Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Literature Search

I finished (or so I thought) my comprehensive list of chameleons. I collected name, common name, known countries and where I found the info. Next up was to work on digging up some literature to support and give locations of these. YIKES!! Much bigger job than I ever expected.

I spent many many hours one night just poking around and I ran into big fat brick walls. Several of the papers are written in German (I can read Danish NOT German!). Many are published in German Journals or in random small African Journals the KU library doesn't subscribe to. The ones I could read had a lot of sketchy location descriptions such as "one possible male found on a tree on the side of X mountain." Wha??? I decided at the end of the night maybe it was time for a chat with Neil to see if there was a better approach to take for now.

Over several emails back and forth and a phone chat we have come up with a few different goals for me to work on over the next few weeks.
  • Meet up with Louis Hansen at the Zoologisk/Zoological Museum. He is THE map guy and has generously offered his time and talents to help me get started mapping. He has also offered to help me dig up some information in their library on reptiles.
  • Rework my species list with a template provided by IUCN. They will verify and validate my info once I have it in the proper format so we have the most up to date accepted list of species.
  • Neil has agreed to be trained on the IUCN Species Information System which he will then come back and teach me and others how to use.
  • Help Neil come up with a flyer to put around school advertising our project to prospective students. He envisions this becoming a fantastic research group we just need more students to come join me.
Overall this has been a pretty exciting week. It's encouraging that so many people are wanting to be involved and help work on this project. It gives me really good vibes that I will be able to get funding to continue my work on this over the next several years. A few other positive tidbits have come up as well but I don't want to say stuff until I know it's a sure thing. Yay for progress! Now I just need to recruit some more students.

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