Summer Course: Assimilating Long-Term Data into Ecosystem Models

12.08 - 18.08.2012
Wisconsin, USA

Application deadline: 30 March 2012

Course description

Estimating the impact of global change processes like land-use and climate on terrestrial ecosystems requires an integration of long-term data and ecosystem models. This course will provide 20 graduate students and postdocs with intensive training inthe emerging tools that allow us to:

-estimate the signal and uncertainty in historical and paleoecological data

-assimilate both signal and uncertainty into the current suite of terrestrial ecosystem models

The course has a hands-on, integrated curriculum emphasizing the data/model process from design through data collection, analysis andback to design. We will collect tree-rings, historical survey data and sedimentary data (e.g., pollen, charcoal, and macrofossils). Analysis of these data will take place in a Bayesian mode of inference addressing uncertainty in age-models, calibration of proxy data, and integration of diverse historical data. After an introduction to inference from ecosystem models in traditional forward mode, participants will integrate ecological parameters estimated from their data sets into these ecosystem models using formal Bayesian dataassimilation.

Participating faculty: Mike Dietze (University of Illinois): Steve Jackson (University of Wyoming): Jason McLachlan (University of NotreDame): Chris Paciorek (University of California Berkeley): Jack Williams (University of Wisconsin)

This workshop is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. You must provide your own means of transportation to Chicago, Illinois, or Madison, Wisconsin. There are a limited number of travel grants available to applicants from NEON, Inc., member institutions.


Students with interests and backgrounds inpaleoecology, terrestrial ecosystem modeling, and/or statistics. Send a CV, a statement detailing why you want to take the course and how you anticipate it helping your research, and arrange to have a letter sent from your major advisor supporting your application.

Apply to: Jason McLachlan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deadline: March 30, 2012. Selections announced by April 15, 2012