Data Tip Exercise Answers

  • Calculate the average number of whales counted per site over the entire 3-hour period.

    Answer = 17; highest of 3 islands

  • Which site had the lowest whale count? Which site had the highest whale count?

    Answer: Lowest - site #6 Highest - site #7

    Using the following reports as resources (wave height & direction, bathymetry, volunteers' whale count sheets), what factors do you think may have affected the variation in counts at different sites around the island?

    Possible influencing factors: physical conditions (sea state, bathymetry), human uncertainty (possible duplications in counts), other occurrences (fishing boats, cruise ship, tour boats, divers).

  • What kinds of questions do the data elicit?

    Possible Questions & Answers:

    Why only count 15 minutes per hour? Because it is hard to stay focused for longer, and there is less chance of recounting the same whales.

    Why only count 3 hours? Again, this lessens the chances of recounting the same whales, but this is sufficient for calculating a mean and a standard deviation for the counts.

    Can one be confident that volunteers stationed onshore will see the majority of whales in the area? No, but it is the best we can do.

  • How would you modify next year's approach to gain more information from next year's data?

    Possible Answers: Change observation time periods, change site locations, add observers on water, conduct more hyperspectral imaging if the budget allows."