CSP4141 - Occupancy Modeling

Course CodeCSP4141
Course TitleOccupancy Modeling

This course introduces participants to modeling the patterns and dynamics of species occurrence. Lectures will cover the ecological and statistical theory behind site occupancy modeling, including the importance of accounting for potential biases associated with imperfect detection of species during sampling. The bulk of the course will consist of hands-on exercises using the package “unmarked” in the R Statistical programming language. The course will cover basic skills such as processing and formatting data, study design considerations, fitting single- and multiple-season occupancy models, including relevant occupancy and detection covariates, and interpreting modeling results and parameter estimates. Participants will also learn how modeling results could be used to inform future survey design and management activities.


  • Describe the uses and limitations of single and multi-season occupancy models
  • Explain the importance of accounting for imperfect detection when modeling species occurrence
  • Describe the principles of occupancy survey design
  • Fit single and multiple-season occupancy models in R using the package unmarked
  • Interpret parameter estimates from single- and multiple-season models
  • Recognize the uses of occupancy modeling in species management 


Anyone interested in expanding their modeling skillset for the benefit of species conservation.


Statistical Modeling for Conservation (CSP4210) or the equivalent experience (per approval by the Course Leader), and have a working knowledge of R Statistical programming language.

Delivery MethodInstructor Led
Non-FWS Fee$1,195.00
Instructional Hours36
Course Content ContactEric Tsakiris; eric_tsakiris@fws.gov; 304-876-7430; eric_tsakiris@fws.gov
Curriculum CategoryStatistics and Modeling
Registration LinkRegister
College Credit NameSemester Hours
College Credit Value2
Extracted from DOI LEARN on1/22/2019 3:30:20 AM

Schedule:  CSP4141 - Occupancy Modeling

StartEndSession InformationLocationSession Contact
5/6/2019 5/10/2019 For registration questions: sharon_howard@fws.gov
For course content questions: eric_tsakiris@fws.gov
Class begins at 8:00am on the first day and ends at noon on the last day
National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) Sharon Howard; sharon_howard@fws.gov