Practical skills for ecological forecasting across space, time, and taxa

Stephanie Brodie1,2, Curtis Champion3,4, Gemma Carroll1,2, Megan Cimino1,2, Jason Hartog3, Heather Welch1,2

1University of California Santa Cruz, Monterey, USA, 

2National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Monterey, USA, 

3Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Hobart, TAS, Australia, 

4Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, TAS, Australia, 



In an era of rapid environmental change, building the capacity of scientists and practitioners to forecast ecological change and variability is essential. Ecological forecasting is the prediction of biological responses to near-real time or future environmental conditions. We propose a full-day workshop that provides a forum to teach and discuss the practical skills and concepts that underpin ecological forecasting.

The workshop will provide participants with a theoretical and practical understanding of ecological forecasting systems, from acquiring and manipulating environmental data to forecasting models and applying them to quantify future ecological change. Our workshop will support interdisciplinary knowledge transfer of ecological forecasting (i.e. between marine and terrestrial systems; between scientists and practitioners) and provide a platform for future collaborations.

The objectives of our workshop include: (1) Developing practical skills of workshop attendees; (2) Sharing open-access code and resources with attendees; (3) Providing a platform to initiate discussion and knowledge transfer between researchers working in diverse ecological systems.

The workshop will include a combination of practical sessions and ecological forecasting case studies from around the world. The practical session agenda includes how to:

  • consider model purpose (e.g. application, time-scales of interest, end-users)
  • acquire and manipulate environmental data
  • visualize spatially-explicit environmental and ecological data
  • apply metrics to understand ecological change (e.g. range shifts, niche overlap)


Combination of short case-study presentations, practical exercises, and group discussions.

Requirements and Criteria

Open workshop. Participation in the coding practical sessions requires some knowledge of R.

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