I’m looking for a methodology course in performing population surveys. I would like to work with park rangers and admin with goal of surveying plant, fungus, and lichen species in a specific plot of land over time. I’m looking for academic courses that might cover mapping of the area, data collection and verification, and statistical analysis. And/or the opportunity to work with rangers and botanists who are performing research-grade population surveys. My research and statistics skills are a bit rusty but could be buffed up. Any thoughts or suggestions? Thanks, jm1812
I think field stations will be your best bet for a formal, holistic course. For example, the Mountain Research Station offered a Field Methods in Vegetation Ecology course last summer that seems to match your interests. I don’t know of a complete list of field stations, but the membership of the Organization of Biological Field Stations includes many (most?) in North America. I think courses like this during the academic year at a college/university are few and far between. More often, a general intro to these skills is offered in lab exercises associated with ecology (or even wildlife) courses. These probably don’t have the focus/depth that you want.
Another option is to directly participate in research and learn these skills through that experience. I know several colleagues at universities, museums, botanical gardens, and state/national parks who often recruit volunteers from the community to assist with research. For example, many site leaders for the GLORIA network work with local naturalists to conduct their research surveys. ID skills for local plants/fungi/lichen are super valuable contributions. There are fewer immediate hands-on opportunities for experimental design and data analysis, but doing the field data collection could be a entry point.
Based on your iNat observation map, you may be near some folks I could put you in touch with. It’d be better to have that conversation over direct messages or email rather than this forum.
Thanks for great response! Will check out all links and direct message soon.