2013 in review


Now is the time of year where we all do a little navel gazing, so here is my look back at 2013. I’ll start with a bit of summary about the blog. I started this blog with a few purposes 1) to increase my broader impacts for grants, 2) provide resources for others because I’ve found some much helpful R code on other people’s blogs, 3) foster interactions with researchers beyond my university (where I sometimes feel a bit isolated), and as a bonus I’ve found that writing many of these posts helps me clarify my own thinking on various topics.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report. Now if only most of those weren’t bots trying to sell generic viagra and mine my data I’d be all famous. At least some of the visits were from actual people interested in silly things like statistics, R, and amphibian ecology. Apparently, my Valentine’s Day post, No Statistical Panacea, Hierarchical or Otherwise, was sufficiently interesting to delay 214 trips to Hallmark. It even garnered positive responses from two of my academic heros, Ben Bolker and Brian McGill. Happy Valentine’s Day to me!

My 5 most popular posts were

1 High Resolution Figures in R
2 GEE QIC update
3 Stan for Bayesian Analysis
4 No Statistical Panacea, Hierarchical or Otherwise
5 Knitting beautiful documents in RStudio

I really should redo the post on producing high resolution figures in R. I wrote it as I learned how to do it and it shows my exploration with trials and errors. I should make a new post with better information and link to it at the top of the old post to be more helpful to people since it is getting a fair amount of traffic. I guess that’s something for an early 2014 post.

I also published 3 papers this year, have a 4th in press, and another 2 in review so it was a successful year from that standpoint.

Hocking, D. J. and K. J. Babbitt. In review. Amphibian Contributions to Ecosystem Services. Herpetological Conservation and Biology. (Open Access)

Anderson, T. L., D. J. Hocking, C. A. Conner, J. E. Earl, E. B. Harper, M. S. Osbourn, W. E. Peterman, T. A. G. Rittenhouse, and R. D. Semlitsch. In review. The influence of priority effects on metamorph traits and recruitment of two pond-breeding salamanders. Oecologia.

Hocking, D. J. and K. J. Babbitt. Accepted. The role of red-backed salamanders on ecosystem functions. PLOS One.

Hocking, D. J. 2013. Comparing the influence of ecology journals using citation metrics: making sense of a multitude of metrics. Ideas in Ecology & Evolution. 6: 55-65 . DOI: 10.4033/iee.2013.6.17.f  (Open Access)

Hocking, D. J., S. A. Callaghan, K. J. Babbitt, and M. Yamasaki. 2013. Comparison of silvicultural and natural disturbance effects on terrestrial salamanders in northern hardwood forests. Biological Conservation. 167: 194-202. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.08.006

Hocking, D. J., G. M. Connette, C. A. Conner, B. R. Scheffers, S. E. Pittman, W. E. Peterman, and R. D. Semlitsch. 2013. Effects of experimental forest management on a terrestrial, woodland salamander in Missouri. Forest Ecology and Management 287:32-39. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2012.09.013. Please email me if you would like a copy. You can read my brief research summary here.

I also started using git and GitHub for version control and backup of my projects. I’m still learning how to use branches and such, but it has been a useful tool for my research and my teaching. I also started using R markdown and knitr, which has been great for teaching. I also started using Twitter (@djhocking) and have had some great interactions with researchers from around the world and found links to great resources that I otherwise might not have encountered.

The end of 2013 also marks the end of my time at the University of New Hampshire. After 5 years of grad school and 1.5 years as a postdoc, I will be starting a new postdoc position at UMass-Amherst in January. I am very excited about the new position and associated project. I will be working with a great group of people at the Northeast Climate Science Center, Forest Service, and USGS to model climate change effects on brook trout and stream salamander populations.

AnnalisseFinally and most importantly, 2013 was a tremendously exciting year owing to the birth of my daughter, Annalisse. Watching her grow and develop over the last 8 months has been the most amazing experience of my life. Despite running taking a backseat to family and work this year, I did run my first marathon finishing in 2:25:49 (5:33/mile) for 10th place. It was a great experience with my wife and our friend pushing strollers to half a dozen places on the course to cheer for me and his wife.

All and all 2013 was pretty good but I am looking forward to new challenges and adventures in 2014!

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