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Stephen M. Coghlan, Jr. - Courses

WLE 220 – Statistical Ecology (4 credits; spring semester)
This course builds upon the foundation laid by MAT 232, and will provide students with information and techniques useful for advanced courses in wildlife ecology.  We cover such topics as data types and distributions, data exploration and visualization, sampling considerations and experimental design, formulation of testable hypotheses, one- and two-sample tests, analysis of variance, linear regression and correlation, contingency tables, and goodness-of-fit tests.  Throughout the course, we emphasize the application of these methods in attempts to answer ecological questions and solve ecological problems, and focus on presenting and interpreting our results in writing. Analytical procedures are performed manually, but examples using computer programs may be included. Upon completion of this course, the successful student should be able to: 1) identify the various types of data and recognize sources of error associated with data collection; 2) relate the concepts of sampling, parameter estimation, central tendency, dispersion, and replication to proper experimental design; 3) translate ecological questions into testable hypotheses; 4) choose the appropriate analytical procedure; and 5) present and interpret results of statistical tests.

WLE 340 / 341 – Freshwater Fisheries Ecology and Management / Fisheries Laboratory (3 /1 credits; fall semester odd years)
The goals of these courses are to provide students with 1) a working knowledge of the ecology of freshwater fish populations, communities, and habitats in Maine; 2) techniques for the assessment and management of fish populations, communities, and habitats; 3) experience relating to the human dimensions of fisheries management; and 4) the opportunity to interact with state and federal fisheries professionals. The courses will emphasize the applied aspects and techniques unique to freshwater fisheries. Upon successful completion of the course(s), students will 1) understand the theory behind, and the practical application of, techniques commonly used to assess freshwater fisheries (e.g., electrofishing, passive netting, mark-recapture and depletion estimation, bioenergetics modeling, retrospective age and growth analysis, stock-recruitment modeling; 2) present their findings orally, and in written format consistent with peer-reviewed journals (i.e., Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, North American Journal of Fisheries Management); 3) offer management suggestions of a local fishery based upon their collection and analysis of field and laboratory data.; and 4) gain experience, skills, and professional contacts useful for pursuing a career in freshwater fisheries.

WLE 490 / 650 – Quantitative Methods and Analyses in Freshwater Fisheries Ecology (3 credits; fall semester even years). Co-taught w/ Dr. Joe Zydlewski.
This course is the result of conversations that centered on the need of both fisheries researchers and managers to pose questions, design sampling, collect and analyze data in order to test management driven hypotheses.  As an upper level course, the topics are meant to stimulate active participation and discussion. Topics covered include; Age and growth, bioenergetics, community structure, field sampling, movements and migrations, physiology, population dynamics, statistical modeling and trophic ecology.   At the end of this course we expect students to: 1) translate basic fisheries questions into testable hypotheses; 2) gain direct skills in the analysis of typical data sets; 3) be able to use a few prominent software packages often used in fisheries data analysis; and 4) become familiar with some influential fisheries literature


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