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Grad Student & Post-doc Summer Course: Assimilating Long-Term Data into Ecosystem Models

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Offered by: PalEON (PaleoEcological Observatory Network;
Course Dates: August 13-20, 2016

Application Deadline: February 15, 2016. Selected candidates will be
announced by March 15, 2016.

Course Description: Estimating the impact of global change processes
like land-use and climate on terrestrial ecosystems requires an
integration of long-term data and ecosystem models. This course will
provide 20 graduate students and postdocs with intensive training in the
emerging tools that allow us to:

• estimate the signal and uncertainty in historical and
paleoecological data
• assimilate both signal and uncertainty into the current suite of
terrestrial ecosystem models

The course has a hands-on, integrated curriculum emphasizing the
data/model process from design through data collection, analysis and
back to design. We will collect tree-rings and sedimentary data (e.g.,
pollen, charcoal, and macrofossils). Analysis of these data will take
place in a Bayesian mode of inference addressing uncertainty in age-
models, calibration of proxy data, and integration of diverse historical
data. After an introduction to inference from ecosystem models in
traditional "forward" mode, participants will integrate ecological
parameters estimated from their data sets into these ecosystem models
using formal Bayesian data assimilation.

Participating Faculty: Mike Dietze (Boston University); Steve Jackson
(U.S. Geological Survey and University of Arizona); Jason McLachlan
(University of Notre Dame); Chris Paciorek (University of California
Berkeley); Jack Williams (University of Wisconsin)

Location: University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center, Land
O'Lakes, WI, USA.

Fees: This workshop is funded by a grant from the National Science
Foundation and is free to participants. You must provide your own means
of transportation to Chicago, Illinois or Madison, Wisconsin.

Application: We are seeking students with interests and backgrounds in
paleoecology, terrestrial ecosystem modeling, and/or statistics. Send a
CV, a statement detailing why you want to take the course and how you
anticipate it helping your research, and arrange to have a letter sent
from your major advisor supporting your application.

Apply to: Jody Peters at peters.63@nd.edu

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