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Methods Draft

Submitted by nskinner on Wed, 12/11/2019 - 19:59

Methods: The methods project at first was really challenging to me. I did not know how much detail was required to get someone to recreate a multipanel figure that I created without them ever seeing what the original looked like. Once I realized the amount of detail that needed to go into the text it went a lot smoother. I think this was a really good way to teach a class how much detail is needed in the methods section of a paper so that someone would be able to duplicate the experiment. It was also a great way to practice writing in the proper tenses and not use unnecessary terms, conjunctions, or subjective phrases etc. It was satisfying to see the duplicate replicate look so much like my original in the end. This project will help me with my future writing.

Draft about Drafts

Submitted by nskinner on Wed, 12/11/2019 - 09:52

Drafts: Before the project started I thought it would be challenging to sit down and write so frequently. I found that is wasnt that difficult to do. Although it wasn't really that difficult, I still prefer to write in larger blocks of time. I don't necessarily want to write an entire essay in one block of time but I like to write large sections and not step away from it until I feel satisfied with the amount of work I put towards something. I found that when I wrote in shorter blocks my writing was more choppy and it was really hard to bring all of my thoughts together in a cohesive way so the assignment was organized. To me it felt a little like busy work trying to write in shorter periods and frequently rather than just once or twice weekly. The drafts may have helped me think about writing more frequently and breaking up the work over the week, however I will most likely still write in larger blocks of time on fewer days a week since I feel like my writing is better organized that way.

Abstract Redo

Submitted by nskinner on Mon, 12/09/2019 - 21:46

Abstract. The stability of slopes is correlated with the vegetation on that slope regarding stability (Fan, Lai 2104). The root system of plants plays a pivotal role in the stability of a slope, and it is questionable if the slope itself also determines what vegetation is present and at what age that vegetation will reach; given that it is living on a slope. If significant differences between individual sizes of vegetation can be found on different slopes, than this could be due to differences in habitat. It was predicted that there would be smaller trees on steeper slopes and larger trees on the flat site. To determine if there are different sized trees in different habitats, measurements of the diameter at breast height (dbh) of trees on a north facing slope, south facing slope and a flat site were takenWhen looking at all species in each replicate, the north and south slopes did not differ from the flat as much as what was predicted. There was no statistical difference in the size of trees on the north and south slopes as compared to the flat site. 

Perfect Paragraph

Submitted by nskinner on Sat, 12/07/2019 - 21:06

To determine whether different habitats have different sized trees, we measured the diameter at breast height (dbh) of adult trees in three sites at the Holyoke Range in Amherst Massachusetts. The sites included a north slope, south slope and flat area at an area called  “The Notch” on the Holyoke range. The dbh of these trees was used to find basal area of the adult trees present in eight replicates. After analyzing the basal area of adult trees it was determined that the average basal area was not that different between the slopes. The species Quercus rubra/velutina was also specifically looked at because of its high density at each site compared to other species. It was predicted that the basal area of this species would be larger on the flat than on either north or south slopes. It was actually found that the north slope have higher average basal area than either the flat of the south slopes. Ultimately, the results did not support the hypothesis that steeper slopes have small trees due to higher mortality rates of of larger trees.


Submitted by nskinner on Fri, 12/06/2019 - 19:27

When you think about football, you think about speed, strength, reaction time, coordination and so much more but do you think about looks? Attractiveness has nothing to do with a players ability to throw, catch or run but a study by the new york times found that “attractiveness” has a positive impact salary stating that attractive players could look forward to an 8 percent increase in pay (“Pretty-Boy Quarterbacks”). Attractiveness matters so much that players like Kerry Collins had salaries that did not reflect their skills but certainly their attractiveness (“Pretty-Boy Quarterbacks”). So how is it that a player who has a higher quarterback rating, higher number of passing yardage (distance they throw the ball over time) and more touchdowns for attempt seems to be paid less than a more attractive athlete if they are objectively deemed better by NFL analyst like Brian Billick who breaks down stats for a living (“Draft a QB”). Through our project we hope to come to a clearer understanding of the effect of attractiveness on salary if any and furthermore if it plays a bigger role than a players skill in areas like QB ratings and touchdowns per attempt. We will do this through comparing a players salary, attractiveness and a handful of skills to see if more attractive players make more money than less attractive players with more skill with all of our data coming from the excel sheet. Whether or not there is a correlation can prove to destroy the misconception that money equates to overall skill. Understanding the relationship between attractiveness and salary can help the managers understand how to make better use of their teams funds. Why use that money on good looking athletes instead of using it on talent to strengthen their teams? 


Elevator speech draft

Submitted by nskinner on Thu, 12/05/2019 - 22:07

Our project focused on the germination rates of various species of plants. We were interested in how the seed coat affected the dormancy of a seed and would nicking the seed coat decrease the amount of time a seed needed to germinate. To do this we germinated seeds in petri dishes. Our control was a dish with 10 seeds that did not have their seed coat altered. We chose to use 6 different species so we had 6 dishes each with ten seeds. We then took 10 seeds of each species and nicked their seed coat where the cotyledon should first start to emerge. We checked in the seeds every 12 hours for 3 days to see how quickly each type of seed germinated. We recorded the initial sign of germination, fully germinated seeds, and growth of the cotyledon up to 2cm in length. We then ran a t-test looking at how many seeds germinated on days 1.5-3 days amongst all species comparing the nicked seeds with the control group. None of our p-values showed statistical significance with 5% significance levels. This told us that the nicked seeds did not germinate any faster than the control.


Submitted by nskinner on Thu, 12/05/2019 - 21:09

As resources become more abundant then number of individuals should also increase. As number of individuals increase then the number of species should increase. Due to chance alone, the number of rare species should also increase as well (Gurevitch et al. 2006).Therefore, the more abundant the resources are the more biodiversity is promoted. Disclaimer: It really also depends on what those resources are, what species are present (invasive vs non-invasive) etc. Larger areas essentially means that it is more likely to have more habitats within that larger area. More habitats then in turn means more available habitat to certain species which would promote biodiversityBarriers to dispersal can cause speciation which then promotes biodiversity. Different species live in different habitats. If there is an increase in the number of habitats then there should be an increase in the number of different species occupying those habitats (especially for species that have specialized habitats). Habitat fragmentation decreases biodiversity dramatically. Cutting off gene flow from one fragment to another is not conducive to biodiversity. Being closer to the center of an area means species will be able to interact, find others of the same species, pass on genes with those same species and promote diversity. Being closer to the center also helps the species with edge effects.

Earth Rotation

Submitted by nskinner on Thu, 12/05/2019 - 20:11

If the Earth changed the direction of its spin the sun would rise in the west and set in the east. The westerlies and easterlies would be blowing in the opposite direction than they are now. Because of this I would expect that the latitudinal distributions of biomes would be similar, but the variation of biomes across continents (east-west) would reverse to some extent. I would expect the mountains to have wetter eastern sides rather than western sides.Perhaps California/Oregon/Washington would be more like temperate deciduous New England and New England would be more temperate rainforest like the redwoods, or mediteranean climate like Yosemite.


Submitted by nskinner on Tue, 12/03/2019 - 17:28

For plants, animals and humans to live healthy lives, the soils must also be healthy. The determining factor for soil health is often soil organic matter. To better manage the soil and maintain a healthy ecosystem this data is used to develop agricultural practices. For this to work, input of soil organic matter needs to exceed output of soil organic matter. This data helps us identify which regions are more at risk to loss of soil organic matter and why. Water availability is also taken into consideration and both of these systems are looked at locally and globally. This map has units of measurements to rate these systems. Both global and continental scale factors (temperature, precipitation) are taken into account as well. This system does not take irrigation into account.


Submitted by nskinner on Thu, 11/21/2019 - 22:03

Facilitation: When there us facilitation, earlier colonizing species facilitate the growth of future species in some way. If there was a removal of earlier colonizing species, then the species that they facilitate may have a harder time existing. Inhibition: When inhibition is taking place earlier colonizing species are inhibiting the growth of future species. If the earlier successional species are removed, then the species that they were inhibiting would be more likely to grow. Tolerance: If neither inhibition or facilitation are occurring then tolerance is occuring. This means that species are tolerating condition. Their survival depends more on their life history strategies than on facilitation or inhibition of earlier species. Thus, if earlier successional species were removed, then only species that can tolerate the ecological conditions will survive there.


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