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AniMove: Animal Movement Analysis for Conservation, March 31-April 11, 2014

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AniMove: Animal Movement Analysis for Conservation


Mongolian Gazelle with a GPS/Satellite tracking collar.

Understanding animal movement is critical for maintenance of ecosystem services and biodiversity. The study of complex movement patterns and of the factors that control such patterns is essential to inform conservation research and environmental management. Technological advances have greatly increased our ability to track, study, and manage animal movements. But analyzing and contextualizing vast amounts of tracking data can present scientific, computational, and technical challenges that require scientists and practitioners to master new skills from a wide range of computational disciplines.



Satellite tracking data from a Mongolian Gazelle.

AniMove (www.animove.org), a collective of international researchers with extensive experience in these topics, teaches a two-week intensive training course for studying animal movement. This two-week course focuses on interdisciplinary approaches linking animal movement with environmental factors to address challenging theoretical and applied questions in conservation biology. To achieve this, participants will acquire significant skills in computational ecology, modeling, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).


During Week 1, participants learn new skills through lectures and hands-on exercises in data collection, management, analysis and modeling approaches. During Week 2, participants work in small groups on conservation projects with datasets provided by course participants or instructors. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data and research questions to be addressed by one of the working groups. Throughout, the course only uses open source software (R, GRASS, QGIS) and relies mainly on open-access environmental datasets. Evening lectures by invited conservation scientists, movement ecologists, and remote sensing experts supplement instruction, providing the broader context of animal movement and remote sensing analysis.


Admission to this two-week course requires prior working knowledge of R, including the ability to write and troubleshoot scripts for processing and analyzing data. Remote sensing, open source GIS, and modeling knowledge are advantageous but not mandatory for participation.






March 31-April 11, 2014




Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, USA


Application Procedure


Animove: Animal Movement Analysis for Conservation is offered through the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation as a two-week professional training course for 6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Applications should be submitted using our Online Application Page. Before beginning our online application, please have .pdf or .doc versions available of your updated CV (resume), a Personal Statement of Interest and Qualifications (maximum 350 words), and a letter of recommendation from someone familiar with your professional/academic work. You will be asked to attach these with your application.


For first consideration, apply before January 20, 2014


Course Costs


Payment Deadline: February 3, 2014


The total cost for this two-week course is $3,478 (Course fee of $2100 + Housing and Dining Package of $1,378) and includes:


Registration fees

Instruction, course materials

Airport pick-up and drop-off. Participants should plan to arrive to Dulles International Airport (IAD), by the evening of Sunday, March 30. Course instruction begins 1pm Monday March 31, and ends 5:30 pm Friday April 11.

Transportation for course activities.

Daily full-service buffet at the SMSC Dining Commons – Dining begins with dinner on Sunday March 30 and ends with brunch on Saturday April 12.

Housing at the SMSC Residential Facility, including a shared room with bathroom (single rooms available at extra cost) – Lodging provided includes the nights of Sunday March 30 through Friday April 11, 2014.



A very limited number of scholarships arebe available on a competitive basis for eligible international applicants. Click HERE for more information on scholarships.




With course coordinator’s written approval in advance of registration/payment, local participants may elect to stay off campus, waive the housing and dining package, and commute to this course. Meals in the Dining Commons can then be purchased individually as needed.


For more information


Email SCBItraining@si.edu.



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