BEMEP- Online Field Journal, Summer 2004
30 May, 2004
Back in Cayo today, on the way to Martz Farm. We had a great week at Pusilhá. Picked up Tracy on Monday afternoon as scheduled. She was worried about bringing the instrument through customs, but it took her all of about two minutes to get through. As Monday was a holiday here in Belize we nearly had the roads to ourselves. The drive south to Punta Gorda was quite easy.
We arrived at the village of San Benito Poite Tuesday morning at 10 o’clock. The afternoon saw us in the field with all of the equipment familiarising and working out bugs. Unfortunately we had some serious problems with the Polycorder, the device that records the collected data. The machine seems to be quite old and not in the best condition. It kept discontinuing recording shortly after we would begin walking the survey transects.
Lucky for us Tracy had thought ahead and brought the software necessary for realtime collection with a laptop. In realtime collection the data are stored directly in the computer rather than in an intermediary device. The possibility for problems arising when transferring the data are reduced, the data can be reviewed immediately in the field, and there are more options available when setting up for collection. For example, with the Polycorder the maximum number of readings per second is 2. With realtime collection the maximum number of readings per second is 10.
Wednesday morning we were back in the field without the Polycorder, using my Dell laptop for collection of data. It was a bit more cumbersome to carry around, and unfortunately required both of us for the actual collection. This cut down on our ability to take notes while collecting data- we had to wait till the end of each survey line, and made the survey times longer.
Tracy and I collecting data, in horizontal orientation, in Grid P-OP1.
I did feel apprehensive at first taking my laptop into the field. We kept our eyes on the weather and did have to stop collection and put everything away for a time while we waited out a mid-day rain storm. Thanks again to Pelican, my computer was safe in the field and during transport.
On the way back from the field- crossing the Pusilha River in traditional dugout canoe.