Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hi everyone Welcome once again

I had prepared the summary of Dr. Bob Scholes presentation at SAEON Graduate Student Workshop. Dr. Bob Scholes is one of the top researcher at CSIR. Hope you find this useful.


SAEON Graduate Student Network Workshop is about the post graduate student sharing ideas about their knowledge of interest and their experience with their research and also what they think should be recommended for further studies. The South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON) establishes and maintains environmental observation.

On the 29 March 2006, during the graduate student networking workshop which was held at Centurion, Leriba Lodge organised by the SAEON, we were introduced to the Value and Philosophy of Long Term Earth Observation Science presented by Dr. Bob Scholes from CSIR, he is one of the top scientist at CSIR. His presentation was detailed more on how to conduct a research at any level and also about the important or need of team work as researcher. In this report am going to cover some of the concept I found useful for my studies.

The changing faces of Science

There are three pillars of research/landscape, namely research, assessment and observation, and also social needs must be taken into account.

Research is a process of getting more information about something you would like have knowledge on it, you can conduct a research about youth at work only if you need to know about youth at work, the point of interest, by making a research is just the way of getting the right information from the right people.

Assessment is a method of checking/ evaluating information. According to Dr. B. Scholes assessment is a method of evaluating information by adding your own opinion. We can assess if the data collected is true by evaluating the hypothesis found from different sides.

Observation is a method of collecting data by just observing the surrounding and you conclude on your own without the opinion of other people or you can listen to other people and conclude your understanding. However, observation is not a reliable research method, because what might be observed for now might be true for that moment.

Societal needs, your research must not benefit yourself only but it must also meet the needs of the society. If your research is funded by the public then it must also be used by the public, but if is funded by oneself, you have the authority to do whatever you want to do with it.

Long term changes

Needs long term observation
You can not observe everything everywhere, all the time. So if you are at few sites measure a lot of things and measures few things at a lot of sites. We have to sample the information cube sparsely. And all the time we must organise ourselves hierarchically. We can use models to interpolate the entire information volume.

The concept of sample hierarchies


Metadata explained the information about data. It is the responsibility of us as researchers to explain What is Where, Why is there and Who collect it. In common sense, it explain the Filenames, units, error estimates, and headers in spreadsheets.

Sharing data

The data collected must not just be available, but understandable, if the data is collected on public money, then no one owns that data, every member of the public can use that data. The data used need to be acknowledged by referencing.


In order to become a good researcher we have to acknowledge the data by referencing, acknowledging the section and the coauthurship. We need also to organise directory and where possible share information with your mate, sometimes we do not have to search information that somebody has a background on it, for example if you need information concerning invasive species and one of your colloquies has some information so the best thing to is to ask your colloquies than spending much of your time searching for something you do not even understand.


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