Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Pennsylvania Education Activities

Electrofishing brown and rainbow trout in Spruce Creek in central Pennsylvania

Admission Requirements and Procedures - Prospective students are encouraged to contact Unit personnel directly regarding graduate research opportunities. Unit staff are graduate faculty members in the School of Forest Resources and the Intercollege Graduate Degree Program in Ecology. Consult the Graduate Degree Programs section of the School of Forest Resources website or the IGDP Ecology website (see links to the right) for complete details about each program and application procedures.

Financial Support - Graduate students associated with the Unit are typically supported by external funds in the form of grants or research contracts. Fully supported graduate students receive a monthly stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance.

Courses Taught

  • Advances in Ecology (Duane Diefenbach 2013)
  • Applied Spatial Ecology Methods for managing and analyzing ecological datasets are constantly evolving. Advances in technology have resulted in large spatial datasets for aquatic and terrestrial populations that requires data compilation and analysis for making sound resource management and conservation decisions. From traditional estimators of home range and resource selection in R to spatial epidemiology of disease in WinBUGS, this course will provide hands-on learning for manipulation and analyses of ecological datasets for a variety of taxa. You will develop skills in understanding and processing complex datasets while learning traditional and innovative methods for spatial data analysis. (David Walter 2013)
  • Advances in Ecology Introduction to Current Topics of Research in Ecology (Duane Diefenbach 2012)
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Training Offered

  • An Introduction to Bayesian Estimation and Inference Using JAGS
    This workshop provided an introduction to Bayesian estimation and inference using the program environment R and JAGS.
    (Tyler Wagner June 2013)
  • Methods for managing and analyzing ecological datasets are constantly evolving. Advances in technology have resulted in large spatial datasets for aquatic and terrestrial populations that requires data compilation and analysis for making sound resource management and conservation decisions. From GIS dataset manipulation to traditional estimators of home range, this course will provide hands-on learning to handle a variety of datasets all within the software R (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria). (David Walter September 2013)
  • An Introduction to Multilevel Models and their Applications in Forest, Fish, and Wildlife Management: Multilevel data structures are a common feature in forestry and fish and wildlife research. These data structures most often results in a lack of independence among observations (i.e., pseudoreplication). Ignoring multilevel data structures during analysis has implications for inference and decision making, leading to overly optimistic uncertainty estimates (e.g., underestimated standard errors of estimated parameters). Multilevel models not only account for nested data structures, but also provide a powerful approach for modeling the effects of predictors at multiple spatial scales and for partitioning variability into multiple spatial and temporal components.
    This course will provide an overview of multilevel models, including the concept and interpretation of random effects and variance components (day 1), and hands-on experience fitting models using the freely available programming environment R (day 2).
    (Tyler Wagner, Jason Hill, September 2012)
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 3

Masters Students: 9

Phd Students: 3

Post Docs: 4

University Staff: 2

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 16

Scientific Publications: 74

Presentations: 86

Pennsylvania Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit Cooperators

  1. Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
  2. Pennsylvania Game Commission
  3. Pennsylvania State University
  4. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  5. U.S. Geological Survey
  6. Wildlife Management Institute