This module will focus on deriving inferences in ecology. We will emphasize examples in which controversies exist, in part, because of the application of inferential tools and associated assumptions. As the first module of the course, we also will stress skills required to critically read the literature and effectively lead and participate in discussions.



Readings, HW and things to think about

Tuesday Aug 23

Patterns and the Scientific Method

  • Why is there controversy in science?

Reading for today: Platt 1964, Reading the literature

HW due next time: Design a figure based on these data

Thursday Aug 25

Observational vs Experimental Data

  • Experimental design
  • Controversy: examples
  • Discussion of the figures you made

Reading for today: Hurlbert 1984

For today's paper discussion:

  • What is one idea/concept you took away from the paper?
  • What is one question you had from the paper?
  • What is one issue you found unsatisfying or disagreed with in the paper?
  • Were there any insights that changed your perspective?

Tuesday Sept 30

Classic Statistics and P-values

Reading for today:  Osenberg et al. 2002

Cool thoughts: Effect size exercise

HW for next time: Create an effect size measure for data you have collected or will collect

Thursday Sept 1

Effect Size HW PPT


Reading for today: Meyers and Worm 2003

 Cool thoughts: Simpsons paradox

Tuesday Sept 6

Controversy and Reconciliation

Reading for Today: Case_Chapter10_MSY, watch: 

Cool thoughts: Why most published research findings are false (Ioannidis 2005 (PLOS Medicine))

HW due before the next class: What do you think the role of scientists should be in environmental policy (e.g., in conservation or sustainability); i.e., how will you handle a request to "help us solve this problem." Come up with a real world example

Thursday Sept 8

Role of Scientists in Society

Reading for Today: Costello et al. 2016