I hope whoever reads this will have a little patience.... it will be needed. I have been glued to this forum and other articles trying to somewhat learn MARK.

I am trying to use mark to look at occupancy and detectability of Montezuma quail as part of a master’s thesis. A little about my study:

I conducted point count surveys at 60 locations during the summers of 2015 and 2016. At these locations, during each visit I recorded presence (1 or 0) and a string of survey specific covariates (temp, pressure...etc.). Once per summer I recorded site specific micro and macro habitat variables (herbaceous height, % forb cover, Bunchgrass density...etc.)

In year 2015 I visited each location 6 times and in 2016 7 times. (2015- 00101. 2016- 1001010)

In addition to modeling individual covariates and combinations of covariates I would like to model occupancy by year. What is the best way to do this? I have attempted to use a robust design occupancy and also using the occupancy estimation module where I created a group for year 1 and year 2. In both scenarios. I have sixty encounter histories for each year for a total of 120 rows.

Question 1: In a robust design occupancy, when building models with covariates does it use total occupancy for year 1 and year 2? For instance if I am interested in comparing herbaceous cover from year 1 to occupancy, is this comparing herbaceous cover_1 to occupancy from only year 1 or the combined occupancy from year 1 and year 2. I have the same set of covariates for year 2 that I would like to compare with only year 2 occupancy. If I input a year 1 covariate the model still uses n=120, I would expect n=60.

Question 2: If this is completely off track, what methods are recommended to compare year1 occupancy to year1 covariates and year2 occupancy to year2 covariates? (grouping, creating year variable, robust design vs. occupancy estimation, running yr1 and yr2 from different inp)

Thanks for your patience I am a newbie with MARK and have been mostly self taught.