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News from the Environmental Statistics Section

11 May 2020 10:38 AM | Marie-Louise Rankin (Administrator)

The big event in environmental statistics for the year is coming up June 22-26 – the virtual International Statistical Ecology Conference (vISEC2020), an exciting opportunity (and affordable) opportunity to catch up on the latest innovations in statistical ecology, and to explore the virtual conference format.  The SSA Environmental Statistics section has also started a seminar series, inviting excellent environmental statisticians worldwide to present virtually to our members.

The virtual International Statistical Ecology Conference (vISEC2020) was going to be hosted in Sydney, the first time it was to be held in the Southern hemisphere.  But the virtual move means that while the organisation is still being done mostly out of Sydney, you can watch from anywhere (Phillipp, right, will watch from his kitchen!).

vISEC2020 has a huge program, with over 250 presenters, and activities focussed around two sessions, 8-11am & 9pm-12am GMT (in Australia, this corresponds to early morning and early evening).  As with any conference there is excitement around the plenary talks, including Christl Donnelly, a leading statistical epidemiologist and member of the influential Imperial College COVID19 response team.  The conference has a focus on training, networking, and generating ideas – e.g. we will use a conference discussion forum to generate and refine ideas for a Special Issue proposal to Methods in Ecology & Evolution, and expect the virtual format to turbo-charge this conference component.  Another exciting aspect of the virtual format is its accessibility and breadth of engagement – low cost, the capacity to pre-record your talk, and to watch session recordings later, means anyone anywhere can contribute.  Many excellent researchers (especially early career) will now participate who otherwise could not due to family commitments, including some who are expecting during the week of the conference!  We are expecting over 500 attendees.  Registration is only $50, if you are curious about the virtual format, register now!

In the Environmental Statistics committee, Scott Foster (CSIRO) has stood down, we thank him for his contributions over the last couple of years.  If you are interested in joining the committee, e-mail David, the more the merrier!

Environmental Statistics Seminars- With everyone working at home, and physical seminar programs on hold, there has never been a more opportune time to connect environmental statisticians nationally through virtual events.  We have started a regular Environmental Statistics seminar program, aiming for monthly talks, from researchers world-wide.  Our May talk was by James Thorson (NOAA), “Forecasting nonlocal climate impacts for mobile marine species using extensions to empirical orthogonal function analysis” with 38 attendees from around the country.  If you have ideas for someone you would like to hear speak – from any continent – send them to David, and keep an eye on SSA announcements for future talks.

the Environmental Statistics Committee

David Warton (chair), Andrew Zammit-Mangion, Denny Meyer, Gordana Popovic, Joanne Potts, Robert Clark.

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