Distance Sampling Training Workshops (August 2019; St Andrews, Scotland)

Distance Sampling Training Workshops 2019

In August 2019, the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) at the University of St Andrews, Scotland, is hosting a series of linked, training workshops on distance sampling survey methods and analysis. Distance sampling (Buckland et al. 2001) is a widely used method of estimating density and abundance for marine mammals. Conducting such surveys are expensive and so it is important that survey designs and methods are appropriate. The introductory workshop covers the basic methods of distance sampling: for those wishing to learn more advanced methods, or indeed what to do when the basic assumptions of conventional distance sampling methods cannot be met, there is the ‘Advanced-level distance sampling’ workshop.

Introduction to R (for distance sampling): 19-20 August 2019

Many of the options available in the Distance for Windows program (Thomas et al. 2013) are now available in R (R Core Team, 2018) packages. The goal of this two-day workshop is to introduce participants to the R language and software for statistics, in the context of analysis of distance sampling data.

Introduction to Distance Sampling (using R): 21-23 August 2019

This workshop will give participants a solid grounding in the basic methods for design and analysis of distance sampling surveys. The statistical programming language R will be used for all computer sessions and therefore this workshop will be invaluable for those wishing to make the switch from the Distance for Windows program to R.

Advanced-level Distance Sampling: 26-30 August 2019

This workshop will cover the simulation of distance sampling surveys to allow different survey designs to be compared (thus allowing the user to select the most appropriate design), survey and analysis methods for estimating detection on the track line (i.e. double-observer methods) and spatial modelling of distance sampling data (as described in Miller et al. (2013)) to help describe and explain how animals use their habitat. The statistical programming language R will be used for all computer sessions.

For more information see https://www.creem.st-andrews.ac.uk/distance-workshops-st-andrews-2019/ or contact Louise Burt (lb9@st-andrews.ac.uk) or Rhona Rodger (rmr5@st-andrews.ac.uk).


Buckland ST, Anderson DR, Burnham KP, Laake JL, Borchers DL and Thomas L (2001) Introduction to distance sampling: Estimating abundance of biological populations. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK

Miller DL, Burt ML, Rexstad EA & Thomas L (2013) Spatial models for distance sampling data: recent developments and future directions. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4 (11):1001–1010. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.12105.