as things wind down while we prepare to leave hong kong, my research is starting to take off. we went to sharp island on monday to do the last transects at sites two and three. however, analyzing the photos has gone so well, dr. qiu decided to add another study site, which makes a total of 6 sites. so my last week here has been filled with 9 and 10 hour days inputing the data, throwing together preliminary graphs, making figures, and deciding how to put the whole paper together. ive been using a map-based method for calculating wave exposure at all 6 sites, putting together several descriptive figures of the study region, creating depth profiles for each transect at each site, and generally trying not to loose my head in all the numbers! we will carry out two statistical tests on the data, one- way ANOVA and multi variate MDS, to try and find the greatest influential factors on the distribution, density, and richness of the coral communities.
this afternoon i ran into a pretty frustrating road block, because i was trying to average coral cover by depth, but realized that i cannot combine data across different transects at the same site, because then the replicates become what is called a pseudo replicate, which makes each replicate somewhat illegitimate. the hardest part about this is that this type of statistics is completely new to me, and explaining my misunderstanding to people who speak another language proved extremely hard.
on a different note, last night i went up to the top of the peak, which is the highest mountain in hong kong. from up there, the entire city is visible, and on a clear night like last night, i got a sense of the city that i was previously unaware of. i never though a bunch of skyscrapers lit up could be so beautiful. there was also a full moon last night, which may have added to the scene. or the fact that the air was better, more clear and more quiet than anywhere else in the city.
we leave for xiamen on saturday, and while ive sometimes felt overwhelmed by this city, ive had a great time exploring it, getting to know it, and making it my own.