The coronavirus pandemic has certainly stifled field operations during this year. However, these circumstances allowed personnel who would normally be out in the field to redirect their attention to deferred data management tasks, which they were able to complete while adhering to necessary social distancing protocols.
For example, in the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, GBI has been conducting data collection and monitoring of invasive plant species in collaboration with the National Park Service. This has resulted in a considerable accumulation of data. But raw data can only provide so much information. Over time, this project had accumulated about six years of data that had not been organized or analyzed, so GBI Research Associate Julia Aaronson turned her attention to addressing this shortfall during suspension of field activities. The data analysis consisted of determining if the abundance and composition of invasive species found could be explained by proximity to the road. Additional analysis was performed to determine if the same plots consistently had the highest abundance of invasive plants among all the years that sampling was conducted (2014-present).
Ultimately, the organization of this data will not only assist in the designing of weed treatment programs, but will also help make future monitoring efforts more effective and efficient.