Stats Refresher for Biologists in “R” software

  • Start Date: May 08, 2018
  • End Date: May 10, 2018
  • Time: 8:30am-4:00pm
  • City: Cranbrook BC
  • Venue: College of the Rockies, Main Campus in Cranbrook, Rm 195
  • Instructor: Dr. Carl Schwarz
  • Registration closes April 27!

Course Description

Many scientific studies are full of statistical jargon, tables of averages and other statistics, and results of statistical tests which purport to prove a certain hypothesis. The purpose of this course is to review some of the basic sampling and experiment designs used by ecologists and to understand exactly what can and cannot be extracted from a set of data. With the advent of modern statistical packages, the analysis of data is fairly easy, but it is far too easy to get nonsense results. This course will also review common pitfalls in the analysis of data.

Prerequisites: A “basic” knowledge of statistics, i.e., usually a single course somewhere in your background.  A working knowledge of “R” software.

Course content

1. Review of statistical concepts on estimates, standard errors, confidence intervals, p-values, bias, precision, accuracy, missing values, etc.

2. Overview of environmental monitoring designs

3. Overview of some basic sampling strategies

– simple random sample
– stratified sampling
– cluster sampling
– two stage sampling
– ratio estimation

4. Details on simple random sampling, stratified sampling, cluster sampling

– how to plan
– sample size requirements, etc.
– how to analyze
– pitfalls and which to use when

5. Overview of experimental designs (single factor, two factor)

6. Details on single factor designs

– two-sample t-test
– one way ANOVA
– multiple comparisons
– subsampling
– pseudo-replication
– pairing, blocking, etc.

7. Overview and details on single variable regression analysis

8. Overview and details of categorical data analysis



Dr. Carl Schwarz, Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University. Carl has taught  many courses with CMI, and is back by popular request!  Learn more about Carl here, and feel free to contact him with your questions at



Registration & Scheduling

Registration for this course includes catered refreshment breaks. Students are on their own for lunch; the college cafeteria will be open during this course.

CMI member rate: $680*

Non-member rate: $725

* You can purchase and/or renew your annual CMI membership at the same time as you register. See here for membership details.



Where to stay?

We have set up a room-block at the Elizabeth Lake Lodge, a 10 minute drive from the college. Discounted room rates are available for $95 single occupancy, $105 double occupancy, and $130 for any of our larger suites. Call (250) 426-6114 for reservations and mention the CMI rate. Or, if you book online, mention the CMI rate in the comment section and the lodge will update the rate and send out a new confirmation. Rooms will be held until April 6, 2018.

A few points of interests:

· All rooms will have a small kitchen area and look out over the bird sanctuary.

· Canada’s most challenging mini golf course will be in operation during your visit.

· There is a patio area with a large gas fireplace which is nice for evening visiting.


Another option is the Purcell House Hostel, which is located right at the College of the Rockies. These dorm rooms include a private bedroom, 3 sharing a bathroom and 6 sharing a kitchen. Price is $30 a night. More information, including how to book, can be found here. Note – there will be dorm rooms available by May 8.



For questions about course content and software, please contact:  Dr. Carl Schwarz at

For questions about registration, contact the CMI office at


Thank you to our host, College of the Rockies, Cranbook Campus


  • Phone 250-837-9311
  • Fax 250-837-9311
  • Email

Mailing Address

  • P.O. Box 2568
  • Revelstoke, British Columbia V0E 2S0
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