Friday, February 26, 2016

Back in the Habit?

Last summer I went to a training that Cascades Pika Watch put on in Tacoma. Their organization is geared to get citizen scientists out gathering useful data on pika. Pika are remarkable little relatives of the rabbit. They primarily live in high elevation rocky areas, don't like getting too warm, they are quite cute, and surprisingly manage to live through alpine winters under the snow without hibernating. They are a species of concern because they have been losing a lot of previously suitable habitat as the climate has shifted.

While at the training, I learned that one of the organizers had been working on a side project to identify pika from audio recordings. This could provide a useful tool for monitoring for pika, and in the long run might be able to be expanded to facilitate other interesting analysis. That sounded like a wonderful opportunity to blend my interests in natural history and data analysis, so I asked if I could help out and have been working on it off and on since then.

I intend to describe the details and approach of the pika audio project over the next few posts. I haven't finished work on the inverse geometric mapping project I had been posting about previously, but it has taken a back burner for the moment.