WORKSHOP - Introduction to Ecological Data Analysis with Python and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) - REGISTRATIONS OPEN

Monday 10 Feb - Tuesday 11 Feb 2020 | The University of Western Australia


Why GIS and Python

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are frameworks for capturing, storing, sharing, visualising, querying, and analysing data. GIS harness the power of statistics, remote sensing, informatics, and programming, to examine and visualise spatial relationships within and between objects and events.

Nowadays, virtually every sector is experiencing a phenomenal growth in the wealth of data collected. As this information is gathered at an unprecedented speed and scale, we must learn new ways to manipulate, explore and query those data. The widespread programming language Python is incorporated into many GIS applications, and allows doing this in an easy, streamlined, and reproducible way.

The enormous potential of GIS is now being widely recognized in many scientific disciplines and job sectors, including private, industrial, governmental and academic. However, in order to become familiarized with GIS related tools, one must weed through technical jargon, statistical concepts, various software and programming environments, and a lack of training and support resources.

This workshop is designed to provide new users with a friendly introduction to GIS and Python coding with geographic data. The aim is to show the potential of the system while developing a degree of independence for future analyses.

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Day One (9am to 5pm): “Introduction to GIS”

Day One will start with a simple introduction of core concepts and terminology in GIS and spatial analysis. In the afternoon, a series of basic to intermediate geospatial analyses of real ecological datasets, which typically consist of counts of objects (animals, plants, pathogens etc.), will be conducted.

Starting from geographic coordinates stored in Excel we will examine the density of the observations to look at the clustering pattern from a continuous raster density surface. We will then explore fire hazard, by visualizing and analysing various predictors over space. Among other research questions, this reproducible model will investigate the spatial overlap between species distribution and fire risk, and how observed and predicted spatial patterns of observations correlate, in the context of fire risk.

Day Two (9am to 5pm): “Python programming in GIS”

On Day Two, we will advance the subjects covered on Day One while focusing on streamlined data manipulation and faster, automated GIS workflows. Various Python packages will be presented including NumPy, Pandas, and Matplotlib as well as the geo-spatial packages GDAL, Rasterio and GeoPandas.

We use an open source IDE called Spyder (The Scientific Python Development Environment) managed by Anaconda, an open source data science platform. We will use Python for geo-spatial ecological data, but these packages and workflows are utilized also by a range of scientific disciplines and applications.

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Target participants and requirements

Students and researchers working in the fields of geography, ecology, animal and plant biology, microbiome, molecular biology, parasitology, public health, urban planning, wildlife conservation. No GIS or Python experience is required, while basic statistics is desirable. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own laptop in good working order (PC or Mac, less than 5 years old, ideally). Software packages used for the workshop are free and instructions for download will be sent upon registration. All tutorials are reproducible and can be easily adapted to analyse different scenarios and input datasets.

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Manita Narongsirikul, MSc

Manita is a geospatial analyst with a background in Environmental Science, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Political Science. She has strong knowledge in environmental modelling and environmental impact and risk assessments. She is currently involved with CRC for Honey Bee Products in developing a spatiotemporal database of honey bee flora species and creating honey bee flora web map application. She has interests in data mining; extracting social media data in R for developing species distribution modelling and analysing patterns of flowering events. Manita has worked as a Teaching Assistant in Geography at UWA as well as a Research Assistant in a wide range of social science and environmental science projects related to GIS and Remote Sensing applications.

Dan Dixon, MSc

Dan is a research fellow in Geography at UWA studying eucalypt phenology. He uses drone and satellite remote sensing to detect and understand trends in forest reproduction in southwest WA. He is also using remote sensing to track plant responses to climate change. Dan regularly uses ad hoc Python scripts and GIS related tools for his research and has extensive experience in tutoring these topics both at undergraduate and post-graduate level.

Andrea Paparini, MSc, PhD

Andrea, the founder director of Econumerics, is a molecular microbiologist and environmental scientist working as scientific consultant and adjunct Senior Research Fellow in Perth. Andrea is member of various scientific societies, a co-founder of the West Coast Microbiome Network, and serves as Associate Editor and Reviewer of several peer-reviewed international journals. Andrea has twenty-three years of teaching, research and consultancy experience, gained in Australia, Italy, and USA. In Australia, he has collaborated with several industry partners, governmental agencies and academics.

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Location and cost

  • The workshop will be held in Perth, at The University of Western Australia on Monday 10 Feb and Tuesday 11 Feb 2020.
  • The cost is $650 for two full days. Discounted registrations are available for students at a cost of $500 for two days. One day tickets are available for $400 (no student discounts available). Registrations include lunch, morning and afternoon tea, plus lecture notes and electronic material (e.g., slides, Python codes, sample data).

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Registrations are managed by ASN Events via the registration portal.


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Econumerics Pty Ltd
Perth - Australia
ACN: 624 181 380 | ABN: 19 624 181 380

- e:
- m: +61 424 325 242
- w:
- twitter: @EconumericsWA  LinkedIn: Andrea Paparini

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