April 24, 2014

July 17-19, 2007
Fields Institute Summer Workshop on Environmetrics
University of Waterloo

Clarica Auditorium (Rm 1621) in the Lyle Hallman
Institute (LHI on campus map - can enter through BC Matthews Hall (BMH)
LHI on campus map).

Organizing Committee:
Grace Chiu (UWaterloo, Statistics and Actuarial Science)
Abdel El-Shaarawi (Environment Canada, Aquatic Ecosystem Management Research Branch)
Román Viveros (McMaster, Mathematics and Statistics)

Supported by:

Statistics Society
of Canada (SSC)


The discipline of environmetrics / environmental statistics covers a vast variety of research areas, all of which arise in the environmental sciences. These areas include animal and plant biology, aquatic ecosystem monitoring, atmospheric science, conservation biology, natural resource management, and pollution impact on public health, to name a few. With pressing problems such as global warming and dwindling populations of numerous species, the integration of biological and statistical methodologies has become vital to the protection of the environment.

While research programs involving both communities are well in place along the two coasts of North America, currently very few exist in between. This workshop features experienced researchers and environmental scientists from existing environmetrics programs who will shed light on the key role of sound statistical methodology in environmental protection. It will provide a primer on the breadth of the discipline instead of a focus on any particular research area within the discipline.

The primary intended outcome of this environmetrics workshop is to raise awareness and interest of environmental scientists and statisticians, particularly those from continental North America, to join forces and integrate their expertise. As the contents of this workshop will minimally overlap with, but highly complement, those of similarly titled workshops such as the NPCDS Workshop on Spatial/Temporal Modelling for Marine Ecological Systems and NPCDS Workshop on Forest Fires and Point Processes, scientists and participants of these recent highly specialized workshops are encouraged to attend our Fields Institute Summer Workshop on Environmetrics to lend their ideas and expertise to help us achieve the intended outcome of raising awareness of the general discipline of environmental statistics.

We hope that this workshop will reach out to related scientific communities and generate enough interest for the creation of a graduate program in environmetrics in central-eastern Canada.

Intended Participants 100 workshop attendees are expected, approximately 40 would be graduate students.

From Academia
statisticians, biologists / ecologists, resource management scientists, graduate students from all these disciplines

From Government Agencies
natural resource managers, leading scientists

Program Outline

THEME: What is environmental statistics?
3 lectures (1.5–2 hours each)
Lecture 1:
Why and how are statistics integrated into environmental research?
Lecture 2:
Popular statistical methodologies in environmental research - Part I
Lecture 3:
Popular statistical methodologies in environmental research - Part II
THEME: Overcoming the Challenges
Panel Discussion 1
How do we address the obstacles encountered in quantitative environmental research?
Panel Discussion 2
Lack of funding to / awareness of statistical research in environmental science
Multimedia Show
Emerging Research Areas in Environmetrics
THEME: Creating graduate programs in environmetrics
Panel and open-floor discussion (morning)
Closing remarks and informal interactions (afternoon)

Lecturers and Panelists

  • John Braun (Associate Professor, U of Western Ontario Stat. & Act. Sci.)
    --- actively involved in NPCDS and PIMS workshops on forest fires

  • David Brillinger (Professor, University of California, Berkeley, Statistics)
    --- ASA Fellow; highly respected statistician throughout the globe; president of the International Environmetrics Society (TIES)

  • Mark Buehner (Research Scientist, Environment Canada)
    --- research focusses on the estimation and modelling of error statistics for
    deterministic and probabilistic numerical weather prediction

  • Grace Chiu (Assistant Professor, U of Waterloo Stat. & Act. Sci.)
    --- workshop co-organizer

  • Michael Dowd (Assistant Professor, University of Dalhousie, Math. & Stat.)
    --- oceanographer and statistician by training; has done extensive research that caters to both biologists and statisticians

  • Abdel El-Shaarawi (Research Scientist, Environment Canada (EC))
    --- ASA Fellow; renowned statistician who is a key figure from the Aquatic Ecosystem Management Research Branch of the National Water Research Institute at EC; current editor of the journal Environmentrics

  • Jon Grant (Professor, University of Dalhousie Oceanography)
    --- scientist who is very enthusiastic about involving statisticians in his research

  • Timothy G. Gregoire (Professor, Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies)
    --- ASA Fellow; accomplished environmetrician who has had great success in advocating the use of statistics in environmental sciences; past president of the Eastern North American Region (ENAR) of the International Biometrics Society

  • Stephen Murphy (Associate Professor, U of Waterloo, Environment and Resource Studies (ERS)
    --- applied ecologist interested in multiple spatial scales and environmental management

  • Maren Oelbermann (Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo, ERS)
    --- soil scientist interested in ecosystem dynamics

  • Rick Routledge (Professor, Simon Fraser University Stat. & Act. Sci.)
    --- was recently all over the news in Vancouver for groundbreaking research on sea-lice on threatened salmon species; very experienced in research on and activist of fish preservation; trained as both a biologist and statistician

  • Dave Stanford (Professor, U of Western Ontario Stat. & Act. Sci.)
    --- taking part in a project on fire-fighting costs with Ian McLeod and the
    Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

  • Roman Viveros (Professor, McMaster Math. & Stat.)
    --- workshop co-organizer

Travel Support Application (deadline to apply was May 18)
Depending on the number of workshop attendees, the following travel funds are available to out-of-town students:
full-time students may receive up to $240 each. In addition please e-mail official proof of full-time status to no later than May 18, 2007. (An e-mail sent directly from a department administrator / faculty member is acceptable.)


A block of rooms at Delta Hotels has been reserved for participants of the Workshop with room style "Delta Rooms" at $99+tax for single/double, but add $20.00 per person over the age of 18 for triple and $40 for quad occupancies.Reserve by June 19 for discounted conference rate. Click _here_ for more information on how to make reservations.

The hotel is located in downtown Kitchener, the neighboring city to Waterloo, and is within walking distance to restaurants, markets, and shops. Free shuttle service is offered to and from the Waterloo campus.

Budget on-campus housing
Guaranteed availability at Resurrection College for 20 people (single occupancy) for the nights of July 17 and 18. Located 10-minute walk from workshop. The cost is $30.00 per night without breakfast, and $34 otherwise (specify choice at time of reservation). Extra nights before July 19 inclusive are possible. Amenities include in-room sink, internet, and telephone for no extra charge. Cash / cheque / money order upon checkout. No credit or debit card payments. For reservations, call 519-885-4950 or e-mail

Traveling to Waterloo

The nearest airports to Kitchener-Waterloo are located one hour northeast in Toronto (YYZ) and 40 minutes southeast in Hamilton (YHM). Major airlines that fly to these cities include Air Canada and WestJet.

For travelers without a vehicle, Airways Transit offers shuttle rides from either airport to Kitchener-Waterloo. Reservations are crucial. Discounted rates are available for groups of two or more.

If there are more than one person traveling, it may be less expensive to use Wright Limousine, Wright can be reached at 519-894 555 or 1-800-328-5501.

Local Activities

A dining and activities guide will be included in the registration package (pick-up in LHI lobby, July 17, 8:30-9am) LHI on campus map. The following suggested field trips (courtesy of Rick Routledge) should be planned before arriving to Waterloo. Guests should arrange their own trips.
Grand River
Elora Gorge
Niagara Escarpment

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