Understanding Statistics & Decision-Making for Natural Resource Managers

  • Start Date: May 10, 2022
  • End Date: May 24, 2022
  • Time: Three consecutive Tuesdays, 9am-4pm PACIFIC with scheduled breaks. May 10, 17 & 24.
  • City: wherever you are :)
  • Venue: online via Zoom
  • Instructor: Dr. Joseph Thorley
  • This course is now full. To be added to the waitlist, email [email protected]

Course Description

This highly acclaimed course is for project managers who have to interpret the results of statistical analyses and make decisions about how much data to collect and which management actions to undertake.

The course focuses on the fundamentals of uncertainty, effect sizes, significance, decision theory and the value of information. It does not require a statistical background and doesn’t involve any modeling although different types of results are presented and discussed.

This three-day online course is spread out over three weeks (three Tuesdays).

This course will take place via Zoom. We will send you the associated links you’ll need to join the “meeting.” You do not need to purchase a Zoom account for yourself, you just need to ensure you have the most recent version of the application downloaded to your computer. Here are some instructions to get you set up.


Course outline

The course will run from 9am-4pm and have the following scheduled breaks: morning break at 10:15am-10:30am, lunch at 12:00pm-1pm, and an afternoon break at 2:30pm-2:45pm.

Day 1

Quantifying Uncertainty (using probability)

Understanding Statistical Models (as tools for updating uncertainty based on data)

Day 2

Summarizing Uncertainty (using effect sizes vs significance)

Making Decisions (in the face of uncertainty using decision theory)

Day 3

Defining Management Objectives (that are practical)

Designing Studies (that provide value)


Our Instructor

Dr. Joseph Thorley, R.P.Bio. is a Senior Computation Biologist at Poisson Consulting Ltd. He has been programming in R and C++ for over 20 years and has co-authored over 25 peer-reviewed papers. He consults for industrial, governmental, conservation and first-nations organizations. Prior to forming Poisson Consulting in 2007, he worked for the Scottish Government as a fisheries biologist for three years.

Preparation and what to bring

You’ll need a stable internet connection and your own working computer equip with video camera and a speaker/mic adequate enough to clearly communicate via the Zoom video conferencing platform. More info on system requirements for Zoom can be found here.


What is included with this course?

Participants will be provided with access to an online website summarizing the material covered.



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

Mailing Address

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