Education

Our focus is to build a diverse community of individuals who are 1) trained on the methods, theory and decision science to create iterative near-term forecasts, or 2) trained to use the forecast predictions in management and policy. The Education and Diversity & Inclusion are separate working groups, but work closely together with a focus on building an inclusive community of practice among ecological forecasting educators and developing open, collaborative, and extensible teaching materials at the undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels. We think training in ecological forecasting is important for all ecologists, not just those actively building forecasts. For example, the approaches used to design experiments and collect data can change nontrivially if we want to inform predictions.

Education Working Group Schedule of Calls:
The Education Group will meet on Fridays at noon US Eastern on January 12, February 9, March 8, April 12, and May 10. A new schedule of calls will be developed for June to August 2024. We are always open to people joining the calls, contact us at eco4cast.initiative@gmail.com

Education Resources

Publications

Paper on Ethics in Forecasting Educational Modules was published in both Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology and as a QUBES Open Educational Resource. This allows us to reach a broader audience. A DOI is available with the QUBES publication. Here are the two citations:

  1. Lewis, A.S.L., D.W. Howard, G. Koren, C. Kowalski, J. McLachlan, J.A. Peters, G. Smies, and O. Tabares. 2023. Ethics in ecological forecasting: four case-based teaching modules. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 19: Practice #13. https://tiee.esa.org/vol/v19/issues/case_studies/lewis/abstract.html
  2. Lewis, A. S., Howard, D. W., Koren, G., Kowalski, C., McLachlan, J., Peters, J., Smies, G., Tabares, O. (2024). Ethics in ecological forecasting: four case-based teaching modulesEFI-RCN: Ecological Forecasting Initiative Research Coordination Network, QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/5D99-Y019

Module topics from the ethics paper

  • Module 1: Flying foxes and uncertainty
  • Module 2: Marine Fisheries and conflicts of interest
  • Module 3: Water Quality and Indigenous Knowledge
  • Module 4: Tropical forests and data availability

Willson, A. M., H. Gallo, J.A. Peters, A. Abeyta, N. Bueno Watts, C.C. Carey, T.N. Moore, G. Smies, R.Q. Thomas, W.M. Woelmer & J.S. McLachlan. 2023. Assessing opportunities and inequities in undergraduate ecological forecasting education. Ecology and Evolution, 13, e10001. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.10001

Teaching Ecological Forecasting in Your Class!

Are you looking for fresh curriculum ideas? Consider including a one to three-hour active learning module on ecological forecasting that allows students to explore key forecasting concepts using real environmental data. 

1) Module 5: Introduction to Ecological Forecasting (link to module; link to instructor materials)
2) Module 6: Understanding Uncertainty in Ecological Forecasts (link to module; link to instructor materials)
3) Module 7: Using Data to Improve Ecological Forecasts (link to module; link to instructor materials)
4) Module 8: Using Ecological Forecasts to Guide Decision Making (link to module; link to instructor materials)

These modules are part of the Macrosystems EDDIE series funded by the NSF Macrosystems Biology program. Modules are delivered through R Shiny applications for students who are new to coding, with Modules 6 and 7 also available in an RMarkdown format for students with coding experience. Each module uses NEON data to teach key forecasting concepts.

If you are interested in teaching this module in your class, email Mary Lofton (melofton@vt.edu) or Cayelan Carey (cayelan@vt.edu).

Go the Educational Resources Page to get

  • Materials from Ecological Forecasting Courses & Workshops
  • A compiled list of over one hundred educational resources related to Ecological Forecasting
  • 2-page pdf overview of what ecological forecasting is and potential careers as well as examples of courses that is a starting point for students to learn more about the concepts and statistical and computational tools used in ecological forecasting
  • Infographics to support teaching and learning biostats in R
  • Example syllabi for ecological forecasting courses
Alyssa Wilson’s overview of the Education and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Working Group’s activities for the EFI 2022 Conference held May 23-25, 2022.

Notes from Working Group Calls
Chair: Jason McLachlan (University of Notre Dame)

  1. February 9, 2024
  2. January 12, 2024
  3. December 4, 2023
  4. November 6, 2023
  5. October 2, 2023
  6. September 11, 2023
  7. August 17, 2023
  8. July 13, 2023
  9. June 15, 2023
  10. May 11, 2023
  11. April 13, 2023
  12. March 16, 2023
  13. February 9, 2023
  14. January 12, 2023
  15. December 5, 2022
  16. November 7, 2022
  17. October 10, 2022
  18. September 12, 2022
  19. August 10, 2022
  20. July 13, 2022
  21. June 15, 2022
  22. May 4, 2022
  23. April 6, 2022
  24. March 9, 2022
  25. February 9, 2022
  26. January 12, 2022
  27. November 18, 2021
  28. October 14, 2021
  29. September 16, 2021
  30. August 18, 2021
  31. July 14, 2021
  32. June 16, 2021
  33. May 10, 2021
  34. April 19, 2021
  35. March 29, 2021
  36. March 1, 2021
  37. February 1, 2021
  38. December 14, 2021
  39. November 16, 2021
  40. October 12, 2020
  41. September 14, 2020
  42. August 19, 2020
  43. July 22, 2020
  44. June 24, 2020
  45. May 27, 2020
  46. April 20, 2020
  47. April 13, 2020
  48. March 16, 2020
  49. February 17, 2020
  50. December 4, 2019
  51. October 16, 2019
  52. September 17, 2019 – joint DEI and Education Working Group call
  53. July 12, 2019 – joint DEI and Education Working Group call