Species Distribution Modeling (Online)


Target Audience:  

Those working on constructing models for the development of Species Status Assessments, updating range maps of endangered species, or other conservation applications.  

Summary and Objectives:  

This course provides participants with skills for building species distribution and habitat models (SDHM) for use in management and conservation planning, and ecological study.

Topics covered include (i) formulation of intended SDHM use statements; (ii) data acquisition, organization, and vetting; (iii) model construction and prediction; (iv) assessment and evaluation; and (v) decision risk associated with SDHM implementation. Participants will learn to apply these skills in R through hands-on exercises, with an intent to transfer the skills learned to a SDHM related to their work or research environment.  

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:  

  • Be conversant in the philosophical and ecological underpinnings of SDHMs. 
  • Acquire, organize, and evaluate response and predictor data for a SDHM, with emphases on (i) true presence: absence vs. presence-only data; (ii) the relationships of environmental and geographic coverage to sample frames; and (iii) pre-analysis strategies for exploring characteristics of the response and predictor variables. 
  • Apply 5 different statistical methods to build predictive SDHMs. 
  • Evaluate & assess SDHM performance, including estimation of uncertainties. 
  • Construct, evaluate and present ensembles of SDHM outputs. 
Course Short Name
Course Type
Training Tuition Cost
36.0 hours
Training Credit Hours
Semester Hours

Questions and Registration

Course Contact


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