Explores the use of models in the evaluation of alternative management polices for natural resources, including modeling approaches, fitting models to data, and evaluating alternative management polices. Emphasizes calculating risk of extinction, and design of biological reserves. Recommended: either Q SCI 454 or FISH 454. Offered: jointly with Q SCI 458; Sp.
This course will explore the use of models in the evaluation of alternative management policies for natural resources. The three major topics covered will be (1) modelling approaches, (2) fitting models to data and (3) evaluating alternative management policies. Particular emphasis will be placed on methods of incorporating ecosystem interactions in such analysis, and in exploring spatial dynamics with models appropriate for the design of biological reserves.
The models to be covered include the following: Simple models of total numbers or biomass; delay difference models that implicitly include survival and growth; generation-generation models commonly used for insects and semelparous fish; age structured models (Leslie matrix); size structured models; ecosystem-food web models; models of predation and functional relationships; models of low density dynamics and extinction; spatial structure and meta-populations.
Fitting models to data will consider the following general topics: Sum of squares model fitting; probability distributions; maximum likelihood; likelihood profile; policy evaluation will consider; Monte-Carlo methods for forward projection; feedback control policies; calculating extinction risk; optimal harvesting; design of biological reserves.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
The course will consist of three 50 minute lectures and one 2 hour computer laboratory each week, as well as weekly homework problems.
The list of topics considered in laboratories below will show the topics that are especially emphasized. Lab 1: Logistic and age structured models, dynamic behavior, stable age distributions, rates of increase Lab 2: Delay difference and size structured models. Dynamic behavior, stable size distribution Lab 3: Fitting models to data, ssq - using non-age structured models Lab 4 - Fitting models to data--maximum likelihood and likelihood profile--using delay difference models Lab 5. Generation-generation models, observation and process error Lab 6. Predation models, functional responses, isoclines of system behavior Lab 7. Extinction risk and depensation, Monte-Carlo methods Lab 8. Meta population models I. Building spatially structured models and reserve design Lab 9. Meta population models II. Incorporating predator behavior in space, more reserve design Lab 10. Optimal harvesting of age structured models
Class assignments and grading
Weekly homework problems. Readings from journals will be available in the library on reserve.
Grades assigned on basis of homework and exams.