Analysis of Environmental Data (ECO 602)



This course is partially modeled after the textbook 'Ecological Models and Data in R' by Benjamin M. Bolker, published in 2008 by Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey and after the texbook 'Mixed Effects Models and Extensions in Ecology with R' by Zur et al, published in2009 by Springer. The similarity in material is acknowledged here (thanks Benjamin and Alain!).

The administration of this course and all relevant polices are described in detail in the course syllabus. This page provides a schedule for lectures, including links to all lecture handouts (slides and notes) and graded assignments.

No. Topic Readings
1 Role of statistics in environmental research [pdf]

Chapter 1

2 Environmental data [pdf]


3 Exploratory analysis [pdf]

Chapter 2

4 Deterministic functions [pdf] Chapter 3
5 Probability distributions [pdf] Chapter 4
5 Inference frameworks [pdf] none

Hypothesis testing concepts [pdf];

Primer on parametric confidence intervals [pdf]


Nonparametric inference: least squares & more [pdf]

8 Maximum likelihood inference [pdf] Chapter 6
9 Bayesian inference [pdf] Chapter 6
10 Stochastic simulation [pdf] Chapter 5
11 Landscape of statiscal methods [pdf1, pdf2, pdf3] none
20 Synthesis and summary [pdf] none
Graded projects & final exam
1 Critical review of paper [pdf]; due Dec 12  

Take home problem sets (Note, problem set answers are due prior to class, 8:30 a.m. on the due date listed):

  • environmental data [pdf]; due Sep 18; answers [pdf]
  • exploratory analysis [pdf]; due Sep 25; answers [pdf]
  • deterministic functions [pdf]; due Oct 2; answers [pdf]
  • probability distributions [pdf]; due Oct 23; answers [pdf]
  • hypothesis testing [pdf]; due Oct 30; answers [pdf]
  • nonparametric inference: least squares [pdf]; due Nov 6; answers [pdf]
  • maximum likelihood inference [pdf]; due Nov 15; answers [pdf]
  • Bayesian inference [pdf]; due Dec 4; answers [pdf]
  • stochastic simulation [pdf]; due Dec 11; answers [pdf]
3 Final take home exam [pdf][data]; due Dec 20 (4:00 pm); final answers [pdf, Rscript]  

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
304 Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
Fax: (413) 545-4358; Phone: (413) 577-0655

Copyright 2000 University of Massachusetts Amherst, Massachusetts, 01003. (413) 545-0111. This is an official page of the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus. All material in this website is made available according to the Fair Use Statute of the U.S. Copyright Act