In order to collect data, I used a program called BORIS(7.8) which allowed me to time the duration of each event and record the time each behavior or interaction occurred. I learned the hard way that collecting data can be tedious and rigorous work, especially with analyzing that required concrete decision making. I encountered multiple problems during the data collection process. The biggest obstacle I encountered was my indecisiveness when coding for my ethogram because I needed to stay consistent with how I defined a certain behavior. Any changes to my definitions can completely skew the data. It happened to me multiple times, and every time it happened I had to go back and correct each of my observations which was exhausting because all the videos totaled up to 2 hours and 13 minutes. Diving was one of these behaviors because I couldn’t decide how low the whales had to swim for it to be considered “diving.” Eventually I realized that viewing all of the videos first and then committing to definitions in my ethogram would be the best idea.
Prior to this class, if anyone asked me what I wanted to do in the future, I would have vaguely stated research. After taking this class, I’ve gained some love for marine animals, especially cetaceans. Not only that but my interest in animal behavior increased drastically. I hope that I can work on research concerning animal behavior again. Thanks to my professor Laura May-Collado and this class, I have gained a new interest that I want to pursue in the future.