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User-friendly "Zooplankton Tracker" - Python code by Darin Toy (OHSU/CMOP)

Background: My name is Darin Toy and I am a Graduate student at OHSU. I have an undergraduate degree in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. I have studied mosquito control and surveillance in Colorado for the last 6 summers. My research involved collection and ID of hundreds of mosquitoes per week and storing all the information in a database. I mapped breeding grounds and predicted mosquito populations. In addition, I assessed the threat of West Nile Virus by developing a surveillance network, involving traps, West Nile testing, habitat mapping, habitat mitigation, larvicide, and formal weekly reports.

I came to OHSU with the intention of improving my computer skills, learning how to model and predict populations, and developing skills to graphically represent data.

Research: I plan to develop flexible code in the Python programming language to predict the location and movement of zooplankton in the Columbia River Estuary, using CORIE data. I plan to achieve this goal by first reviewing literature on zooplankton habitat and behavior. In addition, I will be in contact with Oregon fisheries personnel to help understand the role of zooplankton to salmon (economically important). Due to my limited programming background, I will spend considerable time learning the Python programming language by following tutorials and speaking with CMOP staff. The final program should be able to access the CORIE database and interact with both user inputs and Joseph Zhang's particle tracker program to predict the movement of zooplankton. The overall package will be implemented online graphically, in a user friendly way.

This blog will serve as a journal of progress towards the final goal.