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Colourful Statistics – Monitoring Indigenous Rock Engravings on the Burrup Peninsula, WA

9 Oct 2019 4:33 PM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

South Australia Branch Meeting, August 2019

The speaker for the August meeting of the SA Branch was a Statistical Consultant Dr Kathy Haskard. Her forty-year career has included statistical consulting work in agriculture, ecology, environment, fisheries, and industry. In particular, Kathy worked for Australian Commonwealth and State governments, Universities, CSIRO, and Australia’s largest commercial specialist statistical consulting company, in locations spanning five Australian states and territories.

Kathy’s talk “Colourful Statistics – Monitoring Indigenous rock engravings on the Burrup Peninsula WA ” is a piece of her consulting work done at Data Analysis Australia jointly with Dr John Henstridge in 2017. Kathy was highlighted a number of statistical issues, practical difficulties and interesting learning from a statistical review of monitoring of ancient indigenous rock art annually over 13 years, including quantifying colour, spectrophotometers (L*a*b* scale) and spectrometers (reflectance spectra), BACI designs, varying design parameters, calibration, structured longitudinal multivariate data with irregularities, and mixed effects models.

In particular, she highlighted the following outlines in her talk

  • Setting the scene - Burrup Peninsula Petroglyphs.  Archeologist Dr Mulvaney has published his research of just some of what is estimated to be over one million rock carvings, known as petroglyphs, on the Burrup Peninsula just 15 minutes' drive from the Pilbara mining town of Karratha
  • Monitoring by CSRIO Mineral Resources annually from 2004. Seven petroglyphs have been selected with three additional industry sites, 3 spots at each site.
  • Describing, measuring and quantifying colors by Spectrophotometers and ASD near-infrared spectrometer
  • Data were hierarchical in nature and explored by dendrograms and Before–After Control-Impact (BACI) design and dimension reduction technique.

The detail of her talk and particularly quantifying colours by spectrophotometers (L*a*b* scale) and spectrometers (reflectance spectra) can be found by contacting

A dinner was held right after the meeting at Jasmin Indian Restaurant, 31 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide.

By Shahid Ullah


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