2010%20Module%20II_revised-1 - BIOL 206 2010 Module II...

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BIOL 206 - 2010 Module II - Sampling & Exploratory Data Analysis II. 1 MODULE II GATHERING DATA, EXPLORING ITS STRUCTURE, AND TESTING HYPOTHESES Instructor Professor Martin Lechowicz Question: Does proximity to a trail affect the growth of ash trees on Mont Royal? Objectives To understand the purpose and nature of sampling To appreciate the difference between continuous and categorical data To learn techniques for exploring the structure of data using statistical software To learn to interpret basic descriptive statistics: o Parametric: mean, standard deviation; standard error of the mean; confidence intervals o Nonparametric (distribution-free): median, quantiles To understand the logic of statistical comparisons between groups o Confidence intervals for continuous data o Chi-squared tests for categorical data. To interpret statistical analyses in a biologically meaningful manner Work required Before lab , prepare a flow chart of tasks in the lab for this module! Walk up to Mount Royal Park to sample tree saplings Return to lab to enter data into Excel spreadsheets Working with other students, undertake a preliminary data analysis Discuss the statistical methods and the structure of your data At home , working independently, undertake additional analyses of the class data Bring: Wear clothes and shoes suitable for working off-trail on slopes in the woods, rain or shine! Bring insect repellant, and carry your Epipen if you are severely allergic to bee or wasp stings. Procedures Meet your TA in the lab at the regular time – be on time! Go to Mont Royal with your group to collect data Return to lab to enter and explore your data Pick up homework assignment at the end of lab METHOD OF EVALUATION Take-home Assignment -- due 2 weeks after data is made available 60% Flow chart, performance in field sampling, participation in group discussions 40%
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