BIOL-428 Advanced Ecological Analysis
Spring for 2016-2017
Over the past 20 years, advancements in ecological tools have increasingly allowed more data-intensive methods, either by compiling data from multiple studies or using large-scale records collected for centuries by natural historians (life history descriptions and museum collections) and, more recently, observations recorded by citizen scientists in platforms like iNaturalist and eBird. However, large data sets require skills from both computer sciences (database management and coding) as well as advanced methods in statistics to account for non-random sampling and a lack of formal survey protocols. This course is designed to introduce students to the basic skills necessary to carry out data-intensive research and perform (or in some cases, just be able to understand the basics of) advanced statistical methods. Advanced methods are also a challenge because new statistical methods are constantly emerging and changing. Therefore, this course uses current literature from the ecological sciences to help us target the most up-to-date methodologies they should know if they are interested either in focusing in data-intensive research, or even if they just want to be able to critically evaluate results that are increasingly reported in the literature.
Prerequisites: Biol-386 for undergraduates ; Statistics course for graduate students