Showing posts from April, 2020


"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain I. Hate. Statistics. Well, maybe I shouldn’t be so extreme. Statistics do powerful things with scientific data. They give us a structured way of analyzing all those precious numbers and figuring out what they mean. Statistics carry us from a messy matrix of observations to a single measure of significance. They provide a tangible, grounded means of assessing patterns in the world. They are necessary and valuable. But they also suck. Learning how to use statistics properly is always a challenge, because it’s not just a matter of running the test. It’s figuring out which statistical test is the proper one to use for any given dataset - and there are a lot of tests out there! Sometimes, I’m convinced that I’ve conducted a statistical test correctly, but then someone will point out there’s a test that fits my data even better than the test I used. Then it’s back to square one. I had the expe

Some good news

"What a week for good news it was, because yes, without question, we are all going through an incredibly trying time. But, through all the anxiety, all the confusion, all the isolation, and all the Tiger King , somehow the human spirit still found a way to break through and blow us all away." - John Krasinski Friends, in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, I have some good news to share. My Stellwagen shipwreck project is moving forward, and we're preparing for our outreach activities during the expedition this summer. We'll have some day-trips to collect data in June and July, and then in August, we'll gather on board the R/V Connecticut  for a telepresence cruise . The good thing about this project is that all our telepresence broadcasts are done remotely anyway, so if the world is still closed when we're at sea in August, viewers can log in from home. Our project website is now live! You can find more information about the upcoming expedition here . Cl

Spinning faster

"This world keeps spinning faster Into a new disaster" - "I run to you" by Lady Antebellum Well, friends, we're in our second month of social distancing with another one to go. The world is still spinning, as far as I can tell. Some cabin fever is setting in, but overall, we're in pretty good shape. I've been using my time in isolation to work on projects I wouldn't normally have the time for. I've told you about the ecological model I'm building, but regular readers of this blog know I never have just one project going at a time. My usual count is about 5. I work on one until I get to a point that I have to wait on someone else for feedback or approval, and while they review my work, I pull out another project to work on. I rotate through projects until one of them gets finished and  flies off of the wheel . Anemones ( Metridium senile ) on the wooden hull of the coal schooner Frank A. Palmer (Photo: NOAA SBNMS) I had to take