Intermediate-level Distance Sampling Training Workshop 2018

Mary Woodcock Kroble
Tuesday 13 February 2018
Start date: 27 August 2018 - End date: 31 August 2018
Time: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


The Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) is hosting an intermediate-level workshop in the summer of 2018 in our purpose-built facilities at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. The workshops are taught by leading researchers in the field, using industry-standard software Distance and R.

The five day workshop will start on Monday 27 August at 09:00, with registration from 08:45, at CREEM, and finish on Friday 31 August at 17:00. Tea and coffee, as well as light lunches will be provided.

The first day of the workshop will review fundamental principles of distance sampling, analyses involving conventional distance sampling and survey design. Attention will turn to simulation of distance sampling surveys for design purposes, and to survey and analysis methods for dealing with imperfect detection on the trackline (double-observer methods). Roughly two and a half days will be devoted to spatial modelling of distance sampling data (as described in Miller et al. (2013)). A blend of the latest version Distance 7 and the R computing language will be employed; participants will be able to do all exercises exclusively in R if they wish, while many will also be available on Distance 7 for those that prefer that software. Throughout the workshop, there will be open time, for instructors to work with participants on their specific problems.

Lecture materials, data and exercises will be available for participants to download prior to the workshop. We also recommend owning a copy of Buckland et al. (2015). A soft-cover copy of this book is available via Springer MyCopy at a very reasonable price (24.99 GBP including shipping or local equivalent) to researchers from participating institutions (see this link for more information). Alternatively, participants can receive a copy of the above book, for a small additional charge — please indicate in the registration form.


There are two pre-requisites for this workshop: a) understanding of conventional distance sampling and b) basic competence with the R programming language.

Pre-requisite (a) can be fulfilled by understanding of fundamental materials presented in Buckland et al. (2001, Chapters 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7) or Buckland et al. (2015, Chapters 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6); e.g., through previous training. The preferable way to become versed in conventional distance sampling principles is to take the online course recently made available by St Andrews. This course consists of video lectures, exercises (with solutions) and video demonstrations of the use of program Distance. The course can be viewed at this link:

Pre-requisite (b) can be achieved by either working through instructional materials in R available at, or by attending the one-day “Distance sampling in R” workshop immediately preceeding this intermediate workshop (see Distance sampling in R One Day Workshop).


Buckland, S.T., D.R. Anderson, K.P. Burnham, J.L. Laake, D.L. Borchers & L. Thomas. 2001. Introduction to Distance Sampling. Oxford University Press.
Buckland, S.T., E.A. Rexstad, T.A. Marques, and C.S. Oedekoven. 2015. Distance Sampling: Methods and Applications. Methods in Statistical Ecology. Springer International Publishing.
Miller, D.L., M.L. Burt, E.A. Rexstad, and L. Thomas. 2013. Spatial models for distance sampling data: recent developments and future directions. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4 (11):1001–1010.

Registration Information

The number of participants on the workshop will be restricted to 35. Places will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis on receipt of a completed a registration form and payment in full.

Fees cover tuition, course materials, a light lunch, morning and afternoon refreshments.

For those unable to travel to St Andrews to attend the intermediate workshop, a limited number of spaces are available to attend the workshop via videoconference link. Participants to the workshop via this medium will have reduced one-on-one interaction with instructors.

Consequently, videoconference participants will receive a 10% discount to their registration. Recognise the videoconference will be conducted in real time; if you are in time zones distant from Scotland, your sleep patterns will need to adjust for that week.

The number of places available for the online videoconference link registration is very limited, again places will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis on receipt of a completed a registration form and payment in full.


Payment is made via the University of St Andrews online payment service. Please note that If you are attending the one day R workshop prior to the main workshop the payment page for this workshop is after the delegate details page.

You will be asked to register if it is your first visit to the store. This is the link to the Online Payment Service. Confirmation of a place on the workshop will follow once payment has been received.

Location and Travel Information

Accommodation Information


Please contact:
Rhona Rodger, Workshop Administrator
Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling
University of St Andrews
The Observatory, Buchanan Gardens
St. Andrews
Scotland KY16 9LZ
Tel:+44 (0) 1334 461842
Email: [email protected]

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