ROOM: RSCC, F5
The overriding purpose of ecological sampling is to produce data that can eventually be analyzed in a way that satisfies the study’s objectives and answers management questions. A robust sample design is therefore a prerequisite for successful monitoring, powerful analyses, and for science-based management. Many sampling methods in the traditional toolbox were formulated in disciplines that enjoy access to experimentally controlled study systems with clearly defined populations and sample units. Such textbook cases are uncommon in applied wildlife and fisheries science, and practitioners are often compelled to use observational methods that necessitate alternative approaches. In this workshop, we give an overview of practical options for sampling and monitoring designs in wildlife and fisheries studies. We envision wildlife scientists as generally sampling 2-dimensional space (an area), fisheries scientists as generally sampling 1-dimensional space (a stream), and discuss both cases. We cover the three components of ecological study designs: the spatial design (“where” sample sites are located), the temporal design (“when” sample sites are visited), and the site design (“what” is measured sample sites and how). We will emphasize the spatial design component, as nearly all studies rely on a sample of either 1 or 2 dimensional space. We present recent developments in spatially balanced sampling algorithms and demonstrate their application in R. Participants are encouraged to bring a laptop (with software-installation permissions) to participate in hands-on exercises and examples using R and various packages.
Organizers: Trent McDonald, Jason Carlisle