May 4 to 9, 2014
Gault Nature Reserve, Mont St-Hilaire
Ecologists often pose cause-and-effect hypotheses involving several variables in systems for which controlled randomised experiments are not possible. When this occurs one must use a set of statistical methods called “structural equations modelling” or “path analysis”. In this intensive five-day course you will learn the basics of these methods and how to apply them in your ecological research. Theoretical sessions will be interspersed with practical sessions using the free R software. You are encouraged to use your own data sets whenever possible. Both courses (ECL 705, ECL 805) involve an exam. The content of these two courses is identical (they are given together) except that the PhD level course includes a facultative written report that can be handed in following the end of classes; I will comment on this report but no mark will be given. A maximum of 32 people can take this course. You can arrive after 4PM on the 4th of May 2014. Courses begin immediately following breakfast on the 5th of May. You must vacate your room by 4PM on the 9th of May.
The course content follows Shipley, B. 2000. Cause and correlation in biology: A user’s guide to path analysis, structural equations, and causal inference. Cambridge University Press; you can order your copy from Amazon.
Since the summer school targets an international audience, the language of instruction is English but questions in French are welcome. The course is given in the beautiful Gault Nature Reserve of McGill University in Mont Saint Hilaire, Quebec in association with the Centre for Forest Research (CFR) and the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science (QCBS). Scholarships are available to student members of these two research centres; see the respective web sites for more details.
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Note: QCBS student members can apply for an Excellence Award to attend this class.