[MARMAM] Distance sampling workshops, St. Andrews Scotland, August 2007

Eric Rexstad ericr at mcs.st-and.ac.uk
Thu Apr 5 03:01:09 PDT 2007

The Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling 
(CREEM) is hosting three linked workshops 15-25 August 2007 in our 
purpose-built facilities at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.   
The aim of these workshops is to train participants in the latest 
methods for design and analysis of distance sampling surveys, including 
line and point transects.  The workshops are taught by leading 
researchers in the field, using industry-standard software.

The first workshop (3.5 days 15-18 Aug.) will run at an introductory 
level, and will focus on "conventional" distance sampling methods, as 
described in the standard reference book Introduction to Distance 
Sampling.  The workshop will be a blend of theory and practice and 
participants will learn how to use the program Distance.  Participants 
will gain a solid grounding in both survey design and methods of 
analysis for distance sampling surveys.

The second workshop (3 days 20-22 Aug.) will cover recent advances in 
distance sampling research and software, as described in the book 
Advanced Distance Sampling. It is intended for those already familiar 
with conventional distance sampling methods (e.g., those who have 
attended an introductory workshop).  Participants will learn the use of 
covariates for modelling the detection function, double-platform methods 
for when detection at the line or point is not certain, automated survey 
design and adaptive sampling.  Participants will also learn the more 
advanced features of Distance.

The third workshop (2.5 days 23-25 Aug.) will focus on methods of 
predicting abundance or density of biological data using the "count" 
method of Hedley and Buckland (2004, Chapter 4 of the Advanced Distance 
Sampling book). In these situations variation in animal 
density/abundance is modelled as functions of covariates such as land 
cover type, bathymetry, altitude or depth, or other characteristics 
collected during a distance sampling survey. General additive models 
(GAMs) or general linear models (GLMs) will be fitted to estimated 
densities along transects using a new analytical engine inside program 
Distance. This is an advanced workshop for those already familiar with 
distance sampling.

For all three workshops, participants are encouraged to bring their own 
data sets, and can expect to do some preliminary analyses with their 
data.  Participants intending to model their own data in the third 
workshop will be required to have it formatted according to precise 
specifications prior to arrival at St. Andrews.  Computer sessions take 
place in our modern computer classroom (attached to the seminar room); 
participants can use our computers or bring their own laptop computers.

For further information, please consult our website 

Eric Rexstad
Research Unit for Wildlife Population Assessment
Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling
University of St. Andrews
St. Andrews Scotland KY16 9LZ
+44 (0)1334 461833

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