Detecting change – MRSeaPower: A power analysis tool

The workshop, Detecting change – MRSeaPower: A power analysis tool, is to be held on 19-20th January, 2017, at the University of St Andrews.

Marine developments, such as offshore windfarms, may impact marine mammals and seabirds which use the development site and animals may move away from the site entirely or redistribute themselves within the site. Detecting these changes is difficult because the number of animals may change at a site, or animals may move within the site, regardless of any disturbances. Hence, the challenge is to determine if any changes in abundance and distribution are due to an impact or if these changes would have occurred anyway in the absence of any development. Surveys of the site are thus, generally conducted before any development takes place, during construction and after construction in order to reliably determine any effects. The ability of a study to detect change is a statistical issue called ‘power’ and essentially quantifies the chance that a study will correctly identify a genuine change – changes which are either site-wide or more localised. The Scottish Government have funded a project to develop methods and software to allow users to undertake spatially-explicit power analyses. During this two-day workshop the outcomes of the project will be described and the software illustrated with case studies. It is anticipated that this workshop will be of value to the renewable energy industry, Scottish Government and statutory advisors.


The first day of the workshop will concentrate on the concepts and approach taken to the power analysis. On the second day the software will be demonstrated with case studies. A provisional timetable is given overleaf. Participants are encouraged to bring laptops to join in with practical sessions otherwise computers will be provided.

The workshop will be 09:00 to 17:30 each day with registration from 8:45am on day 1.

General information

Location: the workshop will be held at CREEM, The Observatory, University of St Andrews. Details can be found at

Registration fee: £100 which includes workshop materials, refreshments and lunch. Scottish Government-based funding is available to cover the registration costs for a limited number of places.

To register for the workshop, or for more information, please contact Louise Burt,


Provisional timetable

Day Time Topic
1 0845-0900 Registration
0900-0930 Introduction
0930-1030 Data generation
1030-1045 Tea/Coffee
1045-1145 Assessment of data generation
1145-1230 Group work
1230-1330 Lunch
1330-1430 Generating change
1430-1530 Power analysis
1530-1545 Tea/Coffee
1545-1645 Outputs & Diagnostics
1645-1730 Group work
2 0900-1000 Model fitting using MRSea
1000-1100 Data generation
1100-1115 Tea/Coffee
1115-1230 Practical session
1230-1330 Lunch
1330-1430 Generating change
1430-1500 Practical session
1500-1515 Tea/Coffee
1515-1615 Power analysis outputs & diagnostics
1615-1730 Practical session