- Graduate and Professional
- Upcoming Courses
- Professional Training Courses
- MCCS 0501: Statistics for Ecology and Conservation Biology
- Communication and Facilitation Skills for Conservation Managers
- MCCS 0523: Practical Zoo Nutrition Management
- MCCS 0524: Camera Trapping Study Design and Data Analysis for Occupancy and Density Estimation
- MCCS 0525: Non-Invasive Techniques and Applications in Wildlife Endocrinology
- MCCS 0528: The Ecology and Conservation of Migratory Birds
- MCCS 0526: Field Recording and Analysis of Biological Sounds for Research and Conservation
- MCCS 0516: Essentials of Open-Source GIS
- Stakeholder-Driven Scenario Models for Strategic Conservation Planning
- MCCS 0511: Estimating Animal Abundance and Occupancy
- MCCS 0500: Spatial Ecology, Geospatial Analysis and Remote Sensing for Conservation
- MCCS 0520: Conservation Breeding Centers for Wildlife Sustainability
- Graduate Courses
- Master’s Concentration at George Mason University
- Graduate and Professional Courses FAQ
- High School Programs – Summer 2018
- Overseas Field Courses
- Community and Public
- Customized Programs
MCCS 0500: Spatial Ecology, Geospatial Analysis and Remote Sensing for Conservation
Conservation inherently concerns space and geography. Space, because usually we have to determine the area needed to conserve a species, community or ecosystem. Geography, because the location of a biodiversity target relative to a critical resource or threat frequently affects long-term conservation outcomes. Geospatial analysis tools, including satellite imagery, computer-based modeling, and mapping systems such as GIS, have radically transformed our ability to study the spatial ecology and conservation geographies of species, communities and ecosystems. These geospatial technologies allow us to detect, delineate, and monitor natural biological systems. New advances in spatial ecology permit us to consider these data in the context of our ecological understanding and to generalize these patterns to advance ecological theories and their applications. Taken together these disciplines and techniques give conservation biologists and practitioners a powerful toolbox.
This course provides a comprehensive overview of these disciplines and tools and includes hand-on tutorials ranging from land cover mapping and home range analysis to modeling of habitat selection and mapping species distributions. The course is focused on addressing conservation research problems using the GIS toolbox. Participants will learn to use commercially available software such as ArcMap, ArcMap Spatial Analyst, ERDAS Imagine, as well as selected open-source GIS tools such as QGIS, Geospatial Modelling Environment (GME), and R.
The first week focuses on basic concepts in spatial ecology and GIS, including: data types, entering data, on-screen digitizing, projections, queries, spatial queries, spatial joins, analyzing and displaying data, making maps, Boolean arithmetic, basic geographic analysis (e.g. buffer, overlays, distance, neighborhood analysis), hydrography tools, suitability analysis, corridor modeling, and a brief introduction to open-source GIS (QGIS & R).
The second week focuses on remote sensing and advanced GIS modeling, including: making a land cover map from a Landsat satellite image, detecting forest cover change using Landsat, using R for supervised image classification, home range analysis (ArcMap and R), species distribution modeling (dismo package in R), integrating NDVI data into species habitat or distribution modeling, and developing logistic regression habitat models.
By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
- Describe the basics of geospatial analysis and the types of data used
- Conduct remote sensing analysis and use satellite data to make land cover and habitat maps or measure environmental variation, such as primary productivity
- Design and perform analysis using GIS data and spatial analysis techniques
- Conduct a basic land cover change assessment using satellite imagery
- Link species presence/absence or abundance data to other spatial data in a GIS
- Compare existing techniques for modeling species habitat, niche selection, and distribution
- Apply advanced spatial analysis techniques to real-world conservation and ecology problems, with case examples based on Smithsonian research
2018 Course Dates not yet determined. Please check back soon.
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, USA
Spatial Ecology, Geospatial Analysis, and Remote Sensing to Conservation is offered through the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation as a professional training course for 6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). Applications should be submitted using our online application page, once the next course dates are established. Before beginning our online application, please have .pdf or .doc versions of your updated CV, and a Personal Statement of Interest and Qualifications (maximum 350 words). You’ll be asked to attach these with your application.
Course Costs (2017 Information)
The total 2017 cost for this course is $2,925.50 (Course fee of $2100 + Housing and Dining Package of $825.50). Those applying as citizens of “less-developed” nations qualify for a reduced course fee of $1200, making the total cost including housing (shared double room) and dining package $2,025.50 Click HERE to check if your country of citizenship qualifies you for the reduced course fee. Your total course payment includes:
- Registration fees
- Instruction, course manual and other course materials
- Airport pick-up and drop-off shuttle service at Dulles International Airport (IAD), the only Washington, DC-region airport for which SMSC provides ground transportation shuttle service. Individuals whose flight options are limited should plan to arrive the night before and book into overnight accommodation in the Dulles-Washington, DC vicinity, so they can meet this Sunday afternoon shuttle. Otherwise a taxi can be privately arranged by participant for approximately $125. Our drop-off shuttle departs from SMSC (to IAD) on the Saturday after the course at 8am.
- 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).
With course coordinator’s written approval in advance of registration/payment, 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.
For more information