Monday, June 23, 2008
This weekend we had the best weather since I have gotten here, and I can't wait for the July sunshine. The three days a week I go to Gossau you can always count on the temperature to be several degrees lower because the altitude is twice as high than in Zuri, the clouds there seem to be that much closer too. By late afternoon, you would not think it was gloomy earlier that morning, unless you're Swiss.
This past week went good especially with the experiments at the zoo. By this I mean filming their reactions. With the first week of filming we managed to catch all the technological issues and are hoping from here on out things should flow easily. More tech problems arose with the software (interAct) we use to code the videos, and I am currently working with their tech support hoping to solve the issue and keep busy, since this has put a halt in my aid. By using interAct it is much easier than entering sentences into excel sheets since we can translate behaviors into quantitative data. Soon I will take an interobserver reliability test with coding a video, since this is essential to a study using an assistant's knowledge.
Statistics are just as important as participant-observing in biological anthropology, every experiment needs significant measures to interpret the study. This is obvious in science and why math goes hand in hand with it, but now I question why my university doesn't supply enough (any) stat classes for non-math majors who use statistics. I was aware of the connection anthropology had with stats and looked into CU's options about a year ago. Unfortunately my adviser was confused why I thought it was so important, although when I get back I will have a better background for how essential it is. It is actually a bit ridiculous an anthro-stat class isn't required to obtain a degree in this field.
Although I have realized the perspective in differentiating anthropology is a bit different in the states. At the University of Colorado students study cultural, biological and archeology equally for a BA. where in Switzerland anthropology stems from biology and cultural anthropology is considered something quite different. Here you would get a degree in ethnology, which seems equivalent to cultural anthropology.
It's been interesting and worthwhile the entire time, and am excited to see the chimps tomorrow. The tour de Suisse is over and the EM is getting more and more exciting. I would place my bets on Spain, at least not Germany.