The environmental sciences are undergoing a revolution in the use of models and data. Facing ecological data sets of unprecedented size and complexity, environmental scientists are struggling to understand and exploit powerful new statistical tools for making sense of ecological processes.
In Models for Ecological Data, James Clark introduces ecologists to these modern methods in modeling and computation. Assuming only basic courses in calculus and statistics, the text introduces readers to basic maximum likelihood and then works up to more advanced topics in Bayesian modeling and computation. Clark covers both classical statistical approaches and powerful new computational tools and describes how complexity can motivate a shift from classical to Bayesian methods. Through an available lab manual, the book introduces readers to the practical work of data modeling and computation in the language R. Based on a successful course at Duke University and National Science Foundation-funded institutes on hierarchical modeling, Models for Ecological Data will enable ecologists and other environmental scientists to develop useful models that make sense of ecological data.
- Consistent treatment from classical to modern Bayes
- Underlying distribution theory to algorithm development
- Many examples and applications
- Does not assume statistical background
- Extensive supporting appendixes
- Accompanying lab manual in R
"In summary, Models for Ecological Data is an important text for those interested in ecological problems, which require computationally intensive methods. The level of the text is such that the reader should have a strong quantitative background (masters degree or higher in a quantitative discipline). The accompanying lab manual is a must for those who have this text and want to put the material to practice. The text and accompanying lab manual would serve as a good textbook for a graduate course in quantitative ecology provided that the students have the necessary mathematical background."--Timothy J. Robinson, Journal of the American Statistical Association
"Clark brings emerging statistical approaches alive by putting the ecology first. Writing from the perspective of a field ecologist who must confront complex data without suppressing important detail, Clark describes new methods that are well matched to the richness of real ecological data. At last we have a text that makes these tools accessible to ecologists."--Stephen R. Carpenter, University of Wisconsin, Madison
"Jim Clark has been able to pitch his message just right; one can see the ecological forest and the statistical, distributional, and computational trees at the same time. By reading this book, statisticians will gain an appreciation for the complexity of models in the ecological and environmental sciences, and ecologists will see the potential for hierarchical statistical modeling in their research arenas. Clark explains his material extremely well, but he is also rigorous in his statistical developments."--Noel Cressie, Ohio State University
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