have other goals beside adding data to the data base and I really don’t want to stop and photograph every Uta I find. My friend Josh is really good about entering just about everything we see when we’re herping together, so I generally let him do the entries for those times.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Don Becker » June 30th, 2012, 5:43 pm

I don't record every common species, but when I see them at a location where I am not sure I have recorded them previously, I will try to record at least one of them.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by gbin » June 30th, 2012, 5:52 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote:No one can see your localities online, except you...
Is this actually true, Brian? Not even the project administrator(s) can see the data one enters, nor whoever maintains the database? That seems very unlikely to me.

If these (and/or other) people can indeed access the data, who exactly are they at present?

How were they selected for their positions?

Will they retain access after they leave their positions, or if not, what steps will be taken to prevent it?

What process has been developed for replacing them in their positions?

These are some questions I've still got about what y'all are doing. Maybe this thread would be a good place for addressing such stuff.

Thanks!

Gerry

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 30th, 2012, 5:56 pm

gbin: Don (psyon - the administrator) is the only person who can see all the data. We trust Don with this privilege. Maybe he can answer your other questions. They don't concern me right now. Our data is much safer than that in a herpatlas or museum where anyone can see the approximate or exact location of your finds. And, we can download all our data onto spread sheets and photo vouchers anytime we want. We can also delete data if we want.

Soulsurvivor: Anyone can record whatever they want. Contrary to popular belief, I don't record every uta or frog I see either. Not even every Red-eared slider. I think the goal is just to be consistent, and enter whatever you think is significant. It might be fun to just do a frog road cruise one night, and enter all the frogs. I've been on a turtle binge this year, passing up snake opportunities to photograph turtles instead. Maybe next year I'll actually look for salamanders... :roll:

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Don Becker » June 30th, 2012, 6:14 pm

gbin wrote:Is this actually true, Brian? Not even the project administrator(s) can see the data one enters, nor whoever maintains the database? That seems very unlikely to me.
I can only see it because it is hosted on my server. When I view a record on the web page, I see them the same way the general public would. I have to query the database directly to see anything else.
If these (and/or other) people can indeed access the data, who exactly are they at present?
Just me, like I said, I host the site, it's on my server, so I have access to anything on the server.
How were they selected for their positions?
No one else volunteered to host the site?
Will they retain access after they leave their positions, or if not, what steps will be taken to prevent it?
Even if someone else takes over as some sort of project lead, I would have access as long as the site is hosted on my server. As the DC, I currently see data from data releases, because the current system requires me to export a file, and then send it to the person who requested data. I hope to change that in the future, so that the person who requested data downloads it directly, and no project administrator would ever need to see it. Even with that change though, with the site being hosted on my server, I would still have access to the database by directly querying it.
What process has been developed for replacing them in their positions?
Good question. That came up when I got fed up with stuff and quit because of all the bickering going on among members. I have no plan to stop hosting the site, even if I am no longer the Database Coordinator. That is, unless the members feel I should no longer host it, and have a better option. In that case, who ever is then hosting the site, or is in control of the hosting account, would be able to directly access the data. I will show any new DC how to do the data releases and such as the system is setup now.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by gbin » June 30th, 2012, 6:21 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote:gbin: Don (psyon - the administrator) is the only person who can see all the data. We trust Don with this privilege. Maybe he can answer your other questions. They don't concern me right now. Our data is much safer than that in a herpatlas or museum where anyone can see the approximate or exact location of your finds...
Seems to me that psyon is a pretty good choice for that job, too. (And I appreciate your dealing with my questions as dispassionately as they're intended, Don.) :thumb: But I've gotten the impression at various times that various other people also have greater access to the data than does John Q. Contributor. Is that not the case?

You might be making a mistake to dismiss questions such as mine from your concerns, Brian. (I kind of thought they addressed the question in your thread's title, frankly.) Telling folks that the data is safer with NAFHA than with a museum is not at all the same thing as demonstrating this to be the case. And for my part I'm not just curious about the safety of the data, either, but rather about how professionally it is being dealt with overall (safety is really only one aspect). When I donate specimens to or share data with a museum, I'm dealing with a very well-known entity with a lot of procedures in place and a long track record of their implementation. But NAFHA ...? Well, you see my point (and as I said, it's nothing personal).

Gerry

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Don Becker » June 30th, 2012, 6:41 pm

gbin wrote:But I've gotten the impression at various times that various other people also have greater access to the data than does John Q. Contributor. Is that not the case?
That is not the case, at all, in the slightest. People seem to always think that is the case, and they go around telling other people that. Most often, people think Jason Jones and Jeff Lemm both have access to the data, but they don't Absolutely no one but the data owner, and myself, have access to specific locations without going through a formal data request, and you choosing to allow them to see it.
Telling folks that the data is safer with NAFHA than with a museum is not at all the same thing as demonstrating this to be the case. And for my part I'm not just curious about the safety of the data, either, but rather about how professionally it is being dealt with overall (safety is really only one aspect). When I donate specimens to or share data with a museum, I'm dealing with a very well-known entity with a lot of procedures in place and a long track record of their implementation. But NAFHA ...? Well, you see my point (and as I said, it's nothing personal).
If you have a physical specimen, you can't donate it to NAFHA obviously. I don't see why we can't work in conjunction with museums anyways. We do have a spot on the record form for you to put in a museum ID if there is a physical specimen that goes along with a record. If a certain collection isn't available in the drop down box, you can let me know and I can add it.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by stlouisdude » June 30th, 2012, 7:04 pm

From a security standpoint, a centralized database available on the Internet seems like a weak selling point. What would happen if every record became public? I'm not really sure. We all know certain regularly posted locations and for the most part the snakes have not disappeared. Having said that large corporations with entire teams of security personnel have suffered data breaches for databases which are not even publicly queried, so if that were truly a concern putting all the eggs in one basket seems like a bad idea. There may be some published protocol, but obvious questions would be 1) How is the data backed up and to where? 2) Is the data encrypted while in transit and at rest? 3) Has the database security been properly accessed and how (whitebox/blackbox testing?) 4) Who has physical access to the server(s) and backup media? 5) By what means is the server accessed (some guy connecting over single factor authentication ssh could put the entire server and everything housed on it at risk). Note that I'm not saying any of these things are an issue or that people shouldn't use the database, my only point is that information Systems Security is not something to take lightly.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 30th, 2012, 7:25 pm

I guess Don will have answer those questions too. :lol:

However, a remote chance of a breach will not deter me from putting in my data and downloading all of it (including voucher photos) once a month. That way, even if something disastrous happens, I will still have my data on spread sheets and photos stored in my external hardrives. Of course, there might be a nuclear war someday, and the electronic pulse might wipe out my computer hard drives too. We might be attacked by aliens also. Why don't we just stop using technology out of fear something might happen? That sounds like a great idea... :lol:

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by gbin » June 30th, 2012, 8:06 pm

Brian Hubbs wrote:... Of course, there might be a nuclear war someday, and the electronic pulse might wipe out my computer hard drives too. We might be attacked by aliens also. Why don't we just stop using technology out of fear something might happen? That sounds like a great idea... :lol:
Not sure where the sarcasm is coming from or what good it could possibly do, Brian. I assume you started this thread to have a useful dialogue with folks, not just to castigate them?... :?

Maybe I should simply answer the question in your title and leave it at that:

I have frequently contributed specimens to established museum collections and have occasionally shared data with them or (more often) with individual academic researchers. I definitely like the idea of making my herp hunting results useful and see this as the surest way to accomplish that. It takes effort to do such, though, which I'm not inclined to duplicate on NAFHA's behalf (understanding that NAFHA is only interested in data, not specimens) even though I think y'all have started an interesting project and I hope you have success with it. The more persuaded I am that NAFHA is handling their dataset professionally (not just safely, as I said), the more likely I am to change my mind about making that extra effort. It's nothing personal, but there you have it.

Gerry

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » June 30th, 2012, 8:41 pm

Sarcasm? Wha? I don't get it...

stlouisdude says this: "Is the data encrypted while in transit and at rest? 3) Has the database security been properly accessed and how (whitebox/blackbox testing?) 4) Who has physical access to the server(s) and backup media? 5) By what means is the server accessed (some guy connecting over single factor authentication ssh could put the entire server and everything housed on it at risk)."

Most of which I didn't even understand...and you attack my humorous sarcasm? Shame on you Gerry...SHAME on YOU... :lol: :lol: :lol:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Jn32OCQ ... re=related

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Paul White » July 1st, 2012, 9:00 am

I’m in the same boat. I enter whatever I photograph, but when I’m in the field I have other goals beside adding data to the data base and I really don’t want to stop and photograph every Uta I find. My friend Josh is really good about entering just about everything we see when we’re herping together, so I generally let him do the entries for those times.
Very much in the same boat, particulary with GPS coords being required for all entries now. I'll put in a fair amount, but I'm not stopping to photograph every fence lizard or whiptail or uta. I kind of worry about that skewing data TBH--will rare species be over-represented vs. common species? Probably.

Most of what I get is people saying that they feel it is a waste of time, when I've tried to encourage others to put data in. Frankly, some days I kind of agree and it makes me feel down. I know there's been a few cases where the database helped, but I'm not aware of any in TX, NM, or OK.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by kyle loucks » July 1st, 2012, 9:44 am

Still in the process of cleaning up my earlier records for coords and deleting a few others...

I have 4002 total records, 3249 with vouchers, 2757 with coordinates....

Looking at the map below, does anyone else see the need for me to head west?

Image

The map has been especially useful figuring out quad/block information for the current Maryland Herp Atlas project.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 1st, 2012, 12:03 pm

Well, yes...you might want to go farther west. :lol:

Is it just me, or does anyone else wonder why Scott always moves any NAFHA oriented post off of the main forum. Here we are now, buried on the boardline. :cry: :x

Thanks Scott. I think I'll move those articles you wanted to 2027. :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by gbin » July 1st, 2012, 1:02 pm

Well, to be fair to Scott, he's already created no fewer than 10 message boards for NAFHA here at FHF - and there wouldn't have been much point to his moving your thread to any of those, given that you'd already started the same thread in all of them. ;)

Sorry I picked on you earlier for your sarcasm, Brian. Sometimes it just wears a bit heavily on me...

Gerry

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 1st, 2012, 5:29 pm

Believe it or not Gerry, Nafha, its purpose, the database, activities and forums are unknown to many who visit "The Forum". Hell, even some members are unaware of how the database works, its shortcuts, its purpose, etc. I was just trying to draw attention to all that with my post on the forum, but Scott doesn't see the need for more info on Nafha outside our own forums. This is too bad, since our membership has mostly come from the main FHF forum in the past.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by FunkyRes » July 5th, 2012, 12:26 am

stlouisdude wrote:From a security standpoint, a centralized database available on the Internet seems like a weak selling point. What would happen if every record became public? I'm not really sure. We all know certain regularly posted locations and for the most part the snakes have not disappeared. Having said that large corporations with entire teams of security personnel have suffered data breaches for databases which are not even publicly queried, so if that were truly a concern putting all the eggs in one basket seems like a bad idea. There may be some published protocol, but obvious questions would be 1) How is the data backed up and to where? 2) Is the data encrypted while in transit and at rest? 3) Has the database security been properly accessed and how (whitebox/blackbox testing?) 4) Who has physical access to the server(s) and backup media? 5) By what means is the server accessed (some guy connecting over single factor authentication ssh could put the entire server and everything housed on it at risk). Note that I'm not saying any of these things are an issue or that people shouldn't use the database, my only point is that information Systems Security is not something to take lightly.
Large corporations have data breaches because often they are lazy using outdated security model and often too many people have access to the servers.

Example - Victoria's Secret.
Have an account there? Fill out the form for lost password, and they e-mail you your password.

This is because even though they are one of the largest lingerie retailers in the world, they don't give a shit about security enough to even adhere to the most basic security measures that any 7th grade geek is well aware of (store a salted hash, never the password). I can guarantee if they are sloppy about that, they are sloppy about other things too, which is why I will never use a credit card with them online (assuming I was lucky enough to have a reason to)

For example, I would bet money that they don't use prepared statements for database queries and are thus vulnerable to SQL injection attacks.

Large corporations also have many people who have access to the systems and many of them are careless types who do things like tape their password to the bottom of their keyboard.

We don't have that problem.

Don is a true geek. He knows what he is doing, and I would be extremely surprised if there ever was a breach allowing data to be requested without authorization. Not saying it is impossible, but I have no doubt that all proper security methods are in place.

In addition to having a true geek, naherp isn't really a target. No credit card info, not really any personal info valuable to spammers or identity thieves, there really is very little reason anyone would target naherp for an attack. Thus the attacks that do happen are scripts looking for open relays (for e-mail), insecure wordpress installs, etc. and are not really an issue.

Only thing that might be an issue is that it isn't SSL so it is theoretically possible for your login and data to be sniffed while in transit.

That's my take on it.
Take it for what it's worth.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brian Hubbs » July 5th, 2012, 10:11 pm

Well, I hope if anyone "sniffs" my utas they get a good whiff... :lol:

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brandon D » July 7th, 2012, 3:25 pm

Brian,
Like others have mentioned, I think the biggest issue is releasing the location of there super secret spots, on a website, that possible could be viewed by others some way. I agree that the possibility of it being hacked in to is extremely low just because the data is not valuable to 95% of the population, its also not likely that if someone did that they were trying to get localities for your particular area. With that said many of us have worked hard to find the areas that we frequent and have also witnessed the bad things that can occur when that info gets leaked out, so they are much more precious to us than a spot on a map, which makes us percieve them way more valuable then what they actually are. Which causes us to hide the locations as if there were buried treasure there. I guess a lot of people just don't have a lot of faith or trust. I think there would be more entering if it was on a county level and that the exact spot was an option instead of the rule. I don't understand the benefit that the exact location gives the data base(please explain the benefit so that more people understand why and maybe more will enter), besides if lets say there was building of a highway in Ks through an area that contained a den site for timber rattlesnakes (a protected species in ks) but it's not like the hwy dept is going to search the database to see if there highway will go through that spot. Unfortunately they don't have to do that, they won't do that and most the time the damage is allready done before we know anything about it. I would work hard to enter everything in to the specific point on the map, if all forms of construction had to check the data base before building, but I don't think that will happen and most of my spots don't have threatened species at them (except for ks) so they would still bulldoze them. Which brings me to another point, should we delete the spots that we have entered in the past that have been bull dozed some time after? I think they should not be deleted but we should comment on them to show the damage that is being done out there, that should be another part of it, otherwise the data collected will not be accurate to the current date.
With all that said I will be entering a lot of mine soon, Ive got a lot of work to do, the major reason I havent is time, I work two jobs, often not having a day off and I have two daughters and a fiance to keep happy at the same time ;)
I will try and get on it though
:beer:
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » July 10th, 2012, 11:28 am

Brian, this is an important topic (IMO) and I thank you for being so persistent and uniform (across the subforums) in raising it. The reason I think it is important, is that the entities tasked with (and sometimes able to accomplish) herp conservation a) need herp locality data to actually conserve herps, but b) do not, and likely never will, have enough staff, time, or money to acquire that data on their own.

Brandon, please let me use some of your points and questions to try and help Brian in his quest. This use is not intended to criticize you and I hope you don't take it that way. I am merely trying to help Brian convince folks that, and why, this database is useful and important, and that, and why, many of the invoked counter-points (the negatives) probably aren't strong enough to overcome the positives.
I think the biggest issue is releasing the location of there super secret spots, on a website, that possible could be viewed by others some way....many of us have worked hard to find the areas that we frequent and have also witnessed the bad things that can occur when that info gets leaked out, so they are much more precious to us than a spot on a map, which makes us percieve them way more valuable then what they actually are. Which causes us to hide the locations as if there were buried treasure there.
Are the "bad things" the worst that could happen there? I mean, a shopping-center developer isn't going to try and find a timber den to park his mall on. But he is going to be looking for a sizable chunk of undeveloped land at the edge of town...that might well have a den ("yours"?) on it. If some dirtbag did come and poach (or legally harvest) some snakes off that den, is the den population so weak it wouldn't recover on its own? Even if the population was wiped out, couldn't another one be re-established there? The snake population is important, but in this example, so is the habitat feature the site holds.

My guess is that the vast majority of folks' super secret spots are great spots to herp, not because they harbor hanging-on-by-a-thread populations of species X, but rather because they harbor populations that are strong enough to make it pretty dependable to find individuals. Such populations could in many, many cases withstand a little elevated mortality, if that's what folks are worried about. But those populations probably can't survive a mall, or a subdivision, or a reservoir...etc.
I think there would be more entering if it was on a county level and that the exact spot was an option instead of the rule. I don't understand the benefit that the exact location gives the data base(please explain the benefit so that more people understand why and maybe more will enter),
County-level information would be alright if what we were trying to accomplish was a first-generation inventory & range map for US herps. We're way past that. We have range maps, and yeah they're imperfect and always will need tweaking and updating. But now, for the most part, we're really trying to accomplish site-level conservation. So we need site-level data.
besides if lets say there was building of a highway in Ks through an area that contained a den site for timber rattlesnakes (a protected species in ks) but it's not like the hwy dept is going to search the database to see if there highway will go through that spot. Unfortunately they don't have to do that, they won't do that and most the time the damage is allready done before we know anything about it. I would work hard to enter everything in to the specific point on the map, if all forms of construction had to check the data base before building, but I don't think that will happen and most of my spots don't have threatened species at them (except for ks) so they would still bulldoze them.
Kansas is a stronghold for good coordination between state wildlife managers and citizen scientists (they have to be, the "nongame" part of their wildlife agency is TINY.) While I understand it can be a seriously tough place (like Utah...) to do conservation, I don't know anything about coordination between their state highway and wildlife departments. It might be alright, and is likely to be better soon - across the country things are improving rapidly in that regard. Hopefully the wildlife department meets regularly with the highway guys, and the 2 share their preferences (and work out their conflicts) for what gets done where, when, and how.

Consider this - how much better off would those timbers be, if when the wildlife agency met with the roads agency, the wildlife agency didn't have your data?

Another way to look at it - many times, when something destructive is going to happen, something constructive is required (the technical term is compensatory mitigation). Usually it's in multiples of the negative - e.g., drain one acre, protect or restore 5. Sometimes that "something constructive" is "buy some land". It is VERY common for the mitigation to be required to be "like" - if you're hosing a timber den (say), you need to do something good for (say) 5 timber dens. Maybe your "secret site" isn't the one getting hosed, maybe it could be one of the 5 to be protected. But only if it isn't a secret from the wildlife managers...
Which brings me to another point, should we delete the spots that we have entered in the past that have been bull dozed some time after? I think they should not be deleted but we should comment on them to show the damage that is being done out there, that should be another part of it, otherwise the data collected will not be accurate to the current date.
I agree with you - don't delete them. 1) for the reason you said - demonstrating range reduction is an important formal step in drawing attention to emerging conservation priorities, and 2) personally I'd rather you spent your time field herping and entering data, than playing data-quality cop after the fact, on a record-by-record basis. The end-users of the data can just overlay all the points in their request, over a recent land-use map, to see what has been lost.

I hope this helps convince anyone reading this. Brandon, Hubbs - thanks.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » July 10th, 2012, 11:40 am

Oh yeah, meant to add - Brandon, if you haven't yet found them yourself, and/but are interested - I could find you some contact info for Missouri DOC. I think there are already a couple guys in your chapter who work with them (KCMatt, for example, of the divine photos and cute kids). You could probably help them out with novel location data, or monitoring known sites, and they could certainly hook you up with all the volunteer work (species and habitat work) you could stand.

You're lucky to be in a state with one of the premier effective, respected state wildlife agencies in the nation.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Kent VanSooy » July 10th, 2012, 5:34 pm

Sometimes I think that what worries us most is each other. For alot of herpers, one of the worst things that has happened in the field is to visit a favorite, productive spot, and find it trashed by someone else. I absolutely understand that's immensely preferable to the habitat being destroyed, but the former has a much harder personal impact. If a data release project did indeed contribute to stopping development, how would we know? But we damn sure know if a spot has been trashed because we blabbed.

We ask those who want our data for our project description prior to releasing them, what'd be really cool would be a project summary at the end.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » July 10th, 2012, 6:25 pm

If a data release project did indeed contribute to stopping development, how would we know?
Fair enough question. One of the main reasons I participate here is to try to help reduce the mental and behavioral barriers between herpers (citizen scientists, and plain old "keepers" who stumble in) and wildlife managers. My preference would be for anyone approving a data request to be comfortable contacting the requester and asking "what'd that do?"

Another reason I participate - quite related to that first one - is to try and help herpers understand the workings of wildlife management, to reduce the "mystery factor". And to try and temper their expectations.

The unpleasant truth is that to expect to stop development is to invite major disappointment. Once in a while it happens. More often, the development proposal gets modified in the review process (which data requests can help with). More often yet (but depending on the species, the scale of impact, the jurisdiction, etc), the development just gets to happen.

For the most part, wildlife agencies are statutorily bound (no guarantee...those statutes were written by Legislatures back around 1905; you deal today with today's Legislature) to maintain "viable populations" of native wildlife in their state. In other words, not let them go extinct. This does not mean they are bound to protect every single individual or every single population. Many of their employees would like to. Reality does not permit this. This results in a lot of deep frustration and disappointment for the employees too. Nobody enters the field to see animals and habitat get wasted.

Another tack - try and see it from a project proponent's standpoint. Or his elected representative's. "Are you telling me you want to deprive my constituent of his private property rights over a critter that there are lots of?" They are not looking at things from a cumulative-effects standpoint, they're looking at it from a one-and-done standpoint.

Yeah it sucks. Maybe it's different in China or Cuba or someplace, where property can just be confiscated and the government can just issue edicts and have some chance of compliance. Somehow I doubt it though. And really, who'd want to live like that? In our system, the citizens have rights. And responsibilities. Like to get involved, to participate in things they wish to influence, to speak up - and do something - when they see something they want changed.

Anyway, we herpers of diverse backgrounds share interests and values, and could all benefit from working together. (I've focused on the negative here, haven't tried to talk about the positive. Sign of the times.)

Folks are free to pick and choose when, under what circumstances, etc. to try & work together.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brandon D » July 10th, 2012, 7:37 pm

Jimi,
Thank you for some answers and I want to make it clear that I will be entering a lot of data very soon. Although I am still unclear on how giving exact locales is going to acomplish "site level conservation"? I understand the aspect of it, however I don't see how that info will ever get to the person who wants to build a set of town homes or whatever on a site, I honestly don't know a lot about the procedures for some one to take an old cattle pasture and build a wal mart on it, like the red tape they have to go through. I find it highly unlikely that searching the database is one of them, It would be awesome if a search in the database must be done prior to, but unlikely that will happen. Even then most likely the only red flag would be if there was a species of some kind of concern. That point there makes exact locales pointless for sites that have animals that are currently not under any special conservation status. I just don't see them stopping it just because there is a healthy amount of several different un protected species there, I found one of my sites bulldozed just for aesthetics, it had some erosion problems, it also had a massive limestone rock outcropping at the top of the hill, all the rocks and the whole hill had been scraped, they laid erosion control mesh down and I assume put dirt and seeded it, Now its a grassy rockless hill, just because there had been some development in the area and they wanted it to look better. There were no timbers here but there were milk snakes, king snakes, rat snakes and a lot of other common reptiles, how would my entering my finds from there of stopped this? In there eyes they were "making it better" probably. I had just given Jeff Briggler the coordinates for this site last fall, It was the only area I had found milks in clay county and to my knowledge there is only one other area they have been found in that county.

I just want to understand this better, I see and understand your goal but find it hard for it to be an actuallity. Ive seen many sites in ks get turned into golf courses and pointless parking lots and gas stations, even where there were protected species and they knew they were there, I hope ks has changed.

I would like some contacts to the mdc, I know kc matt as well. The mdc does somethings I disagree with, a lot of there areas have been raped and pillaged so to speak and a lot of times its there fault, like when they find a glade,make a trail there, shout out to everyone come check out this nice glade, many times they become trashed and a lot of animals become extirpated from there. The trails they make also alter a lot of habitat. Like I said I talk to Jeff Briggler sometimes through email, he seems more on the law side of things over all than gaining more info on our states reptiles and amphibians but that was just how he came off, I could have taken some things he said the wrong way, He asked me if I had timber den site info and I gave him exact locales to my timber areas, I think there is some work going on to preserve those which is good and maybe what you speak of will happen and is in the works. I believe someday most of our species will need special conservation status' due to lack of suitable habitat even in the "protected" parks.

The biggest problem in Mo besides habitat destruction by development is habitat damage by idiots, productive field herping knowledge needs to be put out there, how are we going to do this? I think the MDC could get that knowledge out there, however I think there point on this is going to tell everyone not to go lifting rocks or even make that illegal.

I kind of got off topic and went on a rant there but just some more points I probably could of entered a lot of data by now
Thanks again Jimi
:beer:
and heres a nice syspila for the heck of it
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » July 11th, 2012, 9:28 am

Nice syspila! Thanks for the dose of color and happiness.

I'll try to answer a few questions. Sometimes my so-called answers generate more questions, but that's alright, as long as I'm not just confusing matters.
red tape they have to go through. I find it highly unlikely that searching the database is one of them
Red tape varies A TON from place to place. There can be red tape for lots of reasons. People tend to confuse it all, which does not reduce their confusion! Take time to sort it out, if you're interested. Developers mainly have to deal with county land-use plans and city plans (with zoning, building codes, etc., and associated procedures to follow and fees to pay - inspections and stuff). Sometimes a developer will need to get a zoning variance, or land-use change approval, or the like. Go to some city and county council meetings, they are interesting and instructive.

Local govt rarely cares much about wildlife, except for wildlife conflict (rabid skunks etc). That's mainly because their (local) constituents don't demand it, and the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Wildlife "red tape" & procedures mainly come in from the state and federal govts. In some states the legislature has passed laws prohibiting local govt from expressing care about things like wildlife. In some states it's the opposite - "you will consider wildlife in your local plans, and work with the state". It all depends where you are, what the folks there are, or used to be, like. It depends, and (not but) it can - does - change. Massachusetts is not Texas. The Texas of 2012 is not the Texas of 1965 or 1861 or 1845. Texas will be different in 2030. (How so???) And so on.

Being required to check a database for known, reported species occurrences would be a red-tape-associated procedure. The checking, if required, would likely be done by the state wildlife agency, not the developer. For some things (e.g., a large development that hits some sort of threshold) the developer will have hired an environmental consulting firm, which often "checks databases" and does other things to help the developer get his project accomplished legally, on time, on budget, etc. Depending on what kind of firm it is, they'll do things like archaeological surveys, rare plant surveys, rare wildlife surveys, etc. There are some forum members who do this kind of work. It can be good work. It can be otherwise. I would not pre-judge, but find out the specifics.

In some states, the state wildlife agency has a specified (by state law, which they do not make) and functional ("it works") relationship with local govt. In some states, they do not - either they are not empowered to "mess with" - not even look at, let alone comment on - what the local govt has authority over, or they are empowered but the relationship sucks, or they are empowered - even mandated to - but just aren't given the budget to hire the staff to create and maintain the functional relationship. Sometimes they used to have the budget, but it got cut, people got laid off, so now there's no oversight...even though there may be a law saying there "shall be". Laws alone, and procedures on the books, do not change the world. It takes people working, which takes money, and people who work. Together.

Much of this is true for local-fed relationships too, and fed staffs & budgets, and what (and the differences between what) Congress demands and what they actually are willing to allocate your money to. It's complicated and I'm worried about being confusing, so I'll just stop there.

I have made presentations at national meetings of my peers, telling them about the NAFHA/HERP database. I think some of them have made data requests from you all (as I have). More probably will in the future. They all have data quality procedures - you cannot imagine the trouble that can come from using "bad data" to force a citizen or company to incur an unwarranted expense! Maybe one person will get fired - this is not all that "big trouble". Maybe the legislature or Congress will change the law, and take away the executive-branch authority to regulate the citizens or companies. This is big trouble, to be avoided at all costs. So my peers and I and others in similar positions are unlikely to just use the NAFHA database "raw" - they're going to want to transfer (to a "holding bin") all the relevant data, then probably go over it closely and screen it, tossing whatever doesn't meet their standards. What's left would go into their state or federal database, and be part of what gets used for various purposes.

I should point out what "various purposes" are. Questions posed here often center on "regulation". That's one set of uses - "the stick" (which, again, sometimes does not even exist!). There are also "carrots", which are more common. So while a state biologist may not be able to use your records to hit someone with a stick, maybe they can use it to offer a carrot. For example, with glades, state biologists approach private landowners - offering money and expertise - about cutting out red cedar, burning, and other important habitat management. They're going to focus first on those glades they think are most important. "Most important" can mean a variety of things - for example are there collared lizards or certain plants or butterflies reported from there, or likely to occur there based on known or modeled ranges? See where your data can play a role here?

I really can't overemphasize how much more relevant most of your data is going to be on the carrot side, versus the stick side. You all might wish it could be used for the stick, but grown-up life is a lot like the playground. You don't pick up a stick unless you can beat the other guy down (and hopefully not get your ass KICKED next time he sees you). When it comes to wildlife, the other guy is almost always bigger, and you will see him again. Sometimes he's an alright guy and you can actually "make friends". But you don't want to pick up a stick, for the most part. Does that make any sense? I hope so.

Dennis Figg is my best contact at MDOC. He's the guy they send to most of the multi-state meetings I get sent to. He's busy as hell but surely can help get you information, or send you to someone who can.

Oh, you mentioned law enforcement (LE). Do you know what an org chart is (org = organizational)? It describes the parts of a company or organization and how the parts relate - who's the boss of who, etc. LE is always its own part nowadays, not the same part as habitat management or setting bag limits or research or fiscal or personnel or...you get it? Get an MDOC org chart and figure it out - then you can see what "part" you need to talk to, depending on what you want to do or know. You wouldn't do so well asking an accountant about the bag limit, and you wouldn't do so well asking a "game warden" about the budget, or a job in research or habitat management.

Hope this helps some. As so often, I have gone long, and mixed audiences, and probably been a little too detailed. Not to stroke myself or make you see "how awesome I am" (joke!), but in an earnest effort to help others understand the way things are (as I see them, have seen them, anyway...). Not THE truth, just MY truth. I recognize the difference, hope you do too.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Tamara D. McConnell » July 11th, 2012, 11:30 am

I appreciate your explanations, Jimi. They are not overly long or overly detailed. This is helping me to gain some understanding of conservation challenges and processes.

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » July 11th, 2012, 11:54 am

Cool, thanks Tamara.

So uh, Gerry said this over in another spot:
they vaguely but strongly denigrated scientists/scientific work without providing any context for evaluating their attacks. No mention of what might qualify them to judge their targets (let alone so harshly), no specifics as to who or what they were actually talking about, pretty much nothing but their meaningless slams.
Alright, I was one of those guys (I don't think this is a "stretch" assumption). As I have said I did not mean to suggest any specific individual, any individual research program or sub-discipline, and I did apologize to Gerry for offending him, publicly and unconditionally. I believe the apology was accepted.

Trying to heal the rift some more - perhaps it would help to emphasize that I have, and continue to, see some very good - outstanding, inspiring, and in my own superlative, USEFUL - applied research in the field of wildlife conservation and management. I'm not (hardly ever) talking about basic research, or about cellular & molecular biology. I deal in habitats and animal populations, and more and more, with people. Animals are relatively simple; people are fascinating!

Understanding is an absolute prerequisite, a sine qua non - "without which, NOT", of effective action. Without understanding, coupled with effective action, you're stuck hoping to get lucky once in a while. Good research delivers understanding. Usually it is an entirely different sector from that which delivers action ("management"). Both sectors need to be there, and good linkage between them needs to be there, in order to get good outcomes. Sometimes the 2 sectors just piss on each other though.

Perhaps I overemphasized the fact that some research that is intended to be (that is contracted to be, that is paid for to be) applied, is not useful, is a non-returning investment of money. Sometimes it is worse than that - it is utter bullshit, and it is a waste of money. There are many reasons for this - sometimes it is the researchers doing it, and sometimes it is the people asking for (and paying for!) the research that are doing it (sound crazy? sorry, it's true).

There has been quite a bit written and published on this topic, in the field of wildlife management. And many, many specific examples could be cited. General categories include:
testing a priori false null hypotheses,
asking irrelevant questions,
addressing the wrong scale,
having bad design,
collecting bad data,
doing bad analysis of good data,
coming to verbal conclusions not supported by the math or the logic,

and so on. Yes I'm using some value-laden words here (bad, wrong, etc). In the appropriate context, the words are appropriate. Analyzing a leaf or twig when the forest is the subject in question, can be an example of the wrong scale. Using no replication, randomization, or control with your experimental units can be an example of bad design. Collecting a series of tissue samples and not cleaning your tools between samples can be an example of collecting bad data. Not always bad - depends what you're after, and what reality allows. Can be bad. Sometimes, IS bad.

We have not really discussed the frustrations experienced when management does not attend to - let alone use - the results of recent good research. And worse yet, chases more research trying to get the answer they want (which previous good research suggests they will not get!). I have these frustrations. Others have them too. There are many examples of this. I'm literally looking at a million-dollar example of this, right here, right now. Not in herps, but something large and hairy. Oh, some nice kids will get their MS degrees and maybe even jobs here, and a couple of great young faculty members will hopefully get a better shot at tenure from it. But - judged against the/my standards of a) increasing understanding, and b) increasing the effectiveness of conservation actions - this is bullshit research, and an utter waste of money. A million bucks, no joke. Note, I am not attacking the researchers, nor research as an endeavor, nor an avocation. This one's on management, which is being forced - a thousand foot-pounds - by politics. A sharp shove, let's just say.
I know that kind of thing is fairly common here at FHF, but it's not right and people shouldn't silently put up with it any more than they should tolerate general attacks on other groups of people/professions.
I couldn't agree more. In general I try to stick up for folks who are being attacked here. I understand being defensive, anyone can see that I am defensive about people slamming "government" (which is a pretty diverse and complicated set of entities and functions). But people can also see - here, and previously, and in the future - that I do not support a wholesale pass, and will criticize "government", and "management", too when I think it's justified.

Sorry for re-opening this topic, hopefully this helps tie that bow I suggested, is constructive and gives more context and understanding for those folks not involved in either research OR management, who express interest and/or confusion about the two, or about others' expressed opinions. Confusion is understandable. Hopefully this blurb helps some.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » July 11th, 2012, 12:43 pm

Ha! I've said it before - you can call me dipshit sometimes. I copied that last thing into the wrong thread...sorry.

Jimi

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brandon D » July 11th, 2012, 1:13 pm

Jimi,
I for the most part asked these questions for two reasons, I was curious as to the answers and I thought if other people in our "society" knew more of the reasons why it is important, it could possibly get more action, another thing would be to offer "carrots" for certain top submiters.

How would some one like myself get into a career being a surveyor or something else that involved field work? The only reason I ask is you seem to know a lot about these things and I am tired of both my jobs.

I don't know if you checked my spring post out or not, but it contains a lot of nice animals if you want to see some more color
http://www.fieldherpforum.com/forum/vie ... =2&t=12030
thanks again
:beer:
Brandon DeCavele

Jimi
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » July 11th, 2012, 1:42 pm

I am tired of both my jobs
Hey! Wanna swap? Some days, man, you and me both. Black and crispy and burnt.

So, seriously, I would characterize "surveyor" (I take it you mean a field surveyor, in wildlife, maybe even in herps) as a job, a position. One that can be an early part of a career.

Here's a place you can see openings (there are others, this is sort of "the standard"):
http://wfscjobs.tamu.edu/job-board/

How to get one? Apply and beat the competition! Not so easily done, but possible.

I gotta tell ya, it's tough out there - more applicants than jobs, as always - but worse than usual. It's also a tough field - it can just get to be a bummer, and the pay isn't great, and (for that part of the career) working - not just playing hard part-time but working hard full-time - outside can seriously lose its charms.

But you probably don't want to hear that. Some inspiration - I got my first wildlife job (1991 I think), a summer surveyor job, working for a graduate student. The job was mucking around creeks looking for tailed frogs and torrent sallies. I must have been a college sophomore (only a B+ student - always hustling for an income) and had zero paper credentials (just good references from construction & factory jobs) but I had spent a whole childhood field herping. I said "girl, you need some snot lizards grubbed up, I am your man!" I also could talk the herp talk - Ascaphus this, Dicamp that. And I was young and strong and single and not afraid of the woods yada yada yada. So, once I got that one job, and did it well, things got easier for a while. Getting the next job I mean.

The gypsy field-hand thing (mainly summer work) is a single person's life. Now you might be able to do just a couple seasons of that and then get picked up by an environmental consulting firm, for year-round work. Somebody in that sector might chime in here and tell you something current and real. The consulting-firm jobs are typically most numerous when the economy is good (when companies are going gangbusters tearing up habitat...) and where there is some protective regulation. Florida and California in 2005 must have been hot. Right now...I doubt it.

I have some friends who are teachers, and get field jobs every summer to regain (they say...) their sanity. That's another idea.

I dunno man, this economy is just not producing a lot of opportunities. If you have health insurance and an income (or 2) I'd probably recommend staying where you're at. Or just running up to North Dakota and driving a truck for a hundred K a year, or so they say...

Sorry to kind of be a buzz-kill. Just calling it like I see it. Others who also see something - please speak up and help Brandon out.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Brandon D » July 11th, 2012, 4:57 pm

Jimi,
Ha I figured that would be the case, I make decent money at the walmart distribution center and get all the perks as insurance 401k and stock optons so forth make around 40k there. on the weekdays I work for a small siding company, no ac at either jobs so Im use to that aspect of things, Ill probably just stick to those jobs for now till my fiance gets done with her nursing program.
ha this thread got a bit off topic here, but a lot of them do I guess

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » July 16th, 2012, 3:01 pm

Earlier I said this and wanted to elaborate just a little:
Folks are free to pick and choose when, under what circumstances, etc. to try & work together.
In terms of entering your data, or sharing data you've entered, it isn't all or nothing:

- for stuff you've entered, you could approve some data requests and deny others. Or make some records visible and hide others
- for stuff you haven't entered (for shame! ha ha...kidding) - if it's your super-secret primo spot that you just can't risk divulging...hey, whatever. Do enter it, don't enter it, think about it some more and decide later - whatever. If it isn't that spot, if it's just some snake or frog you road-cruised or grubbed up in a random roadside ditch on a trip to see your 3rd cousin - what the hell? Enter it.

Also, it's probably worth considering the potential value of the record, and the threats faced by the site and the species overall, and its individuals, at that site. If the site is probably secure, and the species is probably secure, but you don't want to increase the odds of your favorite individuals getting thrown in a sack, don't enter the record. However, if the peril is faced at a level beyond the individual - a distressingly common situation - you might do more good entering that record.

Just throwing this out there to see what'll stick. Maybe these aren't the factors that motivate (or demotivate) you at all. I think Brian was asking a sincere question. If you don't - why not???

Cheers,
Jimi

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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Reptiluvr » October 2nd, 2012, 11:57 am

I'm one of those that joined the database and never added anything. Here's why. I'm not going to resize every photo to your needs. I'm not going to photograph every little herp I see either since you won't trust my ID skills. I didn't know about the google map part of the GPS portion but I hated to have location only down to a county or sometimes city. Since it felt incomplete I didn't put anything up. Also, I haven't actually read about anybody using this data...for anything except to find new herping spots. Can you cite published literature that derived, at least in part, it's data set from the NAFHA database?
Birders have been doing this for quite some time. One big difference is that you don't need a photo verification for every sighting. Thats a substantial amount of work and investment that makes it feel annoying instead of feeling gratifying.

Jimi
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » October 2nd, 2012, 3:20 pm

Interesting and candid response - thanks for it.

Some of the complaints seem, to me, to stem from confused or contradictory or unresolved motivations behind the creation of the database (motivations that influence the current user interface, I reckon). "What is this database meant to do, or provide, that isn't available elsewhere?" A topic that has been addressed quite a bit but never IMO satisfactorily resolved (perhaps we should just move on from "founders' intent" and decide "now what?").

Psyon and others have been pretty attentive in communicating data requests and their outcomes. So - I cannot understand this
I haven't actually read about anybody using this data
There is a time lag in publication. The data requests received so far from academics have been so recent as to preclude their results' being written up and published yet. Several state managers (me - in Utah - included) have made data requests so we can do better poaching. Kidding!!! Seriously - please see my data request to read why I asked for it, and what I intended to do with it (which is what I DID do with it). Most data requests so far have been like that, I think - used by managers, not researchers, therefore any insistence on seeing "published results" is decidedly - and inaccurately - narrowly focused.

Basically, a lot of herps are very poor time and money investments for basic inventory work "on the clock" - it's infinitely better to rely on an army of skilled and high-drive "amateurs" to report encounters, than it is to go out and just try to find these animals. The 4 Belgians' recent observation of a Gyalopion quadrangulare is a case in point. You can put yourself in their known or presumed range, in season, and drive your butt off, spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars in gas money...and still get skunked. A lot. But ask a bunch of herpers what they saw over the course of the year, and the pooled results can be pretty useful.
makes it feel annoying instead of feeling gratifying
That right there is the meat of the matter. If this feeling is common, the database is done for. Gotta make those feelings change.

Thanks again for the candor.

Cheers,
Jimi

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The Jake-Man
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by The Jake-Man » October 2nd, 2012, 5:44 pm

I'm not 18, so I can't join the NAFHA, and therefore I can't enter data. I wish I could, but I understand that rules are there for a reason.

Jimi
Posts: 1867
Joined: December 3rd, 2010, 12:06 pm

Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Jimi » October 3rd, 2012, 10:58 am

Maybe the mods can tell us if, when you turn 18, you can then upload all the data you collected as a minor. Or why the present "rule" is what it is. Adults get weirded out interacting with other folks' kids, as a society we have just created way too many ways (lawsuits etc) to make it not really worth the potential trouble. Sorry you're being excluded. But - hey, time flies! You'll be old before you know it, ha ha.

Cheers,
Jimi

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Fundad
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Fundad » October 3rd, 2012, 12:30 pm

Reptiluvr Wrote
I'm one of those that joined the database and never added anything. Here's why. I'm not going to resize every photo to your needs. I'm not going to photograph every little herp I see either since you won't trust my ID skills. I didn't know about the google map part of the GPS portion but I hated to have location only down to a county or sometimes city. Since it felt incomplete I didn't put anything up. Also, I haven't actually read about anybody using this data...for anything except to find new herping spots. Can you cite published literature that derived, at least in part, it's data set from the NAFHA database?
Birders have been doing this for quite some time. One big difference is that you don't need a photo verification for every sighting. Thats a substantial amount of work and investment that makes it feel annoying instead of feeling gratifying.


Here is a request we just received.

Data Request
Status:
Open for Discussion Requested By:
Robert Fisher Requested At:
2012-09-25 16:20:57
Description:
BACKGROUND:

The western pond turtle (Emys marmorata (syn. Actinemys marmorata) is the only freshwater turtle species which is native to southern California. Western pond turtles are listed as ‘Vulnerable’ by the IUCN, and as a Species of Special Concern by the CA DFG. The species is included (or proposed to be included) in multi-species conservation plans throughout southern California. Ongoing threats to western pond turtle populations include habitat loss and the introduction of non-native turtle species, bass, and bullfrogs.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:

Non-native turtles, such as red-eared sliders, compete with the native western pond turtles for food, nesting sites, and basking opportunities. Understanding the distribution of non-native turtles relative to the current known populations of western pond turtles will help elucidate their impact on the native species. The study is being led by Dr. Robert Fisher of the USGS; his credentials can be found here: www.werc.usgs.gov/person.aspx?personID=75. The USGS will publish the results of the study (and acknowledge the contributions of NAFHA).

INTENDED USE

NAFHA data will be used to provide a more complete picture of the distribution of non-native southern California turtles, particularly in locations such as local parks.

SCOPE OF THE DATA BEING REQUESTED:

All records for turtles from the following southern California counties are requested for release: Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernadino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial.

POTENTIAL RISKS OF RELEASING DATA:

The USGS and its partners are aware of the sensitive nature of the information requested by the project, and will make every effort to keep it secure.

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Fundad
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Re: Why do some not enter data in Naherp.com?

Post by Fundad » October 3rd, 2012, 12:30 pm

Do you want to see more Reptiluvr?

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