Skip to main content
What You'll Study
  • Selecting the appropriate analytical framework for achieving your research objectives
  • Importing data into computer programs in the appropriate format
  • Calculating animal density and occupancy with camera trapping data, using covariates, model selection, and testing of model fit
  • Identifying advanced analytical techniques and understanding when to use them
  • Troubleshooting field studies during stages of design, data collection, and data import for both density and occupancy estimation projects
  • Comparing available options for managing and organizing camera trapping data

Participants must have a basic familiarity with working in R for data management or statistical computing.

Detailed Curriculum
Program Details

June 4 – 15, 2018

Available Formats

Graduate (CONS 697, 3 credits)
Professional Training (MCCS 0524, 7.2 CEUs)


Graduate: $2,516 –  $3,279.50 | See Mason’s graduate tuition rates

Professional Training: $2025 – $2,925.50*

*(Includes registration, lodging, and meals)

Scholarships & financial aid


Apply by March 26, 2018 (for first consideration)
Payment Due By April 9, 2018

Meet the Faculty

Jim Nichols
Wildlife Biologist
Jim's research focuses on methods for obtaining inferences about ecological populations and communities. He is also interested in application of decision-theoretic ideas to ecological management and conservation.
Jim Hines
Computer Specialist
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Jim develops and maintains software widely used across the globe, including programs CAPTURE, PRESENCE, JOLLY, SPECRICH, DOBSERV, and others. He has published over 150 scientific articles and has received several awards from the USGS.
Matthew Clement
Matt Clement
Arizona Game & Fish Department
Matt recently completed a post-doctoral position at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, where he worked on abundance estimation for Indiana bats, misidentification in acoustic surveys for bats, and the role of climate change in distributional shifts of breeding birds.
Dan Linden
NOAA Fisheries
Dan is a statistician, primarily working with fisheries data, for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. His work involves statistical modeling of wildlife populations for conservation and management, with an emphasis on hierarchical models.
Chris Sutherland
Assistant Professor
University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Chris works at the interface of applied, spatial, and quantitative ecology, with a focus on development and application of ecologically realistic statistical models for observational data regularly collected in monitoring studies.
Joe Kolowski
Joe Kolowski
Research Ecologist and Grad/Professional Training Manager
Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation
Dr. Kolowski manages the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation’s graduate- and professional-level capacity building programs. His passion for conservation and applied research spawned an enthusiasm for the integration of research with effective conservation education and training. 


Graph showing density plots on a map
This graph from a population study shows the estimated density of tigers on a map area using data collected from camera traps.

This course provides a strong theoretical and analytical background in the use of camera traps to address ecological and conservation-oriented questions. You’ll learn the latest statistical tools for estimating animal density through spatially explicit mark-recapture (SECR) methods as well as estimating species occupancy. Significant time will focus on best practices for designing studies that use those methods.

Detailed Curriculum

What’s Included

Acceptance does not guarantee you a seat in the course. Seats are allocated as registration payments are received, and early registration is strongly encouraged to ensure you get a spot.

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

  • Registration fees
  • Instruction, course manual, and other course materials
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off shuttle service at Dulles International Airport (IAD) at pre-determined 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 cost)

Interested in Commuting?

Local participants may elect to stay off campus, waive the housing and dining package, and commute to this course. Meals in the Dining Commons can then be purchased individually as needed.

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