Instructor Notes

Types and properties of data for forecasting

  • Start the analysis focused component of the course by talking about what kinds of data are available to be used for studying

  • Class Brainstorm: What properties would ideal data for studying ecological dynamics and making forecasts have?

    • Long time-series
    • Continuous
    • High resolution
    • Broad spatial replication
  • Class Brainstorm: what types of data do we have for studying dynamics & making forecasts? Focus on general categories.

    • E.g., resurveys, idiosyncratic collection through time, continue time-series but the gaps, truly continuous time-seris
    • Talk about each type as it is brought up
    • Prompt for examples of each data type as it is brought up (if not already mentioned)
    • Write on the board in order from “further back in time/easier” to “more recent/more difficult”
      • Resurvey -> Idiosyncratic -> Continuous w/Gaps -> Continuous
      • Place purely spatial data off on one end the side with a “spatial only” label.
  • Ask what types of data are easier/harder to collect

  • Ask what types are more common for going further back in time vs. more recent

  • (optionally) Draw these gradients on board

  • How long do you think most ecological studies/time-series are?

  • Show: Recent study by Estes et al. 2018

Sources of ecological time-series data

  • Brainstorm: Specific sources for ecological time-series data
  • Bring over any sources from prior discussion and ask what the datasets in a group have in common
  • As dataset for new group is suggested discuss the type of data and start a new column on board
    • Community science data
      • BBS
    • Compilations
      • GPDB
      • PBDB/Neotoma
      • BioTime
    • Long-term monitoring
      • NEON
      • LTERs
      • STRI Big Plots
      • Fisheries
    • Local studies

Data for your research

  • If you wanted to make a forecast for something you are interested in what do you think the most readily available type of data would be and do you know any specific examples?

Where to find time-series data (optional; if students ask)

  • Ecological Archives
  • LTER Databank
  • DataOne
  • Ecological Data Wiki
  • Google Data Search