The advanced training of project partners on ecological and sociological data analyses held on 2 – 4 February 2012 in Chiang Mai, Thailand was attended by 24 participants from China, Thailand and Vietnam. Data on arthropod densities using a variety of sampling methods from ecological engineering fields and farmer fields have been collected in several locations in the 3 countries in the last 3 years. Samples have been sorted to arthropod species and data captured in Microsoft Excel. In the training, participants reviewed the experimental designs, data distributions, statistical assumptions and descriptors. Methods to assess biodiversity through diversity indices, their computations, interpretations and limitations were explored. Participants were trained in data manipulations, exporting and importing data to and from different software. Hand-on discussions on the species richness index, the rarefaction technique, computation using the software ECOSIM and the construction of the rarefaction curves were held. Participants were introduced to the use of R. Participants also developed a new experimental design to be able to obtain more vigorous data sets with true replications to be carried out in the next 10 months. Supporting laboratory experiments involving evaluation of parasitoid search and parasitoid fitness in the presence of nectar flowers were also discussed.
On the sociological aspects, several knowledge-attitude-practice (KAP) surveys have been conducted by teams from China, Thailand and Vietnam. The data have been encoded using Microsoft Excel and loaded into SPSS. In the training, participants learned the various procedures to merge files, to obtain frequency tables, calculate statistical parameters and conduct correlation analysis, as well as interpretation of the results. The pre- and post-launch surveys are being implemented in all scaling up activities to evaluate their effects.