John Bosak: Getting It All Together
During my presentation at JAM 2019, I analyzed the effect of moon illumination, as well as other environmental factors, on nightly snake abundance. In order to analyze the large dataset we have from Stone Canyon for my talk, I had to narrow it down to only the relevant variables. I began by pulling out the basic information on environmental factors and total snake encounters to do a preliminary analysis of the data and look for any interesting correlations. As I got deeper into the analysis, I repeatedly returned to the raw data to incorporate more factors to fill out the complete picture of what was actually happening from night to night. Then, after I had built up the spreadsheet I needed, I started cutting it down, removing the data on snakes caught during the day or found dead on the road to clean the data of captures that were not relevant to the analysis. Once the spreadsheet was complete, all that was left to do was find the correct graph to relay the information.
Alexus Cazares: First Talk Jitters
JAM 2019 was around the corner and I was scheduled to give a talk about the effects of urbanization on Gila Monsters. This was going to be my very first time giving a talk at a scientific meeting. I have given poster presentations and in-class oral presentations in the past, but these seemed like a walk in the park compared to the talk that I would be giving. As I began preparing for my talk, I thought more about what I wanted the audience to learn and the most effective way to present this information. After going through thirteen years worth of data, I built my own (smaller) data set that I wanted to work with. From this, I began creating all of the tables and graphs that I planned to use in my presentation. Fast forward to the week of JAM; I was still working on my presentation and making changes to my slides. About two days before JAM, I started running through my presentation and practicing what I wanted to say. I practiced a rough version of my talk in front of my roommates, members of our lab, and mostly to myself. Fortunately, I had a seven hour drive to Albuquerque to practice my talk and get some feedback from two members in the lab. The morning of my talk, I practiced one last time in front of my PI. Shortly after, it was time to upload my presentation and wait for the session to begin. While waiting for my talk, I started to get a little nervous about how my talk was going to go. I tried my best to relax and focus on the two talks before mine. When it was finally my turn to present, I went up there and did my best. After giving my talk and answering questions, I was relieved that it was over. Although it was a little stressful, it was not as bad as I was expecting it to be. It was also a nice feeling to have people come up to me to tell me that they enjoyed my talk and thought that my research was interesting.