LAS 6292: Data Collection and Management (3 credits, link)

Prerequisite: graduate student standing
This course is an introduction to methods for collecting, organizing, managing, and visualizing qualitative and quantitative data. Students will gain hands-on experience with best practices and tools for minimizing errors in data collection and transcription, entering and organizing data in ways that will streamline analyses, working with publicly available data, and data storage and archiving. Students will also become familiar with current issues surrounding privacy, human subjects, and legal and ethical issues related to data collection and use. All students will work with real datasets and prepare a data collection and management plan for their own research project.
Topics covered include
  • Tidy Data: Organizing and Formatting different kinds of data
  • Data Collection: preparation, tools, collection
  • Data entry, Storage, and security; version control
  • Documentation / Metadata
  • Data Organization & Manipulation
  • Data visualization
  • Privacy, Human Subjects, Legal and Ethical Considerations
  • Archiving Data, IP, Data Sharing and Reuse, Collaboration
  • Data Management Plans
  • Preparing for The Summer: Setting up your data collection, documentation, and storage tools

Fundraising for Tropical Conservation & Development (LAS 6291, 3 credits)

Prerequisite: graduate student standing
Many of the graduates from the Tropical Conservation and Development program work outside of traditional academia in non-profit organizations, research institutes, or consulting.  Even those in academia are confronted with raising funds for programs that fall outside of the standard research grant proposal model. Traditional graduate student courses in conservation and development do not address the practical and critical skill of developing and funding programs. The objectives of this course are (1) to introduce students to the diverse set of private and public sources for funding their activities (2) to develop the skills needed to fundraise from these sources, including the development of donor profiles, constructing fundraising plans, applying fundraising strategies and tactics, and understanding ethical and legal issues surrounding fundraising. Students will learn by doing: all students will (1) develop and implement a fund-raising project focused on their work and (2) work as a group to develop a fundraising plan for an organization.

Scientific Writing & Publication Workshop (WIS 6934, 1 credit)

Would you like to learn skills to improve your scientific productivity? Improve your chances of  having your manuscript accepted? Demystify the process of preparing and submitting a manuscript for publication? Discover what happens after you submit your paper? Learn more about trends in the world of scientific publishing? Then sign up for our Workshop in Scientific Writing and Publishing!
Topics: Strategies for productive writing, issues of authorship, selecting the right journal, the submission & review process, dealing with rejection, open access, data archiving

Ecology and Conservation of Tropical Wildlife (WIS 3434, 3 credits)

Prerequisite: BSC 2011 and BSC 2011L.
The objectives of this course are (1) to gain an understanding of the ecological and evolutionary factors that shape patterns of tropical diversity, (2) to learn some of the ways in which humans use tropical wildlife, and (3) to understand the the threats faced by tropical ecosystems and explore alternatives for their conservation. Although examples will be drawn from a variety of tropical ecosystems, the course will focus primarily on the Neotropics.

Plant-Animal Interactions (WIS 5521, 3 credits)

Prerequisite: graduate student standing or advanced undergraduates with permission of the instructor
This course will (1) review the general principals underlying different types of plant-animal interactions, (2) evaluate cutting-edge research in the field’s major subdicsiplines, and (3) investigate the potential consequences of ongoing anthropogenic changes for the dynamics of these interactions. Examples will be drawn from a variety of tropical and temperate ecosystems, both terrestrial and aquatic.