Understanding Statistics & Decision-Making for Natural Resource Managers

  • Start Date: April 20, 2021
  • End Date: May 04, 2021
  • Time: Three consecutive Tuesdays, 9-4pm with scheduled breaks
  • City: wherever you are :)
  • Venue: online
  • Instructor: Dr. Joseph Thorley
  • There are 2 course date options. OPTION 1: April 20, April 27 & May 4 (FULL). OPTION 2: May 25, June 1, June 8.

Course Description

This 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. There are two course dates to choose from:

OPTION ONE: Tuesday April 20, April 27 & May 4.

OPTION TWO: Tuesday May 25, June 1, June 8.


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?

At the end of the course participants will be provided with a PDF summarizing the material covered.



Members:  $499*

Non-members:  $549

Limited class size of 14 people, register immediately to secure your spot.

*Memberships may be purchased and renewed while you register. More about membership here.

NOTE: The earlier course is now FULL (April 20, April 27 & May 4.) To be placed on a wait list for the earlier option email your request to office@cmiae.org

Still some availability in the later course (May 25, June 1, June 8.) Please choose the later option when registering. 

Register here



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