Monday, July 28, 2014

Bridget Begay - Week 4: Quality Control on Data and Otter Crest with Cindy

Hello everyone!

This week, I have been conducting Quality Control (QC) from all of the data on the FIOS database online because all of the late 1970's data has been entered from paper form to digital form. The QC methods is used to check the quality of the beam trawl data and reorganizing any clutter on the database, so analysis can be conducted later on with fewer errors. The first method was to randomly check any and all beam trawl data sheet in each binder and in total, Matt and I checked 119 data sheets. An example of an error may be the input of the wrong fish species, or the wrong measurement recorded. Another method we used was checking low to high measurements by each fish species, meaning that we check the beam trawl sheet if the fish was measured to be 8 mm SL (Standard Length) or 450 mm SL. To clarify, SL means Standard Length, which is the measurement of the fish from the head along the body to the start of the caudal fin. The last method to be conducted was to map the latitude and longitude along the Oregon coast. It's a lot of work to get done but Matt and I were able to accomplish Quality Control this week. Next week, I'm going to spend time in the lab to go through fish samples to sort by species, measure (mm SL) and weight (g).

The binders with late 1970's small-mesh beam
 trawl surveys along the Central Oregon coast. 


Here are two examples of the small-mesh beam trawl data sheets (SBMT).

At the end of the week, I assisted Cindy on a surveying trip to Otter Crest, also known as Devil's Punch Bowl State Park. As describe from Week 2 blog post, I helped Cindy survey people who attended the beach on Saturday. As with Cascade Head, this was the first time I visited this state park and it's a very beautiful place to visit. Along with surveying people, Cindy and I noticed a boat within the Marine Reserve, which was seen to be fishing. Cindy called the Oregon State Police - Fish & Wildlife Department to notified and send a senior trooper to the state park. The senior trooper was able to identify the boat and establish that they were fishing and crabbing and recording the whole incident. Just north of the fishing boat, there were four boats closely following a whale for more than an hour. As indicated by the Marine Mammal Protection Act and Endangered Species Act , that the public cannot disrupt a marine mammals natural behavior, especially a whale and following regulations when a whale is in sight. If you want to whale watch in the future, it's probably best to view from the shore with a pair of binoculars. Events like these contribute how the public follows the Marine Reserves policy. 

A small boat within the Otter Crest Marine Reserve Area, as indicated
 by the circled buoys.

Four boats following and watching a whale traveling along the coast.   

This reminds me when I was working at University of Washington in the summer for a Oceanography internship. I assisted a grad student to collect zooplankton samples West of the the Ballard Locks, in the Puget Sound. When were collecting samples, we hard a loud, rushing noise and looked around. We then noticed a whale traveling South of us and heading North, so we had to turn off the boat and wait awhile for the whale to past us. About 10 minutes later, we heard another whale spouting noise. It was amazing to see them because I've heard it's rare to see them traveling in the Puget Sound. I found this NOAA website that gives guidelines if you would like to whale watch, here is the link. That's all for now and thank you again for reading!

Bridget B.   

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