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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Likelihood and Bayesian Approaches to Data Analysis for Ecologists

May 29 - June 2, 2012
ESF Campus
Syracuse, NY

Thank you to everyone who participated in and supported this event!
Online registration now available!

Program Overview

This 4.5 day workshop provides an introduction to the use of statistical models as a tool to understand and predict ecological processes. Participants will learn quantitative tools used to link models to data, how to compare alternative models, and the utility of different modeling approaches through a combination of presentations, discussions, and practical exercises. The workshop covers basic probability theory, maximum likelihood methods, and Information Criteria with an emphasis on hierarchical Bayesian analysis and Monte Carlo Markov Chain. Most examples will be from population ecology, and participants will walk away with a suite of useful R and WinBUGS code and skills that they can adapt to their own ecological analyses. Bring your own data for some focused feedback and coding help during the workshop.

Workshop Instructor

Dr. Juan Manual Morales has more than a decade of experience in modeling spatial population dynamics, animal movement, dispersal processes, biogeography, and landscape ecology. Dr. Morales as successfully deliver similar workshops at the University of Glasgow (Scotland) and Universidad Nacional del Comahue (Argentina).


Online registration

Limited to 20 participants. Register by April 23, 2012 to ensure your space. Questions about the workshop can be directed to Dr. Jacqueline Frair (jfrair@esf.edu).

Registration Fees

Registration fees include all workshop materials; lodging and meals are not included.

  • Students: $400
  • Professionals: $600

Program Agenda

Tuesday, May 29 Introduction
Probability theory
Maximum likelihood
Probability (practical)
MLE (practical)
Wednesday, May 30 Confidence envelopes
Basic Bayes
Model comparison
More MLE (practical)
Bayes (practical)
Thursday, May 31 Hierarchical models
WinBUGS (practical)
Friday, June 1 Dynamic models
More model comparison
More WinBUGS (practical)
Tips and tricks (practical)
Saturday, June 2 Wrap Up


Discounted rates are available at the Hampton Inn & Suites Syracuse. In order to receive the negotiated rate, reservations must be made by May 1, 2012 (any reservations made after this date will not receive the negotiated rate). The room block is listed under ESF ECOLOGISTS.

  • $124/double room

Several other area lodging options occur within a ten minute drive from campus. Campus parking can be arranged.

Refund/Cancellation Policy

Refunds, minus a $50 administrative fee, will be issued for requests received by May 15, 2012. Requests must be made by email to Terry Sakowski at tsakowsk@esf.edu. Cancellations will not be accepted by phone; substitutions can be made at any time.