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What You'll Study
  • Managing, importing, and visualizing tracking data
  • Matching features in the data to movement models
  • Understanding and checking movement model assumptions
  • Interpreting fitted models and their parameter values
  • When and how to account for telemetry error
  • Model-based estimation of home ranges and home range overlap
  • Model-based estimation of occurrence areas, speed, and distance traveled
  • Model-based conditional simulation of trajectories
  • Using movement analyses to answer biological questions
  • Designing tracking studies to achieve specific goals
Program Details

February 11 – 15, 2019


Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA.

Available Formats

Professional Training (SMSC 0531, 4.0 CEUs)


Professional Training: $551.00*

*These costs are reimbursable in full after the program through NSF grant ABI 1458748.



Apply by November 16, 2018

Final acceptance decisions will be made by November 30, 2018

Payment Deadline: January 14, 2019

Meet the Faculty

Justin Calabrese
Justin Calabrese
Research Ecologist
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Justin Calabrese is SCBI's quantitative ecologist. His work includes the causes and consequences of animal reproductive phenology, spatial pattern formation in semi-arid ecosystems, tick-host interactions in the Lyme disease system, and animal movement analysis.
Christen H. Fleming
Postdoctoral Fellow
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Christen Fleming works in the quantitative ecology lab in the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Conservation Ecology Center. His research interests focus on resolving outstanding statistical questions that have strong implications on conservation and wildlife management, such as how much space animals require to live. He develops mathematical models, statistical methods, and computational algorithms for analyzing animal tracking data.
Michael J. Noonan
Postdoctoral Fellow
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Michael Noonan is a postdoctoral fellow in the quantitative ecology lab at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Conservation Ecology Center. A behavioral ecologist by training, his research focuses on integrating state-of-the-art statistical methods into fundamental ecological theory and conservation initiatives.


This course provides a set of accessible statistical tools for analyzing animal tracking data. The course is aimed at beginners to tracking data analysis and does not assume familiarity with movement modeling or with advanced statistics or mathematics. Emphasis is placed on understanding and interpreting the analyses in biological terms, and linking analyses to ecological questions. The course is divided into core modules using the graphical ctmmweb software, advanced modules using the ctmm package in R, and a 2-day research project supported by the instructors.

The course requires introductory-level knowledge of statistics (e.g., linear regression) and basic familiarity with R (e.g., executing single-line commands), which can be gained either independently or with the help of pre-course assignments. Preference will be given to students with basic familiarity with R and to students who are able to bring tracking datasets from species of conservation concern to the course.

See Detailed Curriculum >>

What’s Included

The total cost includes our Housing and Dining Package and covers:

  • Instruction and course materials
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off shuttle service at Dulles International Airport (IAD) at specific pre-arranged times. We do not provide ground transportation shuttle service to or from any other airports in the Washington, DC, region.
  • Transportation for course activities.
  • Daily full-service buffet at the SMSC Dining Commons.
  • Housing at the SMSC Residential Facility, including a shared room with bathroom (single rooms available at extra, non-reimbursable cost).

This course is supported by NSF grant ABI 1458748, and students will be individually reimbursed for the course fee ($170.00) and the standard Housing and Dining package fee.

Interested in Commuting?

Participants with a documented, permanent address local to campus may elect to commute with permission from SMSC. Commuters are required to purchase a reduced meal plan which includes lunch and snack breaks for each day of instruction. Additional dining options are available and may be selected during registration.  Email for additional information.

Take the next step toward a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity