Pre Conference Workshop

Introductory Workshop Integrated Population Models (IPM)

View IPM Workshop Agenda

Integrated population models (IPMs) provide an empirically driven framework to investigate population dynamics by incorporating multiple sources of a data within a single unified framework. IPMs can include information on abundance through time and space using survey data (e.g., time-series counts), as well as information on population processes derived from more in-depth demographic data (telemetry, mark-recapture, etc.). This framework allows for better understanding of demographic components, processes, and patterns, as well as the underlying mechanisms and drivers of population dynamics.

This one-day workshop will first offer presentation of multiple examples of different types of IPMs and how they can be used to help inform management and conservation decisions and better understand species' population dynamics. The second part of the workshop will provide practical, hands-on introduction to developing IPMs with provided example data. Programs that will be used in this short course include Program R and JAGS. A fundamental understanding of modern regression methods and some experience with Program R is required. Although not required, familiarity with Bayesian statistics and probability distributions will greatly enhance the learning experience.

Workshop Lead: Peter Coates, PhD. – Dr. Coates is a Research Wildlife Biologist for the U.S. Geological Survey and currently leads a team that conducts avian population ecology research using extensive GIS and field data within the Great Basin, primarily focused on grouse populations over the past 20 years. The goal of his research is to develop quantitative decision support tools that help inform land and wildlife agencies and organizations in their decisions related to grouse management and land use policies. He received a PhD at Idaho State University and a MS at University of Nevada Reno, where his research was directed at various aspects of grouse ecology.

Introductory Workshop for Resource Selection Function (RSF) Analysis

Habitat selection is a fundamental question in wildlife conservation and management. As such, resource selection analyses are commonly used to identify habitat characteristics of importance in an effort to quantitatively describe habitat quality. With the rapid advancement of GPS technology in the wildlife field, understanding how to analyze large quantities of data is a necessity. This workshop will walk participants through resource selection analysis from start to finish. Throughout the workshop, participants will be introduced to key terminology, study design, data analysis, model selection procedures, and model interpretation. The workshop will be conducted exclusively in the freely available R Statistical Programming Environment.

Our objective for this workshop is for participants to have the knowledge and capabilities to proceed from a dataset containing raw animal locations thru the interpretation of a resource selection model. Although this workshop focuses on GPS data as it relates to wildlife, these analytic approaches can be used with any type of resource selection analysis in which species use locations are identified and compared to the surrounding landscape. This includes noninvasive sampling, occupancy sampling, line-transect, and other commonly applied wildlife techniques.

This workshop is designed for natural resource professionals and students with no previous experience with resource selection analyses. It will consist of about 40% lecture and 60% hands-on computer labs. Previous experience with the R software will be beneficial, but is not required.

Workshop Lead: Michel Kohl – Mike is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Jack H. Berryman Institute at Utah State University. In this position, he is coordinating the Bureau of Land Management's Greater Sage-grouse Habitat Assessment Framework for the State of Utah. He has extensive experience working with large datasets of telemetry and spatial data using RSF analyzes to understand how animals are using the landscape. Mike's previous work has included the greater sage-grouse and forest grouse management and conservation within Utah, elk habitat selection in Yellowstone National Park, and the behavior and resource use of reintroduced bison on the plains of Montana and Saskatchewan. He received his M.S. from University of Montana and his Ph.D. from Utah State University.

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