Statistics Refresher for Biologists: in “R” software

  • Start Date: April 29, 2014
  • End Date: May 01, 2014
  • Time: 8:30am - 4:30pm
  • City: Revelstoke, BC
  • Venue: The Regent Hotel
  • Instructor: Dr. Carl Schwarz, department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, Simon Fraser University

Registration information is here


Course Description

“The earth is flat (p<0.5).”

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.

Class size: Class size is limited to 18 people.

Bring: Laptop computer pre-loaded with software (see below)

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

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


Schwarz 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!



Required Software

  • Base R. (available for Mac, Linux, and Windoze-systems).
  • Adobe Reader
  • Microsoft Excel
  • More detailed software requirements are below



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

Mailing Address

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