Course Syllabus



NRES 896 Module #1 (1 cr)


Course homepage:

Spring 2008

University of Nebraska-Lincoln

School of Natural Resources


TR 3:00-4:15 (January 15-February 14)

141 Hardin Hall


Larkin Powell, Associate Professor

Office:  419 Hardin Hall

Phone:  402.472.6825


Course Schedule



Course description  

Introduction to the estimation of density and abundance from surveys.  Course will review a variety of theories and techniques used to rigorously estimate parameters.  Empahsizes analysis and computer skills, as well as practical applications to research.  Graduate-only course.


Exams (1): 30%

Homework: 70%

(Explanation of grading system)


Suggested primary resources:

Introduction to Distance Sampling: estimating abundance of biological populations

S. T. Buckland et al. (2001)

Oxford University Press

Other suggested reading:

Krebs, C. J.  1999. Ecological methodology, 2nd edition.  Benjamin/Cummings, Menlo Park, CA.

Thompson, W. L., G. C. White, and C. Gowan.  1998.  Monitoring vertebrate populations.  Academic Press, San Diego.

Williams, B. K., J. D. Nichols, and M. J. Conroy. 2001.  Analysis and management of animal populations.  Academic Press, San Diego.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students should be able to:

1.  Estimate density from point counts and transect data.

2.  Compare relative abundance between samples with rigorous methods.

3.  Design and implement a research project using density and/or abundance analyses.

4.  Discuss the quantitative theory behind the estimators used in this course.