Session of the Week: Optimal monitoring for wildlife biologists

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Experts will discuss how to link monitoring designs for collecting data with statistical models during a session at the upcoming 25th annual TWS conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

The half-day symposium titled, “Optimal monitoring for wildlife biologists” will feature presenters who will discuss state-of-the-art developments and applications of optimal monitoring designs to use in wildlife field studies.

Presenters will discuss the use of formal theoretic frameworks to link the selection of monitoring sites with statistical models of ecological processes. The goal is to collect the most informative data possible given biologists’ current understanding of the ecological system

While linking design and data collection with statistical models has been discussed widely in other fields, including atmospheric science and medicine, methods to link the two haven’t been fully discussed in wildlife ecology.

The symposium will bridge this gap during five presentations including topics by applying optimal monitoring frameworks for wildlife field studies across the U.S. and Canada, including sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in Alaska, greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophiasianus) in the western United States, lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) in the prairie pothole region of Canada, and the brown-headed nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) in the Southeastern U.S.

The symposium will begin with an overview and history optimal monitoring as well as future horizons and will also include applications of the most common monitoring designs used in wildlife management and research, as well as topics such as occupancy surveys, abundance surveys, genetic sampling, species distribution and others.

Speakers hope to provide some insight into different ways to implement monitoring designs that take into account the complexities of ecological processes. Optimal monitoring will formally link data collection with statistical models to take some of those complexities into account.

Organizers: Perry Williams, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Supported by: TWS Biometrics Working Group


Optimal adaptive monitoring: Past, present and future – Mevin B. Hooten

Optimal sampling design for autonomous recording units and in person point count sampling – Beth E. Ross

Integrating auxiliary data in optimal spatial design for species distribution modeling – Krishna Pacifici

Latent spatial models and sampling design for landscape genetics – Ephraim M. Hanks

Monitoring dynamic spatio-temporal ecological processes optimally – Perry J. Williams

Header Image: Speakers at the upcoming symposium will discuss optimal monitoring frameworks for species, including sea otters in Alaska. ©Yu Chan-Chen