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What You'll Study
  • Basic coding in R for loops and custom functions
  • How data science principles and workflow inform ecological data management
  • Database structure and design
  • Online task automation using Application Programming Interfaces (API)
  • Managing ecological data in base R and tidyverse environments
  • Communicating ecology with R scripts
  • Version control (GitHub) command-line tools for file management
  • Using R as a Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Visualizing data using ggplot and Leaflet
  • Building reports and interactive web applications using rMarkdown, Shiny, and html.

Participants must be familiar with basics of programming in R either independently or with the help of pre-course assignments.

Program Details

August 5-9, 2019


Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA.

Available Formats

Professional Training (SMSC 0532, 4.0 CEUs)


Professional Training: $1847.00*

*Professionals from certain countries are eligible for a reduced rate of $1280.50 which will automatically be reflected during the registration process.

Scholarships & financial aid


Apply by May 27, 2019

Payment Deadline: June 10, 2019

Meet the Faculty

Brian S. Evans
Migratory Bird Ecologist
Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center
Brian has been a researcher at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center since 2007, specializing in environment-bird interactions with a focus on the landscape ecology of Greater Washington, D.C.


Once data reach a certain size or complexity ecologists often struggle with the data management process. As big data increasingly becomes a component of ecological study, there is a developing need for understanding how to maintain large and complex datasets, prepare data for analysis, and develop a reproducible workflow. In this five-day course, we will explore the management of ecological data using Program R. We will focus on the structure and linguistics of data in R and how to integrate R into a data science workflow, and explore how to think about ecological data in new ways. Through this process, participants will develop a flexible skillset for managing and exploring data. Each lesson will consist of a lecture and guided lab activities using real world ecological applications.

What’s Included

The total cost includes our Housing ($225.00) and Dining ($180) Packages 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 twice the shared housing cost).

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 ($50) 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