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Planning and setting objectives in field studies: Chapter 2

July 12, 2016

This chapter enumerates the steps required in designing and planning field studies on the ecology and conservation of reptiles, as these involve a high level of uncertainty and risk. To this end, the chapter differentiates between goals (descriptions of what one intends to accomplish) and objectives (the measurable steps required to achieve the established goals). Thus, meeting a specific goal may require many objectives. It may not be possible to define some of them until certain experiments have been conducted; often evaluations of sampling protocols are needed to increase certainty in the biological results. And if sampling locations are fixed and sampling events are repeated over time, then both study-specific covariates and sampling-specific covariates should exist. Additionally, other critical design considerations for field study include obtaining permits, as well as researching ethics and biosecurity issues.

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