Fletcher Lab Teaching


Landscape Ecology and Conservation. WIS 4203C (3 credits). Spring semester, every year.

Course Description: In this upper-level undergraduate course, we will identify and evaluate the central constructs and methods of landscape ecology and how this perspective is relevant to conservation and management of natural resources. Landscape ecology is a relatively new branch of ecology that focuses specifically on how spatial heterogeneity influences ecological patterns and processes. Landscape ecology has both basic and applied elements, and it is often grounded in interpreting ongoing anthropogenic change. In the first half of the semester, we will learn common frameworks for studying landscape ecology, how to quantify landscape pattern, and we will identify general drivers of landscape pattern. In the second half of the semester, we will focus on how landscape patterns influence wildlife ecology, management, and conservation. Throughout, we will discuss real-world problems in ecology, management, and conservation.

Pattern and Process in Landscape Ecology. WIS 6468C (3 credits). Spring semester, odd years.

Course Description: In this graduate course, we will dive deeply into the theory and application of landscape and spatial ecology, emphasizing organismal responses to spatial heterogeneity. There is a strong focus on discussion and critical analysis of current topics in landscape ecology, including issues of scale, habitat fragmentation, functional connectivity, metapopulation dynamics, and landscape change. For each topic, we will not only critically examine the current state of the science, but we will also dive into the details of the approaches used to investigate the topic, including the use of GIS, spatial statistics, and other spatial modeling efforts. 

Species Distribution and Resource Selection Modeling. WIS 6934 (2 credits). Spring semester, 2012.

Course Description: In this graduate course, we will focus on the application of predicting the distribution of species and the resources (and habitats) that they select. The growing fields of species distribution modeling in conservation and resource selection for wildlife ecology have similar under-pinnings. We will start with understanding how aspects of ecological concepts and theory are relevant to understanding resource selection and predicting species distributions. We will then work through examples regarding how to predict distributions, evaluate these predictions, and better incorporate both ecological processes and observation errors into predictions. A goal of the course is for students to develop a short workshop that they can instruct in the future. 

Introduction to Bayesian Modeling for Ecologists. WIS 6934 (1 credit). Fall semester, 2011.

Course Description: In this graduate course, we will learn practical aspects of Bayesian statistics and the value of hierarchical Bayes models for problems in ecology and conservation. We will work through 1-2 recent books on the topic, focusing on implementing Bayesian models and contrasting them to more conventional statistical models. This course should improve your ability to fit Bayesian statistical models in R and Winbugs.

Recent Workshops

2011. Predicting avian distributions: recent advances and future challenges. American Ornithologists' Union.

2010. GIS applications for wildlife biology. University of Florida.