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What You'll Study
  • Importing and formatting data to achieve meaningful statistical analysis
  • Exploring, describing, and manipulating data sets to identify strengths and work around weaknesses
  • Selecting regression framework based on the type of data and research objectives
  • Understanding statistical methods, assumptions, limits, and applications of regression approaches
  • Performing model selection and testing for model fit and performance
  • Understanding, interpreting, visualizing, and presenting results with associated uncertainties

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

Program Details

March 8 – 19, 2021


Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, VA.

Available Formats

Graduate (CONS 625, 3 credits)
Professional Training (SMSC 0501, 6 CEUs)


Graduate: See Mason’s graduate tuition rates

Professional Training: $3,203.00*

*Professionals from certain countries are eligible for a reduced rate of $2,276.00 which will automatically be reflected during the registration process.

Scholarships & financial aid


Apply by December 29, 2020 for first consideration

Payment Deadline: January 12, 2021

Meet the Faculty

Joe Kolowski
Joe Kolowski
Research Ecologist and Grad/Professional Training Manager
Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation
Joe 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. 
Valentine Herrmann
Research Assistant
Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Valentine Herrmann received an M.S. in Ecology and Animal Behavior in 2012 from University Jean Monnet, Saint Etienne, France. She is primarily interested in management and analysis of ecological data for conservation purpose. In her current position, she assists ongoing research programs at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute by developing R scripts to perform analytical tasks.


This course provides analytical tools in R to address ecological and conservation-oriented questions. Focus will be on best practices for data exploration, statistical model implementation, and results interpretations. The course provides ecology and related science professionals the full suite of skills necessary to conduct robust regression analyses. Analytical methods covered will be appropriate for regression analysis of continuous, binary, and count-based response data. Designed primarily for beginners, this course teaches a range of techniques for participants already familiar with basic regression approaches.

See Detailed Curriculum >>

What’s Included

The total cost for professional training includes our Housing ($624.00) and Dining ($416.00) Packages and covers:

  • Instruction, course manual, and other 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 cost of shared housing).

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.

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 ($121.00) 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.

Woman pointing to a student's computer screen

“I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy statistics for the first time in my career, and the intensive two-week session is conducive to processing and integrating lessons.”

Chase LaDue PhD student in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University

“I went from only knowing the basic R operations, to being able to apply currently-used predictive models to read data in a matter of two weeks. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is wanting to create explanatory and predictive models from their data.”

Tabitha King Master's Student in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University
Take the next step toward a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity