Photo: Peter Mather
Dr. Elie Gurarie
Department of Biology, University of Maryland
College of Forestry and ConservationUniversity of Montana
  • Location: Nunasi Building / 5109 48 Street / Yellowknife
  • Date: Thursday, March 22, 2018
  • Time: 9:00 - 5:00 (with lunch)

1 Goals

The goal of the course is to develop basic skills to process and visualize movement data and environmental variables as a first step to answer questions related to habitat use and animal responses to environmental changes. Recent tools in R make high-level visualizations, including maps, animations, interactive graphics, and incorporation of environmental layers, relatively easy to create and manipulate. Movebank provides a standardized web-supported database for managing, sharing and annotating movement data with environmental covariates, a vital step in encouraging and supporting conservation decisions.

2 What to bring

Bring a laptop!

We will be using R - interfaced through Rstudio. Some experience using R is helpful - though not mandatory.

We will install a bunch of useful packages on the fly as needed.

3 Structure

The course will mix short “lectures” on theory and tools with practical labs using R. The entire course revolves around a single dataset on boreal woodland caribou movement in the southwest Slave Lake region. We will cover tools to prepare, manage and share your data and examples of data visualizations that will help you to explore your data and guide your follow-up analysis.

The topics in order are (see also links above):

  1. Loading and Processing Movement Data
  2. Visualizing Movement Data
  3. Loading and working with Spatial Data
  4. Exploratory analysis of movement data
  5. Rresource selection functions