Abstract # 3:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 19, 2008 09:45 AM-12:00 PM: Session 1 (Meeting Room 2DEF) Symposium


OBSERVATIONAL METHODOLOGIES SYMPOSIUM: METHODS FROM THE FIELD, ZOO AND LABORATORY

M. F. S. X. Novak1 and A. M. Dettmer2
1NIH - NICHD - LCE, NIH Animal Center, P.O. Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA, 2University of Massachusetts, Amherst
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     Observational methodologies vary according to the constraints of the environment and as a function of researcher experience with certain contexts. Seminal papers on the topic can be found to teach beginners and to remind the more versed of various strengths and limitations (e.g. Altmann, 1974; Sackett, 1978; Watters, Margulis and Atsalis, 2008 submitted). Furthermore, technology constantly reinvents what is possible to observe. Zoo, laboratory and field settings reveal the true diversity in both primates and primatologists. This symposium will compare and contrast observational methods used in the three most common data collection settings for primatologists in order to highlight the strengths and limitations of each setting and perhaps to identify what different types of primatologists can learn from each other. Similar to using ideas from one scientific perspective to illuminate a quandary in another scientific perspective, cross-application of methods from the zoo, laboratory and field may enable researchers to enrich their data collection experiences.