SGS 2015

Data Carpentry Boot Camp

This four day course (August 19-22 2015) located in Faido, Switzerland gives an introduction to handle large datasets in an Ecological context. Data Carpentry is a spin-off of the wider known Software Carpentry and dedicated to teach basic concepts, skills and tools for working more effectively with data. Their objective is that researchers are able to retrieve, view, manipulate, analyze and store their's and other's data in an open and reproducible way. Because researchers learn best when material is taught in their domain, the workshop will be tailored towards biologists with domain-specific examples and data. They previously held introductory workshops for biology that cover topics such as working more effectively with spreadsheets, using SQL for data management, and analyzing data with R and command-line tools.

The lead instructor of the workshop, Dr. Karthik Ram from the University of California in Davis is also member of the ROpenSci group, which creates APIs to several online data repositories and databases and will potentially introduce some of these packages, web scraping and open science in general.

Animal Movement Ecology

This one-week course (August 23-28 2015) located in Faido, Switzerland covers several aspects of animal movement ecology and includs both theoretical/conceptual and practical sessions.

The course builds on analytical complexity and leads the participant through several steps. During day one, the participants will learn to source landscape information through available remote sensing imagery and to import, manipulate and represent geographical data into R. Day two will be dedicated to the decomposition of movement trajectories and characterisation of movement modes and phases. During day three the participants will be exposed to common methods used in the calculation of home ranges and discuss the pros and cons. During the next day we will use presence/absence data to analyze habitat selection and create species distribution models. Finally, during the last day, the participants will be exposed to some new tools and methodologies to include data from alternative sensors (e.g. accelerometers) in the study of animal movements. Fundamental aspects such as study design, spatial autocorrelation, sources of error and time varying covariates will be discussed.

Data sets will be provided but the participants are encouraged to bring their own data. Basic knowledge in R is required. Participants should bring their own laptop with the latest version of R installed. Active participation during the course is required to obtain the credit points.

Urban Wildlife Ecology


The course aims to provide participants with familiarisation with extensive and varied topics in Urban Wildlife Ecology, including subjects such as; landscape changes, biodiversity in cities, conflicts between animals and humans, environmental policy, Ecohealth, and climate change. Students should expect to critically consider exisitng approaches towards urban ecology with the goal of creating more democratic and sustainable forms of urbanization.
The program series consists of two one-week workshops in October 2015 and August 2016. The October 2015workshop is a general introduction to Urban Wildlife Ecology focusing on specific aspects of this interdisciplinary subject in August 2016. Invited speakers will include experts from SWILD, BAFU, WWF, WSL, and various international organisations. It is an opportunity for students to interact and network. Participation in both workshops is NOT a requirement.
Course Objectives:
To develop a thorough understanding of the influence of urbanization and urbanized areas on ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human societies.
To learn fundamental approaches to urban ecology research.
To gain insights into urban ecosystems and organisms in urban environments.
Active participation in class discussions on specific topics in urban ecology.
To interact with external researchers in the field of urban ecology.