The next scheduled session of this course will begin on January 13th, 2015, and end the week of April 27th, 2015. It runs over a 15 week time span (with one week off in March). This is an on-line, synchronous course. The typical weekly format consists of video lectures and spreadsheet modeling tutorial/exercises, homework on tutorial models, posting to a discussion board, and a virtual classroom meeting to debrief homework and review team model challenge presentations. Instructors and coaches will have virtual office hours a few times weekly. We will poll the group to determine meeting times once the final roster for the course is determined.
How to Apply:
You must complete the steps below before you are officially enrolled. Failure to complete these steps will result in a delay or denial of your request.
1) Click on the 'Details' button at the bottom of this page.
2) In the top right hand corner of the 'Details' page click the “Submit Request” button.
3) Follow the learning request wizard to complete your registration.
4) Class start and end dates are noted at the top of this page.
This is a fun, engaging, and challenging course based on Dr. Anthony Starfield’s Principles of Modeling for Conservation Planning and Analysis. Participants will learn about the modeling process, how to think like a modeler, and how modeling fits into management decision-making. Participants will develop practical skills on building and communicating about models. The class covers a variety of modeling techniques applicable to resource management and conservation issues. Session topics include Introduction to Modeling and Spreadsheets (e.g. context, sensitivity analysis, assumption analysis, and mechanics), Population Modeling, Decision Analysis, Ecosystem Modeling, Spatially Explicit Models, and the use of models in making conservation decisions. On-line presentations, discussion, and exercises emphasize hands-on experience with building spreadsheet models to illustrate the values, limitations, and appropriate applications of models. The typical weekly format consists of video lectures and spreadsheet modeling tutorial/exercise, homework on tutorial model, posting to a discussion board, and a virtual classroom meeting to debrief homework, and present team model challenge results.
Course topics are similar to CSP3156a, except that participants work in teams on weekly modeling challenges. Weekly modeling challenges are questions within the context of natural resource management and require model building from the base up. Teams present their model results in weekly virtual classrooms. Modeling challenges require several hours per week more than those needed for successful completion of CSP3156a.
* Discover how to use models in planning for ecological and conservation biology decisions with defensible results.
* Discuss the modeling process, terminology, use of deterministic and stochastic models, what to leave out of a model, scale and resolution, age or state structured models, and how to deal with uncertainty in making conservation decisions.
*Build modeling skills.
* Learn how to use decision trees, approach decision-analysis under uncertainty, and how to incorporate a pragmatic modeling approach to data collection methods and data analysis.
* Learn how to design management-oriented modeling frameworks, qualitative models, and where GIS can be useful.
Target Audience: Biologists and resource managers seeking to gain model-building skills to inform research and decision-making in natural resource management. Participants are not required to be highly skilled in mathematics or computing, although familiarity with spreadsheets and how the results of models can be applied is beneficial. Participants should be prepared to work an average of 10 - 15 hours per week.
Tuition for this course is $800 and payment information is required at the time of registration. Please visit: http://training.fws.gov/learn/tuition.htm for complete tuition information.
Note: Tuition is not applicable to FWS, BLM and NPS employees