26 August 2009

Three interesting marine mammal workshops

I post here the announcements of three interesting workshops on marine mammal research techniques.



"Ecological Modeling For Marine Mammalogists"

October 11, 2009
Québec City, Canada
Québec City Convention Center, Room 2000A
Registration Fee: $30 US (register here)

"Ecological Modeling for Marine Mammalogists" is a one-day workshop that will be held prior to the 18th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals in Québec City, Canada. The workshop follows on the very successful 2005 workshop "Application of GIS and Spatial-Temporal Modeling for Marine Mammal Science and Management," and will represent the fifth Biennial workshop devoted to modeling. There is tremendous interest in applying statistical modeling techniques to the quantitative assessment of marine mammal distribution and habitat use, and our workshop seeks to explore both traditional and the latest methodologies. Our goal is to bring together practitioners that can share their experience with various approaches to ecological modeling by addressing topics ranging from collecting data, selecting the appropriate model, evaluating the model's results, and applying those results in a management scenario. The workshop format will consist of formal presentations followed by extended discussions during which particular methodologies can be fully explored by all participants. In addition to an overview of modeling techniques, we will have sessions focused on the analysis of movement data (primarily from satellite tracking data) and on the analysis of presence-only occurrence data (primarily from passive acoustic monitoring applications, but also from non-standardized sighting data such as whale watching and historic whaling records). In 2005, we introduced the Project Forum wherein students and less experienced researchers presented their projects and discussed the statistical challenges they are facing with an expert panel. We will bring this useful forum back in 2009 as a poster session to encourage increased interaction among the workshop participants.

We are accepting abstracts (max 300 words) for posters outlining research that addresses applications of statistical tools and modeling approaches for marine mammals. We are particularly interested in poster presentations by students seeking input and discussion on statistical methodology. These posters will be used in a session, as described above, where other researchers, including the workshop organizers, can supply feedback or advice. We also welcome posters that discuss innovative tool and/or model development. Please send abstracts by Sept. 14 to Ellen Hines at ehines@sfsu.edu

Workshop organizing committee:
Mark Baumgartner
Ed Gregr
Ellen Hines
Kristin Kaschner
Kristin Laidre
Daniel Palacios
Kathy Vigness Raposa


"Learning to effectively and efficiently use DARWIN"

The DARWIN Research Group at Eckerd College announces a workshop/tutorial “Learning to effectively and efficiently use DARWIN,” to be held Saturday, October 10, prior to the 18th Biennial Conference on Marine Mammals, in Quebec City, QC, Canada. Workshop participants will learn to install and use DARWIN, a freely available photo-identification software package, to create a catalog of dorsal fins images and then compare images of newly sighted individuals against the catalog. We will also introduce the use of various software features that facilitate the sharing of data between or within research groups and enable the output of sighting data for input to other software packages. As a part of this workshop, copies of the current DARWIN software will be distributed and installed on the laptop computer of each participant. The hands-on workshop will provide step-by-step instruction on the most important features of the software, and pointing out various tips and tricks to get the best performance from it. There will be time at the end of the workshop when participants can experiment with what they have learned and have an opportunity to have questions answered, as they arise. We anticipate that this workshop will be useful to researchers interested in training others or in using the software themselves to facilitate the photo-identification process.

More information about the software

Register for the workshop

The cost of the workshop is $30 (USD).

Please feel free to email questions to darwin@eckerd.edu

Kelly Debure and John Stewman


The Mammal Research Institute of the University of Pretoria will be hosting a workshop on mark-recapture techniques to be run by Dr Trent McDonald of WEST Inc.

Dr McDonald is a leading researcher, author and practitioner of mark-recapture theory applied to populations of wild animals.

1. Day 1 morning: Lectures on Closed population models
2. Day 1 afternoon: Hands on exercises and consultations
3. Day 2 morning: Lectures on Open population models
4. Day 2 afternoon: Hands on exercises and consultations
5. Day 3 all day: Applications and consultations

DATE: 16-18th Feb 2010

Includes: Morning and afternoon coffee breaks, light lunches, venue hire, computer availability (if needed). Costs go towards covering Dr McDonald's travel costs from the USA.

1) We highly recommend purchasing a copy of: "Handbook of capture-recapture analysis" Steven Amstrup, Trent McDonald and Bryan Manly (Eds)

Dr McDonald will make available copies at the authors discount price of US$50 (which is considerably cheaper than the book is available directly in SA). These must be ordered in advance, when signing up for the workshop.

2) Analysis using R software and Dr. McDonald's MRA package will be emphasized during the workshop. Equivalent analyzes in MARK software will be illustrated. Microsoft Excel will be used occasionally to illuminate calculations. Dr. McDonald is proficient at MARK and will consult with participants on use of MARK as needed.

3) The final day will consist of short presentations and group discussion of participants projects, followed by one-on-one collaboration with Dr. McDonald. As such, participants are encouraged to email abstracts of their projects to Dr. McDonald prior to the workshop, and to bring their data sets ready to analyze.

If you would like to apply for this workshop, please cut out the following text, fill in as appropriate and email to: mark.recapture.workshop@gmail.com
Please send one email for each person who wishes to attend

Attendance must be confirmed by the 15th November and paid for by the 1st Dec 2009. Places are limited.

Contact phone number:
I would like to order a copy of the "Handbook of Capture-Recapture Analysis" - YES / NO

Simon Elwen and Nico de Bruyn
Post Doctoral Fellows
Mammal Research Institute, University of Pretoria

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