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Online distance sampling workshops Sept-Nov 2022

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2022 1:16 pm
by lenthomas
The University of St Andrews will be hosting a set of live online training workshops this autumn, focussed on distance sampling survey methods. Distance sampling is a technique for estimating wildlife population density and abundance. Please feel free to forward this notice below to anyone you think may be interested. For more information about the workshops and to register, please see

- Camera trap distance sampling, 19-23 September 2022. (Registration closing date 9 September.)

Camera traps are widely used for studying terrestrial animal populations. Several methods exist for analysis of camera trap data to estimate animal abundance. Use of distance sampling theory for analysis of camera trap data does not require identification of individual animals to estimate abundance, making it applicable to a much larger set of species. This workshop, through lectures and computer exercises, provides training in survey design and the analysis of camera trap data to produce abundance estimates.

- Distance sampling when animals are missed at zero distance, 28 & 31 October 2022 (Registration closing date 14 October.)

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. For example, this occurs on some shipboard surveys of marine mammals, 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. Bias due to the former (being underwater and so not available for detection) is often called availability bias and the latter perception bias. 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.

- A practical guide to distance sampling survey design and simulation, 1 - 4 November 2022 (Registration closing date 14 October.)

Good survey design is critical for obtaining reliable results in distance sampling surveys and meeting survey objectives. This workshop expands on the basic theory provided in our introductory workshops to demonstrate how our latest software can be used to generate optimal survey designs while respecting budgetary and logistical constraints. We will demonstrate survey design using our R package dssd, and investigate design optimisation and the implications of deviations from our design assumptions using our latest simulation package dsims. We will also demonstrate the use of QGIS to obtain requisite input information. The workshop is designed to be interactive in format, with a chance for participants to discuss their own design problems. We encourage participants to book early and get in touch to let us know about relevant design challenges.

For all three workshops, we weclome applications for our widening participation scholarships (one per workshop) - more details are at ... ticipation The scholarship deadliens are 23 August for the camera trap workshop and 5 September for the other two.

We are also planning another in our series of highly successful introductory distance sampling workshops likely in November - more information will be made available on the workshop web site in due course. Lastly, this seems a good opportunity to advertise our free online recorded distance sampling course, available at

Re: Online distance sampling workshops Sept-Nov 2022

PostPosted: Mon Sep 12, 2022 1:18 pm
by lenthomas
Just to note that the dates for our workshop on Camera Trap Distance Sampling have been changed to 10-14 October 2022, with registration deadline 30th Sept.