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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

John R. Skalski
FISH 557
Seattle Campus

Estimation of Population Parameters

Statistical analysis of population data; design and analysis of mark-recapture experiments on natural populations; laboratory work on computers. Recommended: probability theory;Q SCI 292; Q SCI 483.

Class description

The first principles of demographic parameter estimation from a probabilistic and statistical perspective using data from fish and wildlife sampling, mark-recapture, and line-transect methods. Common methods to estimate abundance, density, survival, and recruitment will be covered.

Student learning goals

Basic probabilities distributions used to describe demographic data

How to construct likelihood models and derive maximum likelihood estimators

Common demographic models used in fish and wildlife science to estimate abundance, survival, and recruitment parameters

Ability to perform sample size calculations, determine model assumptions, and read quantitative literature

General method of instruction

Two 2-hour lectures per week, weekly assignments, help sessions as needed

Recommended preparation

Working knowledge of calculus essential.

Class assignments and grading

Weekly assignments will include constructing regression or likelihood models, derivation of parameter estimates and associated variances, analysis of demographic data, and sample size calculations.

Grade based on total numerical score from nine weekly homework assignments (450 points) and take-home final (150 points).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by John R. Skalski
Date: 11/01/2011