Week 7: Seal Videos & Seal Spreadsheets

Apr 10, 2019


In the spreadsheet I’m scoring the videos on, there’s always blank spaces for stuff I haven’t graded. So sometimes Rachel will have a few new videso for me to go through to score a few more seals. Besides that, I also finished up one phase of my little research project. I completed my spreadsheet with all the different pups of the females we have videos of, found the marks of the pups in their histories, then searched through thousands of lines of spreadsheet data on their marks to determine their tags (thank god for ‘control-F’), from which I was able to search several other databases for their status as being weighed or not. That took almost the whole day.

This all takes a startling amount of time because of a few reasons. Let me go a bit more in depth on how you find out which pups which females had which years. First, you find out the unique “Seal ID” of the adult females. That’s all listed on my spreadsheet for scoring videos of the seals. From that, I have to manually search through every seal’s history on one database. That database shows all the sightings of that specific, unique seal since it was born. There are a lot of sightings for the older seals. Once the seals grow into adults, you start seeing sightings with pups. Not all the pups are marked, but the ones that are usually have their marks mentioned once or twice in a season’s worth of sightings (twenty or thirty). Now you know that a female seal had a pup with a certain marking during a certain year. Repeat that process for every season until 2019. Some seals have had eight-ish pups. Once I’ve transcribed all the marks of the pups and the years that they received those marks, I have to go to another database to search for those marks in the year that they were recorded as being made. So for example, I might see a seal with the mark “X7” in 2012. From that, it’s possible to search the database of all pups and weanlings marked in 2012 for any seal with that specific mark. Sometimes there are many pups with the same mark, so you have to backtrack and check where on the beach the pups were marked. Once you’ve found the right seal, you have its tag. Repeat that process for every seal, and every pup. Are you starting to get why it’s a long process? Then I have to plug those pup tags into the first database I searched for their mothers, which then gives me the history of the pups/weanlings. Then you check if they’ve been weighed or not, and boom that’s a small but important check mark on my spreadsheet. Repeat that again for every seal and every pup.

So yeah, it takes a while :))

One Reply to “Week 7: Seal Videos & Seal Spreadsheets”

  1. Helena Vervoort says:

    You lost me somewhere around X7 but I think I know what you mean! It is a long process!

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