STAT 534 - Ecological Statistics

Fall 2015

Syllabus and other useful information

Useful Information

Course Outline:

Weeks  Dates         Topic

 1-7   Aug 24-Oct 9   Estimation of population parameters
		       (population size, survival, detectability)
		       Mark recapture and related methods
 8-10  Oct 12-Oct 30  Population modeling
		       Matrix models
		       Integral population modeling
		       Stochastic matrix models

11-13  Nov 2-Nov 20   Combining models and data
                       Bayesian hierarchical modeling
                       Models with density dependence

14-15  Nov 30 - Dec 11 To be determined by class interest

15                    Likely to include HW 4 presentations

Possible topics for the last two weeks:


Readings: Assigned readings will provide background, additional details, or another presentation of the lecture material. Citations will be distributed in lecture. Jeanette in the Statistics Department Office will have a master copy that you can borrow. It will help if you read the assigned material soon after the appropriate lectures.

Homework: Statistics is best learnt by doing. The homework problems are chosen to give you practice in using the methods, interpreting the results, and understanding the theory. The intent is to understand and be able to apply lecture concepts, so discussion with friends and classmates is encouraged. However, you must write up your own solutions. Copying papers is not a good way to learn and will not be tolerated.

There will be an assignment every 3 weeks or so, i.e. two on mark-recapture, one on population modeling, and one on combining models and data. Each assignment will have four problems. Two, perhaps three, will focus on data analysis and interpretation. Two, perhaps one, will focus on the theory. If there are two theory problems, one may be replaced by summarizing a paper from a list I provide.

Some data analysis problems will be labelled "major data analysis". These will give you a data set and ask you to make some conclusions. These should be written up as reports to your manager. The report should include a one (perhaps two) paragraph executive summary, a methods section that describes the methods you used, and a results section that includes appropriate tables and figures. For some problems you will need to choose an appropriate analysis. In these cases, only report results from the analysis you believe is most appropriate; your methods section should include a discussion of how you decided what to do.

The last homework assignment (on hierarchical modeling) will require you to work in teams (2 - 3 people), preferably with a mix of backgrounds. You will choose a problem, develop and fit a hierarchical model, then present your results to the class. These presentations will occur during the last week of classes and potentially the final exam time.

Academic Dishonesty:
The class will follow Iowa State University’s policy on academic dishonesty. Anyone suspected of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Students Office.

To clarify how this applies to your work in this class:
On homework assignments: I encourage you to help each other interpret the homework problems, write code, debug code, and interpret the output. You may share code, but I encourage you to understand that code even if you didn't write it. I do require you to write your answers in your own words.

Disability Accommodation:
Iowa State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Sect 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  If you have a disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this course, please contact Dr. Dixon to set up a meeting within the first two weeks of the semester or as soon as you become aware of your need.  Before meeting with Dr. Dixon, you will need to obtain a SAAR form with recommendations for accommodations from the Disability Resources Office, located in Room 1076 on the main floor of the Student Services Building. Their telephone number is 515-294-7220 or email .  Retroactive requests for accommodations will not be honored.

Dead Week:
This class follows the Iowa State University Dead Week policy as noted here.

Harassment and Discrimination:
Iowa State University strives to maintain our campus as a place of work and study for faculty, staff, and students that is free of all forms of prohibited discrimination and harassment based upon race, ethnicity, sex (including sexual assault), pregnancy, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, or status as a U.S. veteran. Any student who has concerns about such behavior should contact his/her instructor, Student Assistance at 515-294-1020 or email, or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance at 515-294-7612.

Religious Accommodation:
If an academic or work requirement conflicts with your religious practices and/or observances, you may request reasonable accommodations. Your request must be in writing, and your instructor or supervisor will review the request.  You or your instructor may also seek assistance from the Dean of Students Office or the Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance.

Contact Information:
If you are experiencing, or have experienced, a problem with any of the above issues, email