by Thomas Elliott
As today represents a month since my return to South Africa, it’s time to take stock of what I’ve done so far.
A string of days in the office followed my excursions into the field to fix our weather stations and to continue setting out our community resource harvesting plots, and my official first task was a rather boring but important one. Cleaning data consists of taking the raw data that comes from the field in the form of databases or spreadsheets and standardizing entries or correcting errors. In this case, field workers had gone to 600 households in the community for five years and had asked them about their natural resource use. The names of trees, medicinal plants, bushmeat, and other species were entered in Shangaan, the local language. My job was to go through all of these entries, thousands of them, and correct for spelling, caps […]