Statistics Research

Should I stay or should I go? Patterns of building and re-building after wildfires.

Across the United States, the number and cost of wildfires are rising. While rebuilding lost homes is common, Patricia Alexandre finds some unexpected patterns as communities recover from these infernos.
Jan 2016
Research team members meeting with refuge managers

Working with managers – sharing research results, and getting feedback on research on extreme climate events

Climate change has managers concerned about the future of their refuges. The extreme weather events project members have been meeting with refuge managers to help them understand what will happen.
Jan 2016

Understanding the effect of extreme weather events on grasslands birds in the U.S.

Analysis of the last 30 years reveals strong link between grassland bird abundances and precipitation variability.
Jun 2015

Why do some houses burn and others do not when a wildfire hits?

Multiple environmental factors explain the likelihood of a burning house with a wildfire.
Jan 2015

Pay attention to the man behind the curtain: David Helmers and the servers that keep SILVIS going!

SILVIS depends on the ability to store, manipulate and analyze large datasets. David Helmers is the wizard in charge of the servers and digital infrastructure that make it all possible.
Jan 2014

People's attitudes toward protected areas matter - but at what scale?

Attitudes of people living in close proximity to protected areas can reflect on the effectiveness of management strategies within their borders, and understanding the spatial scale at which these perceptions occur may help to focus conservation efforts.
Jan 2014

The potential effects of extreme weather events on bird reproductive output

Extreme weather events are expected to increase in the future. Extreme weather could result in population declines if these strike during the breeding season for North American passerines.
Jan 2014

It is getting weirder - extreme events in satellite records

Extreme weather events are becoming both more frequent and intense. These events could be shifting bird numbers and their normal distributions in the United States. Ultimately, these weather events could lead to the extinction of highly-sensitive species.
Jan 2014

Using Bayesian statistics to predict housing growth in the U.S.

Information about housing densities at fine spatial scales is critical to understanding how human development impacts wildlife. Nick Keuler, statistician for the SILVIS lab, and Roger Hammer at Oregon State University are using Bayesian statistics to project US census data to smaller spatial scales.
Jan 2014

Importance is important: Using more reliable but less common methods for determining the importance of ecological variables

The results of a regression are like a messy storehouse: your task is to decide what you pull out and use! Nick, our statistical specialist, suggests some tools for evaluating variable importance.
Feb 2013

Oases along the flyway: Identifying stopover sites for migratory birds in the southeastern U.S.

How do you find stopover habitat of migrants moving under the cover of night? David La Puma uses weather radar to see in the dark and identify sites across the southeastern U.S.
Jan 2013

It's all a game - Land Use and Conservation in everyone's hands

What if someone told you that you could be of great help to science in general and conservation in particular and have fun at the same time? Forward Trails is a Massive Multiplayer Online Game that allows you to do just that!
Jan 2013

Why and where did farmers abandon their fields in the Ukraine?

The breakdown of the Soviet Union in 1991 triggered rapid and widespread farmland abandonment across Eastern Europe. Using remote sensing and statistical models, Matthias Baumann mapped where abandonment occurred in Ukraine and explained why it happened where it did.
Aug 2011

Predicting Broad-scale Patterns of Avian Biodiversity with Landsat Image Texture

There is not a map that predicts bird species biodiversity for the whole United States at scales that are relevant for a forester or a county planner. However, such a map is utterly needed to make realistic conservation plans.
Jul 2011

New multi-scale landscape indices for spatial pattern analysis

Understanding how spatial patterns of vegetation explain the distribution of organisms is a central theme within Landscape Ecology. Avi Bar Massada developed a novel method to quantify these patterns, which may be more effective than existing methods. He illustrates its effectiveness with bird data from Wisconsin's Fort McCoy.
Sep 2010

Highway to the danger zone? Effects of sample size, number of parameters, and collinearity on error estimates from cross-validation

Ecologists often approach their research as a measure everything, predict everything endeavor. While this is advantageous when resources are unlimited, this is rarely the case, and often there are only a few observations. Nick Keuler, resident statistician in the SILVIS lab, offers some guidelines to developing good predictive models.
Sep 2010

Things aren't as they used to be: forest disturbance, birds, and the shifting baseline syndrome

Can a bumper sticker inspire innovative research? In the case of Chad Rittenhouse PhD, a chance sighting motivated an innovative line of research that questions how changes occur in the natural world and how we perceive and measure these changes.
Jul 2010

Zoning has heterogeneous effects on housing growth, but in most cases is not strong enough to affect ecosystem functions

Is zoning an appropriate tool to protect lakes? Van Butsic answered this question for a study region in Northern Wisconsin. He found out that zoning is only effective on lakes with a certain baseline development. One size fits all zoning is ineffective.
Jul 2010