[MARMAM] Three distance sampling training workshops: Aug, Sep, Oct, registration now open

Eric Rexstad er26 at st-andrews.ac.uk
Wed Jul 22 03:54:19 PDT 2020

In August, September and October of 2020, the University of St Andrews 
continues its remote delivery of interactive distance sampling training 
workshops.  We are offering three workshops addressing:

  * mark-recapture distance sampling
  * spatial modelling of distance sampling data
  * introductory distance sampling

Registration for all workshops is currently open, but closing date for 
the August workshop is fast approaching (see below).

Description of each workshop, in chronological order, found below along 
with URLs for registration and additional information.


*Mark recapture distance sampling training workshop 24th and 25th August 
2020* 17:00-19:30 British Summer Time

Registration is now open for our training workshop on mark-recapture 
distance sampling.  Join us by video from anywhere around the world!  
For full details, and to register, please go to


*Workshop Overview*

Conventional distance sampling methods assume that all animals at zero 
distance are detected with certainty.  However, in some situations this 
assumption is violated, and some animals are missed, causing a negative 
bias in the density and abundance estimates.  This occurs on some 
shipboard surveys of marine mammals, for example, where animals may be 
missed on the trackline because they are underwater while the survey 
vessel passes, or because the sea conditions are rough so that even some 
animals right on the line are missed.  The former (being underwater and 
so not available for detection) is often called availability bias and 
the latter perception bias.  This methodology is particularly suited for 
investigations of cetaceans and other marine mammals.

In this two-day workshop, we cover survey protocols and analytical 
methods for dealing with both perception bias and availability bias. The 
workshop is intended for those already familiar with the basics of 
distance sampling.

*Instructors*: Len Thomas and David Borchers


24th and 25th August 2020

17:00-19:30 British Summer Time // 12:00-14:30 Eastern Daylight Time 
(EDT) // 09:00-11:30 Pacific Daylight Time (PDT)

*Enrolment limit*

15 participants; registration deadline 31 July

*Format and delivery method*

The workshop will be a mix of live online interactive sessions, 
delivered via videoconference software (Microsoft Teams), and computer 
exercises. There will be two sessions on successive days, with a total 
class time of 4 hours (including breaks) and an additional computer 
exercise to complete after the first day and before the second.   
Exercises can be undertaken using Distance for Windows or R (via the 
mrds package).


*Spatially explicit models for distance sampling data: density surface 
modelling in practice 5-9 October 2020*

5-9 October 2020, 1700-1900 BST // 1200-1400 EDT // 0900-1100 PDT

This course will cover how to fit spatial models to distance sampling 
data ("density surface modelling") in R. This will include:

  * Brief overview of distance sampling
  * Generalized additive models
  * Fitting, checking and selecting density surface models
  * Predicting abundance
  * Making maps
  * Examples will be based around a line transect survey of sperm whales
    in the western Atlantic.

For full details and to register, visit


*Instructor*: David Miller


The course will consist of 5 live sessions delivered over 
videoconference. Between these sessions there will be practical R 
exercises to complete and to assist with these practicals there will be 
text-based "office hours", where participants questions can be 
addressed. Each videoconference session will include time for lecturing 
and discussion of practical exercises.

*Enrolment limit:*

15 participants; registration deadline 05 September


You should already know about distance sampling, for example by having 
taken an introductory workshop in person or online (either interactively 
or via our free pre-recorded lectures). You should also have some basic 
R knowledge. Prior to the course we will running a software test meeting 
to ensure everyone can participate satisfactorily.

Please contact David Miller (dlm22 at st-andrews.ac.uk) with questions 
regarding the spatial modelling workshop.


*Introductory distance sampling 07-18 September or 21 September - 02 
October 2020*

Fundamental principles of distance sampling, from the perspective of 
survey design, field protocol for data gathering and analysis of 
distance sampling data.

For full details, and to register, please go to


*Instructor*: Eric Rexstad

The 21 Sept-02 Oct offering of the workshop is being delivered in the 
morning UK time (0900-1130) such that participants from east Asia, 
Australia and New Zealand as well as Europeans can take part, while the 
07-18 September workshop will be delivered early evening UK time 
(1700-1930) for attendees in Europe and the Americas to participate.


Ten sessions spread across two working weeks.  Combination of lectures 
and practical exercises along with interactive polls.

*Enrolment limit*:  15 participants for each of the two workshops

Registration closing dates: 14 August (for first workshop), 21 August 
(for second workshop)

Please contact Eric Rexstad (eric.rexstad at st-andrews.ac.uk) with 
questions regarding the introductory workshop.

Eric Rexstad
Centre for Ecological and Environmental Modelling
University of St Andrews

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