International Long Term-Ecological Research Open Science Meeting

October 9-13, 2016, Kruger National Park, South Africa

The International LTER Network held its first global Open Science Meeting. QUEST collaborators organized an "Estimating Uncertainty in Measurements, Experiments, and Models Workshop."


Module 1: Measurement Uncertainty, Hank Loescher, Neon
Module 1: Measurement Uncertainty, Janae csavina, Neon


Long Term-Ecological Research All Scientist's Meeting

August 30-September 2, 2015, Estes Park, CO

This year's conference was organized around the theme "From Long-term data to understanding: toward a predictive ecology", and showcased 300 posters and more than 75 formal and ad-hoc working group meetings. QUEST collaborators meet informally, but also used their sites data in these presentations:

Intro to QUEST: uncertainty in ecosystem budgets, Ruth Yanai, SUNY ESF

Streamflow Gaps:† Why they occur and what we can do about it, Craig See, Coweeta Hydrological Laboratory

Uncertainty in net hydrologic flux of calcium, John Campbell, USFS

Spatial patterns of precipitation in complex terrain, Melissa Slater, NEON

Connecting uncertainty estimates and QA/QC methods.† Josh Roberti, NEON

Bayesian hierarchical analysis of demographic processes, Carrie Levine, UC Berkeley


UFRO World Congress: Sustaining Forests, Sustaining People, The Role of Research

October 5-11, 2014 Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Presenters from four different countries described sources of uncertainty in estimates of forest carbon and nutrient pools and fluxes, including natural spatial and temporal variation, measurement error, model uncertainty, and model selection, and addressed how these uncertainties can guide monitoring designs and affect management and policy decisions.

Uncertainty In Forest Management Planning: Why It Will Not Go Away And What Should We Do About It, Pierre Bernier, Natural Resources Canada

Forest Carbon Stock Change Uncertainty Estimation In Mexico, Oswaldo Carrillo, Proyecto Mexico-Noruega, Comision Nacional Forestal, Mexico

Uncertainty In Forest Carbon And Nutrient Budgets Ruth Yanai, SUNY-ESF, United States

Improving Forestry Decision Making By Accounting For Uncertainty, Annika Kangas, Helsingin Ylipisto (University of Helsinki), Finland


Technical Sessions #58A & B: Quantifying Uncertainty in Forest Measurements and Models: Approaches and Applications.

Presentations shared approaches to analyzing uncertainty in forest measurements and giving examples of applications of uncertainty in above- and belowground estimates of forest biomass, carbon, and nutrient pools and fluxes, as well as other ecosystem attributes.

Distribution of errors along stem in carbon estimation using hemispherical photography, Bogdan Strimbu, Louisiana Tech University, United States

Assessment of Scenario Generation Approaches for Forest Management Planning Through Stochastic Programming, Kyle Eyvindson, University of Helsinki, Finland

Modeling the Intra-Stand Variability of Carbon and Water Fluxes in Clonal Eucalyptus Plantations. Mathias Christina, French National Institue for Agricultural Research, France

Allometric Equations for Biomass Estimation in Central African Rain Forests: State of the Art and Challenges. Nicolas Picard, Cirad, France and Cameroon


Tools for Estimating Uncertainty in Ecology @ ESA

August 10, 2014


Although methods are well established for statistical analysis of most experimental designs, there are fields in Ecology where it is more difficult to establish confidence in results (e.g., in catchment studies, treatments are rarely replicated). For environmental networks, using standardized approaches ensures that results are comparable, but sometimes the same statistical technique is not applicable to comparable data sets (e.g. when there are significant differences in the sample size of the same population at two geographically distinct locations). Many of these concerns can be addressed through the appropriate use of tools for uncertainty analysis. This workshop will highlight current developments in uncertainty estimation across many fields of ecology. Overview presentations will focus on practical examples of how uncertainty calculations can inform data over small-to-large scales. Data packages and software tools will be shared with the attendees. Participants are encouraged to bring their own data sets and laptop computers; we will provide data for the exercises if you donít bring your own. We welcome participation by researchers in all career stages and from a broad array of ecological disciplines.

Quantifying Measurement Uncertainty: An Introduction. Josh Roberti, NEON

Why should we be uncertain? Jeff Taylor, NEON

Using Excel and R for Uncertainty Analysis. Josh Roberti, NEON

Tools for Estimating Uncertainty in Ecology. Ruth Yanai, ESF

Paired Watershed Studies. John Campbell, USFS


Uncertainty Analysis: A Critical Step in Ecological Synthesis

August 5, 2013

Ruth Yanai, Jeffrey Taylor and Mark Harmon organized, and John Battles moderated an "Organized Oral Session" on Uncertainty Analysis: A Critical Step in Ecological Synthesis at the 2013 Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Minneapolis, MN.


Ecology is entering an exciting era in which the number and availability of long-term data sets are increasing exponentially. There is an unprecedented need to synthesize these data to address current scientific and societal problems. Great progress has been made on linking data and theory, including spatial integration and interdisciplinary combination. The question is no longer how to synthesize, but how well we link information from disparate sources and how to identify the most important areas for improvement. These synthetic approaches will demand increased proficiency and rigor in uncertainty analysis, to provide a metric of progress in synthesis science. This OOS highlights current developments in uncertainty estimation across many fields of ecology and provided guidance for large-scale synthesis research. Speakers were encouraged to provide recommendations for standardized approaches to uncertainty estimation and a vision for meeting future needs. Further development, understanding, and dissemination of the latest statistical techniques for deriving these estimates both inform ecological sampling design and equip up-and-coming ecologists with critical skills. Speakers examined sources of uncertainty and its general role in synthesis science. Case studies included a range of topics and approaches ranging from population ecology and small watershed nutrient cycling budgets to landscape carbon budgets. Methodologies presented include parametric statistical approaches, bootstrap analysis, Monte Carlo sampling, and Bayesian hierarchical analysis. Uncertainty introduced by spatial and temporal interpolation are common themes across scales from plots to the continental ecological observatory network.

Uncertainty analysis: An evaluation metric for synthesis science. Mark E. Harmon*, Oregon State University Abstract | Slideshare

Quantifying uncertainty in ecology: Examples from small watershed studies. John L. Campbell*, USDA Forest Service; Ruth D. Yanai, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF); Mark B. Green, Plymouth State University Abstract | Slideshare

Better ignorant than misled: Including uncertainty in forecasts supporting management and policy. N. Thompson Hobbs*, Colorado State University Abstract | PDF

Global Sensitivity Analysis for Impact Assessments. Matthew Aiello-Lammens*, Stony Brook University; H. Resit Akcakaya, Stony Brook University. Abstract | Slideshare

Optimizing environmental monitoring designs. Carrie R. Levine, UC Berkeley; Ruth D. Yanai*, SUNY ESF; Gregory Lampman, NYSERDA; Douglas A. Burns, US Geologic Survey; Charles T. Driscoll, Syracuse University; Gregory B. Lawrence, USGS; Jason A. Lynch, US EPA; Nina Schoch, Biodiversity Research Institute. Abstract | Slideshare

Uncertainty in an uncertain world: Using scientific judgment for evaluating uncertainty in measurement results. Janae L. Csavina*; Jeffrey Taylor, Joshua A. Roberti, all National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, Inc.) Abstract | Slideshare

NEON's approach to uncertainty estimation for sensor-based measurements. Joshua A. Roberti*, Jeffrey R. Taylor, Henry W. Loescher, Janae L. Csavina, Derek E. Smith, all NEON, Inc. Abstract | Slideshare

Estimating uncertainty for continental scale measurements. Jeffrey Taylor*, Joshua Roberti, Derek Smith,; Steve Berukoff, Henry W. Loescher, all NEON, Inc. Abstract

Reducing uncertainty through data-driven model development. David S. LeBauer*, University of Illinois; Michael Dietze, Boston University; Deepak Jaiswal, University of Illinois; Rob Kooper, University of Illinois; Stephen P. Long, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Shawn P. Serbin, University of Wisconsin - Madison; Dan Wang, University of Illinois. Abstract | Slideshare


Excerpts from the February 8 2011 Webinar

This preceded the first Quantifying Uncertainty in Ecosystem Studies meeting in Boston, March 14-15 2011.

The webinar and meeting were the first phases of our Long Term Ecological Research Network Office Synthesis Working Group (LTER SWG)'s evaluation of uncertainty in hydrologic inputs, outputs, and net hydrologic flux of major elements across small watersheds with diverse characteristics.

History of Quest: Ruth Yanai explains what we do, why it's important, and how it came to be.

Uncertainty Analysis of Hubbard Brook hydrologic fluxes: Mark Green explains the use of Theissen polygons and of Monte Carloand continues with Annual dissolved inorganic nitrogen stream export

Sources of Uncertainty: Mark Harmon sums up where present knowledge is lacking.

View the whole 2h mwv.


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