Can we talk stats?

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A phrase that I never expected to hear when people came looking for my advice. I’m used to being asked about all sort of things in the field, from how to prep mist nets or lasso lizards, to how to treat injuries or build shelters, but not how to analyze data. Yet, it seems that I’ve somehow found a new niche, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Sure I’ve taken a few classes, mostly because they were required by my department, but I usually come out of those feeling more lost than when I came in. I certainly don’t feel like a stats guru. I know people who are, and I seek their advice constantly back at my home institution. However, I made the mistake of showing off my few stats skills in an R workshop during our first week of the course, and the next thing I knew I had scheduled appointments to help others with data analysis. This has forced me to put my money where my mouth is and actually learn to apply the skills I learned in those horrible stats courses, so that I don’t lead others astray when they come looking for help. I just hope that I’m doing a good job.

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