PE&RC Postgraduate courses

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Polar Ecosystems
Monday 26 February - Saturday 17 March 2018
The course is based on a series of lectures (22) and a reading assignment. Lectures will be given by internal (ESRIG, Arctic Centre) as well as external (NIOZ) polar experts. Topics covered are polar climatology, marine and terrestrial polar habitats, key species, effects of climate change from species to ecosystem level, and other human impacts. The second part of the course consists of a reading assignment, followed by presentations. A set of key scientific papers will be handed out to small groups of students (max 3 per group), covering as much scientific disciplines as possible. The students will need to understand, reproduce, summarize, evaluate and discuss the result and implications of the papers during a symposium, where the reading assignments will be presented. The course will be evaluated by a written examination.
Life History Theory
Sunday 11 - Friday 16 March 2018
Life History Theory deals with species-specific adaptive schemes of the distribution of the reproductive effort over the life of an organism. The general theoretical problem is to predict which combination of traits will evolve under specific conditions. The concepts used are also relevant to study within species variation in life history traits. The one week course aims at giving an overview of the field and will discuss methodology and recent developments. This course is organised by the Research School for Ecology and Evolution (RSEE) and PE&RC, but coordinated by RSEE.
Grasping Sustainability
Monday 12 - Friday 16 March 2018
To date, many different scientific concepts and approaches of sustainability exist. What are the differences and what do they entail? What is your role as a scientist in achieving sustainable develop-ment? How can you apply sustainability in your own research? And in doing so, how can you deal with facts, uncertainty, values and opinions? This on-site course will enable you to think about the ‘bigger picture’, grasp sustainability and to apply concepts and approaches to your own research, in a collaborative learning environment, away from ‘office’. This course is organised by the Research School for Socio-Economic and Natural Sciences of the Environment (SENSE) and PE&RC, but coordinated by SENSE.
Aquatic Ecology | Robustness of aquatic ecosystems in the face of global change
Sunday 18 - Friday 23 March 2018
Aquatic ecosystems play a crucial role in human health and well-being as a source of drinking water and food (irrigation, fisheries, and aquaculture), recreation, and tourism. Aquatic systems also provide diverse habitats, support high levels of biodiversity and vital ecosystems services and play a vital role in the global carbon cycle and in various nutrient cycles. In this 5-day course we will provide a multifaceted overview of the science on aquatic ecosystems in the Anthropocene.
Mathematical Models in Ecology and Evolution
Monday 19 March - Saturday 30 June 2018
The aims of the course are to teach why mathematics is so useful in ecology and evolution, to acquire the ability to read and interpret equations, and to master the art of constructing and analyzing new models.
Frontiers in Microbial Ecology | Eco-evolutionary dynamics of microbial-host interactions
Sunday 8 - Friday 13 April 2018
This course will examine our current understanding of the eco-evolutionary dynamics controlling host-microbiome interactions, by focusing on questions such as how and why microbial-host associations are formed, how they are maintained, and what the relevance is of these associations for host survival and adaptation to a changing world. This course is organised by PE&RC and RSEE (Research School Ecology & Evolution, Groningen), and coordinated by RSEE.
Modelling population dynamics with Physiologically Structured Population Models (PSPM) | Concepts, formulation and analysis
Sunday 29 April - Friday 4 May 2018
Physiologically structured population models (PSPMs) constitute a subset of structured models in which both the life histories of individuals and the emerging population dynamics unfold in continuous time, and individual states may be continuous or discrete. PSPMs have been very successful in describing and explaining the mechanisms that drive dynamics of natural populations and communities. Moreover, PSPMs form a powerful tool for understanding how population and community dynamics emerge from individual life histories, and equally important, how population and community processes feed back to shape the life histories of individuals.
Resilience of living systems: From fundamental concepts to interdisciplinary applications
Sunday 29 April – Friday 4 May 2018
During the course, the participants will learn about the basic concepts of resilience and their application, from an interdisciplinary perspective (micro-biome to socio-ecological systems). Accordingly, we will address how resilience theory can be used to tackle fundamental and societal issues from a socio-economic and bio-physical perspective and will provide a critical reflection on the relevance, use, and applicability of the concept of resilience. The course is organised by the Graduate Schools WIAS and PE&RC.
Basic Statistics
Tuesday 8, Wednesday 9, Monday 14 - Wednesday 16 May 2018
This is a refresher course. The level is that of a second course in Statistics. We will refresh basic knowledge of Probability, Statistical Inference (Estimation and Testing), t-tests, simple cases of Regression and ANOVA, Experimental Design, Nonparametric Tests, and Chi-square Tests. Some time is reserved to discuss statistical problems of the participants.
Introduction to R for Statistical Analysis
Thursday 17 & Friday 18 May 2018
The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to R, a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. Focus of the course will be on getting familiar with the R environment, to use R for manipulation and exploration of data, and to perform simple statistical analyses. Hands-on exercises will form a large part of the workshop.
Design of Experiments
Wednesday 23 - Friday 25 May 2018
The design and analysis of experiments, using plants, animals, or humans, are an important part of the scientific process. Proper design of an experiment, apart from its proper analysis and interpretation, is important to convince a researcher that your results are valid and that your conclusions are meaningful.
World Soils and their Assessment
Monday 28 May - Friday 1 June 2018 (coordinated by ISRIC)
This is a course on international standards for soils classification and assessment. It will provide an introduction to the soils of the world and their diversity, their main forming factors, classification (according to the World Reference Base for Soil Resources 2014), and management. The course will include lectures and hands-on exercises. PE&RC PhD candidates are entitled to the reduced fee.
Machine learning for spatial data
Monday 28 May - Friday 1 June 2018
In this course participants will learn how to model patterns and structures contained in data. The course will be focused on statistical and machine learning approaches, where the relationships between the observed data and the phenomenon under study are learned directly from observations. Through a series of lectures and practical exercises (in Matlab), the participants will learn about different strategies and their pertinence for specific problems in environmental sciences. Most applications considered in the course will be remote sensing-based, but the course will remain general for a broader audience.
Hands on Digital Soil Mapping
Monday 28 May - Friday 1 June 2018
This course introduces methods and software for management, analysis and mapping of soil variables within the R environment for statistical computing. The course alternates between lectures and computer practicals and covers a variety of subjects, such as geostatistics, linear regression and machine learning for soil mapping, quantification of uncertainty and soil map validation.
Fundamentals of Crop Physiology in a Changing World
Sunday 3 - Friday 8 June 2018
The course focusses on the fundamental knowledge and insight one must have about crops to be able to adapt agronomic practices to the changing world. Here the changing world refers to the environment, increased demands on sustainable production and food quality.
Linear Models
Friday 8, Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 June 2018
In this module we continue with Regression, ANOVA, and ANCOVA, set in the general framework of Linear Models. We look at topics like parameter estimation and interpretation, checking model assumptions, regression diagnostics, analysis of unbalanced designs and multiple comparisons.
Generalized Linear Models
Thursday 14 & Friday 15 June 2018
In this module we study how to analyse data that are not normally distributed. We look at fractions (logistic regression), counts (Poisson regression, log-linear models), ordinal data (threshold models), and overdispersion. We discuss (quasi-) maximum likelihood estimation and the deviance.
Mixed Linear Models
Thursday 21 & Friday 22 June 2018
In this module we discuss how to analyse data for which the assumption of independence is violated. So: Do you have a nested experimental set-up? Or repeated measurements? Or weight of the same animal over time? Or pseudo-replication? Then, you are likely to need Mixed Models. In this course, you will learn all about it!
Conflicting demands in European Forests: a wicked problem?
Sunday 24 June - Monday 2 July 2018
More and more, we are confronted with conflicting demands when trying to develop sustainable land-use strategies, resulting in so-called wicked problems. Scientists working on such wicked problems need to be trained to work in trans-, multi- and interdisciplinary teams of experts with various scientific backgrounds, such as ecologists, economists, political, and social scientists. This course aims to teach them the skills they need for working in such diverse teams, by means of a real-life case. The course is focused around Gällivare, a small town in the north of Sweden, where one can find the “last wilderness of Boreal Europe”, part of an UNESCO World Heritage Site with large nature reserves and national parks. At the same time, it has an active mining industry, forestry, reindeer herding and tourism. It is a perfect place for land use and land use change discussions. A travel subsidy is available for PE&RC PhD candidates.