Customary New Years Resolutions

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dbhguru
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Re: Customary New Years Resolutions

Post by dbhguru » Mon Jan 07, 2013 11:10 am

Ely,

Indeed, and I think the rendezvous in October in Atlanta can give us a big push forward. I am extremely excited about forging a strong alliance with both professional and recreational tree climbers.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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edfrank
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Re: Customary New Years Resolutions

Post by edfrank » Sat Jan 19, 2013 4:23 pm

Perhaps it is late in the month for New Year's Resolutions, but we still have almost 11 1/2 months to go, and I doubt that many of you have completed all of your resolutions, although many of you likely have broken them all by now. I offer these resolutions for the Native Tree Society as a whole:

1) Somebody (read Bob Leverett and Will Blozan among others) need to compile and complete an article comparing our clinometer- laser rangefinder measurements to the result obtained by tape drops. Bob Van Pelt commented on the project I started in 2005 to both compare our own measurements with the results obtained from tape drops, and a compilations of errors that have propagated in big tree lists. "This is an extremely important issue that no pre-ENTS organization was ever able to accomplish. For that matter, even ENTS has only become capable of doing something like this fairly recently." There should e a section on the errors found both with basic instruments like the Nikon 440 and 550 rangefinders, and with more accurate instruments like the Trupulse series. But we NEED to demonstrate our accuracy by comparing our measurements to tape drops, even more so than additional instrument calibrations. We need something in a single document we can point to and say "See Here."

2) Write the definitive article on Tree Measurement for Wikipedia. I am working on it now as a take this brief break to write this post. People look things up on Wikipedia first more times than not. We need to be the ones to write the article. This will reach more people than anything else I can think to do.

3) We need to adapt our large existing Databases of tree measurements held by Bob Leverett, Dale Luthringer, Will Blozan, and Jess Riddle among others so they can be imported into the TreesDatabase. We have a database, now we should use it rather holding onto our data in our own little fiefdom or procrastinating so that it s not ever submitted.

4) We need to make the joint Tree Climbers International / Native Tree Society rendezvous this fall a success by providing useful workshops and presentations to the audience of tree climbers that will be present.

5) I would like to see some progress be made toward getting a non-profit designation for the Native Tree Society for itself, rather than continuing to be a non-profit as a sub set of the Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest.

Edward Frank
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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pattyjenkins1
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Re: Customary New Years Resolutions

Post by pattyjenkins1 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:01 am

A few additions to the lists of things to accomplish in 2013.

1. Create a credentialling program for tree measurers. I've said on the information about the 2013 Rendezvous that you guys were going to be doing this in preparation for new people. It will be on the order of the day, as plenty of people will want to be credentialled.

2. Ed and Will talked about creating a tree-measuring guidelines brochure of some sort. Is this off the table? Maybe the Wikipedia article, reconfigured as a brochure (I can work with whomever to do this; I admit to being pretty good at this type of thing) would suffice.

3. It would also be very helpful to set up some sort of structure (maybe it already exists?, maybe just a "locator" like the TCI "Climber Finder" [which is for members only so it's secure]?) to enable newly-recruited measurers to ask for field help from experienced NTS.

4. On the database: I haven't spoken with TCI member Paul Giers in a while, but his compilation of all the state and national champs and big trees into one big list should be made use of somehow. My guess is that it would be invaluable to use it as a tool to find out which trees need re-measureing and which are not even standing at this point. I will get details of where that stands. I know he has completed most of it.

5. In response to Bob's excitement about forging a collaboration with professional and recreational climbers--I know of many who will second, third, and fourth Bob's sentiments. Myself being the first. My New Year's Resolution is to make the Rendezvous as successful as it can be by maximizing participation; as well as to maximize the extraordinary possibilities it holds for education and creating new citizen scientists for trees. Some planning for post-Rendezvous structure(s) to help keep newbies inspired and active will help. This Board is obviously the best place to start. Nobody could fail to "get" the passion for trees and measuring them that you guys have. However, my experience with tree climbing teaches me of the necessity to keep finding and building ways to grow new, passionate leaders who can help sustain the work.

patty

P.S. Kim Coder was excited to learn about the Rendezvous and agreed to speak there. He's a great and very engaging speaker. It's been suggested to me that I ask him to talk about climate change impact on trees. But his lectures on basic tree biology/physiology are amazing and so easily understood. I think this would be good for tree climbers to hear. Many of them are unschooled in the science of trees altogether. Thoughts?
Patty Jenkins
Executive Director
Tree Climbers International, Inc.
Get High / Climb Trees

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DougBidlack
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Re: Customary New Years Resolutions

Post by DougBidlack » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:39 pm

Ed,

I absolutely agree with all your resolutions but I especially want to make some comments regarding point #1. As you mentioned, the evaluation of each laser should ideally fit on one page, but it should not begin and end with accuracy. I think that price, speed (amount of time required to get a measurement), and ease of use need to be on that table. Usually we only talk about accuracy and maybe price but speed and ease of use tend to get too little attention and I think this is a big mistake. Making these tools easier to use and evaluating them on this basis, I think, will really help to get more people involved.

I remember the first time I went to work for my dad as a machine tool electrician (basically just wiring up large machines that can cover several acres). He didn't just tell me how to do it. He took me, step by step and told me to buy this toolpouch, put these tools (he picked them out and told me exactly why he picked each one, even to the point of describing which electrical tape he used because of how it held up best outdoors after several years among other reasons) in the toolpouch in this order, and then he showed me exactly how to use each one. Very soon, he said, you will never have to look at your toolpouch. You will simply need a tool and you will simply reach back and grab it without thinking. This sort of handholding may seem almost childish. It isn't. It is probably the biggest hurdle to overcome in order to wire up a machine, measure a tree or anything else. The best way is to be taught one on one by a master. Lacking that, filming (or whatever it's called these days) a master and having someone explain exactly what he is doing at every step of the way will suffice. No detail should be left out. Even what clothing you wear, where each tool is placed, which hand you use to grab tool x etc. All this matters when it comes to measuring a tree as quickly and accurately as possible. There are likely many ways to use each set of tools, but some are certainly better than others. Methodology, process, is just as important as the tools we use. I know this only relates to point number one in a kind of sideways sort of way but I thought I should bring it up since I still think about it all the time...mostly because I am so darn slow.

Doug

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dbhguru
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Re: Customary New Years Resolutions

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:23 pm

Doug,


You make excellent points about going beyond simple accuracy tests. I often think of the number of steps needed to efficiently execute a procedure, but have not discussed them on the BBS for fear that the rest of you would think I was over doing it. However, your post changes my thinking.

Patty,

We can set up a joint tree climbing-measuring experiment at the rendezvous to help accomplish one of Ed's New Years wishes - a test of methods with tape drop comparisons. I'll discuss this with Will and get back to you with a proposal. It would be a first. You have the climbers and we could make a lot of comparisons if Will thinks it is feasible. The result would be the basis for a report.

Ed,

The database needs an Excel interface along the line of that list of fields I listed in a previous post. Maybe we can start from there. The database must be efficient and work for those of us who are simply not hoarding our data, but using it for a variety of purposes toward worthy objectives. We can make the database work for us if we can establish an Excel interface that works for Will, me, and others. More on this over the next several days.

In terms of establishing ourselves in the eyes of the public as the masters of tree measuring, the advanced guide, I.e. dendromorphometry will happen. As I mentioned in a private communication, first I have to complete the chapter for Joan Maloof. Then I turn to the dendromorphometry book, which of course will heavily involve you.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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edfrank
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Re: Customary New Years Resolutions

Post by edfrank » Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:07 pm

Patty, Doug, Bob,

Regarding the first item on the list - proof of accuracy. Yes we do need these other things compiled. What I think is most important single step or item is to show that our measurements are accurate with regard to measuring trees. The only way to do that is to show that our tree measurements compare well to tree measurements obtained in another manner that people do believe is accurate. The only way I can see to do that is by comparing our ground based measurements with measurements obtained by tape drops during tree climbs. No matter how well we do the statistics or calculations of error for the rangefinders and clinometers, and no matter how valid those analysis might be, to have the methodology accepted we need to compare it to real life physical measurements obtained during tree climbs.

I was not accusing anyone of hoarding data as the remark was intended to be metaphorical. If offense was taken I apologize.

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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dbhguru
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Re: Customary New Years Resolutions

Post by dbhguru » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:17 pm

Ed,

No offense taken. The categorization of hoarding was mine. But some people become proprietary of their data, though that has not occurred in NTS. With me and Will, and I suspect others, it is a question of simplicity and efficiency. Nothing more.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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