Turtles May be Slow, But Your Data Collection Doesn’t Have to Be

By Hayden Clinard on October 17, 2019
Tags: Data Collection

How Ayotlcalli Sea Turtle Rescue And Conservation Center Utilized GoCanvas

Ayotcalli is a non-profit organization in Mexico that focuses on sea turtle rescue. They are licensed by the PROFEPA, a Mexican Government Agency, to relocate turtle nests to safe areas so they are not poached by humans or dug up by animals. Volunteers at Ayotcalli patrol the beaches every night (9 months out of the year) tagging the GPS coordinates of turtle nest and general information about the species.  

Until mid-2018 Ayotlcalli was collecting all the data by hand with pencil and paper. The conditions of the beach at night made this process less than desirable. Mitchell Thorp, an unpaid volunteer at Ayotlcalli, knew there could be an easier way to collect this data, which is what started his search into GoCanvas. 


Coming Out of Their Paperwork Shell

Mitchell Thorp found GoCanvas through research, but with Ayotlcalli being a non-profit, he knew the costs would be a challenge. However, when GoCanvas learned about this program they knew it would immediately be a great organization for our Ante Up Program. Ante Up is a program that is dedicated to encouraging employees to “adopt” a not-for-profit that can benefit from the power of using GoCanvas.

Before GoCanvas, Ayotlcalli’s process was very involved when it came to collecting data. Since they are required by law to collect GPS coordinates, at least one volunteer would have to have a smartphone with a GPS app. Once the coordinates were looked up, written down and logged, another volunteer would have to type them into a spreadsheet (along with the rest of the data collected). Issues such as illegible handwriting, inaccurate coordinates, wet and torn paperwork, made the job difficult as well as made them liable for government reporting.

How GoCanvas Helped

Now that the organization uses GoCanvas, they are able to collect all the required information as well as GPS coordinate stamping through the GoCanvas application. Not only are they collecting data through GoCanvas, they are also able to take the data collected daily and generate it into a google map that shows the locations of each turtle nests. 

By having the data collected this accessible, Ayotlcalli feels as if the possibilities are endless when it comes to analyzing and measuring their data. They are able to figure out where the poaching is happening, why it’s happening, how long nests are taking the hatch, etc. All these questions that were asked before GoCanvas are now able to be answered through simply analyzing accurate data results.  

Mitchell felt that, “with GoCanvas making our data collection process so much easier, we can actually look forward to doing our reports at the end of the season, because really, it’s already done”. Ayotlcalli no longer sees piles of paperwork, torn and sandy log sheets, poor handwriting, and most importantly no more manually typing it into a spreadsheet. Learn more about how Ayotlcalli utilizes GoCanvas here.