Program and Agenda


Introduction to R

Cost: None
Registration: limited to first 40 applicants
Date: Tuesday 9/23/2014
Time: 08:00-12:00
Location: TBA

Workshop Instructor: Nicholas Mason (

Co-Instructors (subject to change): Shawn Billerman (; Tara Conkling (; Kristen Corvino (; Brian Gerber (; Brett Sandercock (; Jason Tack (; Jennifer Timmer (

Description: This half-day workshop will introduce attendees to R, a free, open-source statistical software program. The workshop is aimed at students, post-doctoral researchers, and early-career professionals who have little or no experience with R. The main objective will be to confer a basic familiarity and understanding of what R is, what it is capable of, and learning how to perform some basic tasks and functions using rudimentary data structures. Attendees will be asked to bring their own laptops and have R installed prior to attending the workshop. Participants will generate their own code and also follow scripts that have been provided by the instructors.

Topics to be covered are as follows:

Introduction to R

  • Brief history/overview of R
  • Benefits and challenges of learning a programming language
  • Comparison between R and other programming languages
  • Overview of capabilities in R
  • Simple Programming

Seeking help in R

  • R help files
  • CRAN
  • Stack overflow and other online resources

Objects in R

  • Scripting and console windows
  • Working directories
  • Data classes: strings, factors, and numerics
  • Vectors, matrices, data frames, and lists
  • Reading data into R

Basic functions in R

  • Installing and loading packages into R
  • Indexing/subsetting data
  • Combining vectors and data matrices
  • Querying data class and format

Basic statistics in R

  • Contingency tables
  • T-test
  • Chi-square test
  • Linear Regression

Creating simple plots and graphics

  • Scatterplots
  • Histograms
  • Barplots
  • Phylogenies
  • Maps

Bird Demography in Program R (Two Workshops)

Cost: None
Registration: limited to first 40 applicants
Date: Tuesday 9/23/2014
Time: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm (Sold Out) and 1:30 - 5:30 pm (Sold Out)
Location: TBA

Workshop Instructors: Brett K. Sandercock, Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Division of Biology, Kansas State University.  URL:, E-mail:, Phone: 785-532-0120. Viviana Ruiz-Gutierrez, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Colorado Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Colorado State University.  E-mail:, Phone: 970-315- 2416. Conor P. McGowan, Assistant Leader, Alabama Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University. URL:,  E-mail:, Phone: 334-844-9231.

Description: Quantitative tools for analyses of demographic data are an important area of active development.  Many of the new statistical tools have been adapted as packages for Program R, an open-source software that is freely available to the scientific community.  Learning new demographic analyses can be challenging if the concepts are technically difficult or if the software tools are not well-documented.  The purpose of this workshop is to introduce some of the new packages in Program R that can be used for estimation of demographic parameters and population models.  A series of instructors will present short lectures on background concepts, and lead participants through example analyses in Program R.  Our workshop on Bird Demography in Program R will complement a planned symposium on Quantitative Advances and Applications in Avian Ecology.

Attendees will be asked to bring their own laptops and have R installed (also MARK executable if using RMark) prior to attending the workshop.

Tentative schedule of topics as follows:

  1. Population monitoring: using the unmarked package to estimate population parameters from single season or dynamic occupancy models, or counts of birds from monitoring programs.
  2. Known fate survival models:  using the survival package for estimation of survival for nests or radio-marked birds, basics of Kaplan-Meier models, Cox proportional hazards, and hazard functions.
  3. Estimating demographic parameters:  models for marked animals, using the RMark packaged as an interface for Program Mark to fit mark-recapture models and to estimate apparent survival and other parameters, using the marked package as alternative for CJS models, bootstrapping and the emdbook package for delta method calculations of variance.
  4. Life-tables and matrix models:  matrix population models and exploring the popbio package for analyses of deterministic and stochastic projection matrices.

From Thesis Chapter to Published Article: Navigating the Publication Process for New Authors

Cost: None
Registration: Pre-Registration Recommended
Date:  Wednesday 9/24/2014
Time:  Noon
Location:  TBA

Instructors: Mark Hauber, Editor-in-Chief of The Auk: Ornithological Advances, and Phil Stouffer, Editor-in-Chief of Condor: Ornithological Applications.

Description: As the editors in chief of the newly renamed society journals, Mark Hauber (Editor-in-chief of The Auk: Ornithological Advances) and Phil Stouffer (Editor-in-chief of Condor: Ornithological Applications) are excited to lead this workshop/discussion forum and share their experiences and recommendations about the publication process. This drop-in workshop is aimed at young investigators (graduate students and postdocs) at AOU/COS, focusing on a successful strategy to prepare manuscripts for submission and working through the review/revision process. You need bring only your curiosity and questions.

Negotiation Strategies for Women in Ornithology

Cost: $8.00
Registration: Limited, pre-registration required
Date:  Thursday 9/25/2014
Time:  5:30 – 7:00pm
Location:  TBA

Description: A dinner-hour symposium that will feature a multi-media presentation and opportunities for women scientists to practice negotiation skills. Watch the website for more information.