Estimation of Population Change From Survey Data | Webinar

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Estimation of Population Change From Survey Data | Webinar

Postby cooch » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:39 am

Estimation of Population Change From Survey Data

Webinar, Monday-Friday, May 3-7, 1:00-3:30 ET

Presenters: John Sauer, William Link, and Paul Geissler.
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Laurel, MD, and
USGS Status and Trends Program, Fort Collins, CO.

The USGS is offering a free short course to assist resource managers in estimating population change from monitoring surveys of natural resources. The course will be presented by live web broadcasts and is open to all who are interested. Please forward this message to those who may be interested.

Many different approaches exist for analysis of population change from survey data, and this course draws on the author`s experiences in analyzing bird survey data from surveys ranging in scale from refuge to continental. The course will provide an overview of some widely-used approaches, and example analyses will use public-domain software.

Information needs for management have become increasingly focused in recent years. Information on population status is needed for assessing management outcomes in adaptive management, and monitoring data are often used in the development of models that predict change in populations as a consequence of both management and uncontrolled environmental change. New statistical approaches for estimation of population change and modeling environmental influences on population change help meet these information needs. Generalized linear models provide a wide variety of approaches based on realistic assumptions, and hierarchical models fit using Bayesian methods permit analyses that accommodate multiple geographic scales. The course will contain an introduction to the concepts of estimation of population change, a description of example surveys used for estimation of change, summaries of several approaches used to estimate change, and examples of analyses for the approaches. We will present methods of estimating and controlling for differences in detectability to avoid biased estimates. R (; see and WinBUGS ( are the primary programs used in the course. Participants are encouraged to download and install these programs before the start of the course.

Because of travel restrictions, we will need to conduct the short course over the web. You will be able to view PowerPoints and demonstrations on your computer screen. You can listen either using your computer speakers or by calling a phone bridge long distance. Power point presentations, lecture notes, background information, and recordings of the sessions will be posted on the web. If you use the telephone or have a headset or microphone, you can ask questions orally. Otherwise, you can type in your questions.

Certificates of participation are available to those who participate. US Department of the Interior employees can receive credit through DOI Learn.

For more information and to download course material, see the course website at ... Change.htm or contact Paul Geissler,, 970-226-9482


Please register for the webinar at
You are encouraged to register, even if conflicts prevent you from participating in some or all of the sessions or if you are only interested in some sessions. You can participate in the sessions that you are interested in and that are at a convenient time. You can watch the recordings of other sessions at a more convenient time. Registering will allow us to provide you with updates and more information about the course. There is no charge.

Some people on military bases have had a problem with this link. If you have a problem, please call Paul at 970-226-9482, and he will register you over the phone.

Please read the webinar user guide at ... _Guide.pdf


Monday, May 3, 2010
1:00-2:00 ET, Approaches to Estimating Population Change: Concepts, Definitions, Complications
2:00-3:30 ET, Examples of Surveys and Analyses

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
1:00-2:00 ET, Generalized Linear Models
2:00-3:30 ET, GLIM and GAM

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
1:00-2:00 ET, Programs GAM and TRIM
2:00-3:30 ET, Introduction to Bayesian Inference

Thursday, May 6, 2010
1:00-2:00 ET, Hierarchical Models and WinBUGS
2:00-3:30 ET, Covariates and Detectability Estimation

Friday, May 7, 2010
1:00-2:00 ET, Spatial Analyses
2:00-3:30 ET, The Larger Picture: Connecting Surveys to Models and Management


• Paul Geissler, Ph.D. (, 970-226-9482), Coordinator, USGS National Park Monitoring Project and former Statistician (Biology) at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He has worked with the Breeding Bird and Waterfowl Harvest and other Surveys.
• William Link, Ph.D. (, 301-497-5631), Statistician (Research) at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He conducts research on Bayesian methods in ecology.
• John Sauer, Ph.D. (, 301-497-5662), Wildlife Biologist (Research) at USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. He has conducted research into population ecology, development of monitoring methods, estimation of population change, and modeling of survey data.
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