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Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation - Upcoming Graduate/Professional Training Courses

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Graduate/Professional Training at Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation


Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation (SMSC) at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) offers unique intensive residential conservation training courses hosted in our sustainably-built Academic Center in Front Royal, Virginia, USA. Limited scholarship funds may be available for international applicants and new reduced fees are now available to applicants from less-developed nations . Visit our website ( http://SMConservation.gmu.edu ) or email us at SCBItraining@si.edu for more details about each course, course costs, and graduate or continuing education credits earned.




Essentials of Open Source GIS ---NEW PROFESSIONAL TRAINING!


November 17-21, 2014


Spaces still available—APPLY NOW!


GIS, GPS, satellite imagery, and mapping have become essentials in the toolboxes of researchers, natural resource managers, and conservationists. Yet these resources often are not readily accessible to practitioners around the world. Most restricting are the limited access to specialized and expensive commercial software and the lack of training opportunities targeted at conservation applications. Open-source tools are freely available and can be modified and freely redistributed. In recent years, several powerful open-source tools for geospatial analysis have emerged, among them QGIS, and R, a statistical programming language offering considerable geospatial analytical capabilities. Much satellite data useful for analysis and modeling, including Landsat data and NASA’s MODIS data, are now freely available on the Internet. Taught by Drs. Peter Leimgruber and Melissa Songer of SCBI’s Conservation GIS Lab, this one-week course focuses on the use of specialized open-source software. Essentials of Open Source GIS combines lectures with computer tutorials, where participants work through GIS examples that illustrate the use of open-source GIS for everyday mapping tasks and key geospatial analysis skills. In one week, the course covers all major concepts to get practitioners quickly and effectively started at working with open-source geospatial analysis tools.




Statistics for Ecology and Conservation Biology


February 9-20, 2015


Gain in-depth knowledge of analysis techniques for cutting-edge ecological and conservation research employing R, a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics, in this intensive two-week overview of quantitative methods for ecological research and conservation. Through lectures, discussions, and extensive hands-on computer exercises, focus on increasing your knowledge of statistical methods like generalized linear models, generalized linear mixed models, and classical regression models, the assumptions underlying those methods, and how to interpret and explain their results. Learn from course instructors Dr. Sven Lautenbach (University of Bonn, Germany) and Dr. Justin Calabrese (SCBI) how to choose appropriate analyses for different research questions, the assumptions underlying each model, how to design your own studies, explore your data, perform a range of analyses, understand fitted models, and clearly explain their results. Participants learn how to conduct sophisticated statistical analyses, critically evaluate statistics-based material in current research literature, and deal with the limitations of real datasets in the context of conservation science.




AniMove: Animal Movement Analysis for Conservation


April 13-24, 2015


Animal movements are critical for maintaining ecosystems services and biodiversity. Technological advances have greatly increased our ability to track animal movements, but analyzing and contextualizing vast amounts of tracking data can present scientific, computational, and technical challenges. This two-week course, taught by a collective of international researchers (see www.animove.org ), focuses on interdisciplinary approaches linking animal movement with environmental factors to address theoretical and applied questions in conservation biology. To achieve this, participants acquire significant skills in computational ecology, modeling, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Participants learn new skills through lectures and hands-on exercises in data collection, management, analysis and modeling approaches, working in small groups on conservation project datasets provided by course instructors and especially by participants themselves. The course uses only open source software (R, GRASS, QGIS) and relies mainly on open-access environmental datasets.






Upcoming 2014-2014 Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation Courses :


· Essentials of Open Source GIS (November 17-21, 2014)— new course!


· Statistics for Ecology and Conservation Biology (February 9-20, 2015)


· AniMove: Animal Movement Analysis for Conservation (April 13-24, 2015)


· Estimating Animal Abundance and Occupancy (April 27-May 8, 2015)


· Adaptive Management (May 18-22, 2015)


* Conservation Breeding Centers for Wildlife Sustainability (June 1-5, 2015) - new course!

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