Please submit your proposal for a workshop at ESA-SCBO 2022 by using this form and sending the completed details to esa@kaigi.com.au
Please consider the following:
• You will be asked to provide a description, itinerary and logistical details.
• The conference structure is for presentations from Monday 28 November – Thursday 1 December, with workshops and field trips on Friday 2 December 2022.
• We can consider other dates and times depending on the nature of the workshop. For example, a late afternoon or pre-conference workshop. Please indicate your preference when you submit your workshop proposal.


We are pleased to offer the following workshops in conjunction with ESA-SCBO 2022. You may select any of the below workshops when you register to attend the conference, or register just to participate in any of the workshops on Friday 2 December.

A Beginner’s Guide to Data Analysis and Visualisation in R for Ecologists & Conservation Scientists using EcoCommons’ Coding Cloud

Facilitated by: Dr Emilia Decker (e.decker@griffith.edu.au), Dr Jessica Fenker (Jessica.Fenker@csiro.au), Mr Abhimanyu Raj Singh (abhimanyuraj.singh@griffith.edu.au) and Dr Elisa Bayraktarov (e.bayraktarov@griffith.edu.au).
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 8am – 10am
Participation fee: AUD$15

EcoCommons Australia is building the platform of choice to analyse and model ecological and environmental problems while also increasing researchers’ digital literacy. This workshop will focus on increasing the computational skills of the conference delegates by showing them how the statistical program R can be used for data analysis and visualisation in Ecology and Conservation. By the end of the workshop participants will have an overview of how to run their R code in the EcoCommons’ cloud environment ‘Coding Cloud’ and how to use the R package {tidyverse} to manipulate and visualise their data. In particular, we will demonstrate how to use the functions ‘select’ and ‘filter’ to manipulate your data and how to use the ‘pipe operator’ for more complex data manipulation such as ‘summarise’, ‘group_by’ and ‘count’ for basic summary statistics. At the end, we will show you how to visualise your data using different plots in the R package {ggplot2}.
When ecologists and conservation scientists become better at coding, the pathways to solving environmental challenges increase vastly and the ways to solve environmental problems are only limited by your imagination rather than by the software you use. Learning coding skills early will save hours of coding heart-ache later on. This workshop is suitable for early career researchers, undergraduates and ecologists/conservation scientists who have a keen interest in learning how to code in R while harnessing the power of cloud computing to solve environmental challenges. This course is very suitable for researchers and practitioners who have some basic R experience and coding skills and have the desire to learn how to use code within the cloud-computing resources of EcoCommons. It is also well suited for people who would like to refresh their coding skills in R.
For participants to get the most out of this workshop, it is recommended to have some basic R experience including using RStudio such as: setting up a working directory and loading data. Workshop participants will also require a laptop with the software R and the editor RStudio installed to run their own code as well as internet connection.

This activity is part of the official launch of the EcoCommons Australia platform on 29th of November 2022 at the ESA-SCBO. Access to the platform will be available to the public after the launch date via: https://www.ecocommons.org.au/

This workshop is brought to you by EcoCommons Australia. EcoCommons is a partnership of nine organisations including the NCRIS-funded Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), CEBRA at the University of Melbourne, CSIRO’s Land and Water unit, Griffith University, Macquarie University, QCIF, TERN, and the University of NSW. It also involves investment from the Queensland Government’s Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund (RICF).


Using the R Package ‘galah’ to Investigate the Atlas of Living Australia

Facilitated by: Dr Jenna Wraith, Atlas of Living Australia (jenna.wraith@csiro.au)
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 9am – 11:30am
Participation fee: AUD$15

The Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) is Australia’s largest open biodiversity database. In this workshop, we will introduce the ALA R package – galah – and show how it can be used to efficiently locate, investigate, and download biodiversity information. The workshop will be interactive, and participants will live code in R studio along with workshop facilitators in a supportive and informative environment. Key topics to be covered include:
• Setting up and installing the ‘galah’ package on R studio
• Searching for species occurrence data
• Filtering records by taxonomic and spatial criteria
• Finding numbers of records or species within meaningful categories prior to download
• Interacting with taxonomic information using the ‘data.tree’ package
Workshop participants will walk away with a working knowledge of the ‘galah’ package as well as a comprehensive worksheet covering all the topics and code snippets to use for future reference.

Participants can prepare for the workshop by ensuring they have an up-to-date version of R studio installed on their laptop.


How to develop inclusive conservation and environmental policies

Facilitated by: Katie Moon (katie.moon@unsw.edu.au) and Katharina Victoria Perez-Hammerle (k.perezhammerle@uq.edu.au)
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 9am – 1pm
Participation fee: AUD$15

This workshop is aimed at scientists, practitioners and policy-makers interested in improving the inclusivity of conservation and environmental policies. Inclusive policies specifically account for local communities’ rights, agency and practices; more broadly, they account for equity and justice, including for non-human species and ecosystems. When policies fail to do so, they are criticized for excluding or marginalizing peoples and cultures, and for failing to ascribe sufficient rights to species and ecosystems to ensure their conservation.
In this workshop, we will present and apply an accountability framework to reveal the opportunities for policy inclusiveness. The framework will be applied to international and local policies to reveal how language, categorizations, descriptions and assumptions can operate to include, or to exclude and marginalise. We focus on policy wording because it contains implicit assumptions about the world that define which interventions are appropriate, or even possible, and for whom. These ‘ontological’ assumptions reflect our perceptions about reality, such as whether humans have rights over nature (e.g. to own, manage or eradicate), or whether humans exist as nature (e.g. a web of reciprocal relationships to one another). Importantly, different peoples and practices can hold different ontologies, which can be overlooked or excluded during policy development.
At the end of the workshop, participants will understand the importance of ontological assumptions to policy development and implementation; understand how to apply an ontological accountability framework; and will have experience in understanding how policies entangle rights and responsibilities for different peoples, practices, species and ecosystems, revealing opportunities for improved inclusiveness.
Participants are welcome to bring policy documents of their own to examine during the workshop.


Smooth sailing ahead: navigating tricky conversations and interviews

Facilitated by : ESA Early Career Ecologists Working Group (Sarah Ryding, Deakin University; Caragh Threlfall, University of Sydney; Steph Courtney Jones, ACT Government / Australian National University
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 9am – 1pm
Participation fee: AUD$15

A career in ecology is challenging and rewarding; and the ESA community is fostering the development and progression of people through diverse, ecologically aligned career pathways. However, it can be difficult to get on the first rung of the career ladder and navigating a career outside the traditional avenues of ecology can be even tougher. This is a perennial problem for early career ecologists, with the first hurdle being the application process and capturing the attention of would-be employers.
The Early Career Ecologists working group is working to help you feel supported and provide a space to discuss any concerns for the future, while also providing some practical assistance for the current job market. As part of the Working Group actions, we are running a series of workshops to focus on job applications and finding your voice. As a follow up on previous workshops on cover letters and selection criteria, we now are covering interview skills, what to expect, how others have prepared for the process. We invite you to provide examples to interview questions to demonstrate how they would answer them and give a ‘demonstration’ for attendees. We will provide examples of what kind of interview questions have been asked for various career paths for ecologists, helping ECEs to find their ‘voice’ and develop for a strong interview. In addition, we will discuss how to navigate tricky conversations with collaborators/supervisors, because this issue disproportionately affects ECEs with junior positions. We will draw on the experience of anonymous contributors who have been in situations with difficult collaborators, get their tips on how to manage it, and run through some hypothetical scenarios and how they could be handled. This workshop will be an inclusive, networking opportunity and we openly encourage everyone to attend and contribute regardless of career stage or career path.


Getting started with R: an introduction for Conservation Social Scientists

Facilitated by: Matthew Selinske matthew.selinske@rmit.edu; Holly Kirk holly.kirk@rmit.edu.au
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 9am – 1pm
Participation fee: AUD$85 (student); AUD$195 (non-student)

Despite representing a growing share of participants at ecology and conservation science conferences, conservation social science students and ECRs are rarely if ever offered introductory R programming courses. This reduces opportunities for quantitative skill development and may contribute to a lack of rigour and open science practice within conservation social science. Our aim is to increase conservation social scientists’ familiarity with R and improve their data processing skills by teaching with data formats they are likely familiar with (e.g. social science data derived from a Qualtrics survey). This workshop is the first R course to be offered at a SCB/ESA conference geared specifically towards a conservation social science researcher. Early career researchers, students and even some more senior conservation social scientists who have in the past favoured statistical or data processing software that are not open source are encouraged to participate. While the workshop does not expect any prior working knowledge of R software the participants will be required to bring their laptop with R Studio installed. During the workshop participants will be exposed to R programming software, will have access to a set of demonstration social science data which they will be able to use to practice reproducible data processing and exploratory analyses. This will include how to load and clean social science data in R, , an introduction to basic Tidyverse operations, initial data exploration methods and data visualisation. By the end of the course the participants will have had the opportunity to become familiar with the types of data analysis methods available in R, how to explore the wide range of relevant R packages available, methods for data processing, and visualization and given an overview of R Markdown. The participants will go home with demonstration code plus a practice data set.


Dynamic models in behavioural ecology

Facilitated by: Cassie Speakman (cspeakman@vanessadeakin.edu.au)
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 10am – 4pm
Participation fee: AUD$15

The use of modelling tools is becoming an increasingly valuable and valued skill in ecology and conservation. Simulation models provide a means to understand how and why species respond to changes in their environment, as well as test and develop theories around life-history, migration, and behavioural strategies. Not only can this make use of a wealth of existing data, it can also help us better understand how to prioritise data collection and can minimise impact on wild populations (by getting more out of less).

This workshop aims to encourage ecologists of all career stages to develop simulation modelling skills by illustrating the many uses of dynamic models and providing practical experience in the development of basic stochastic dynamic models. Stochastic dynamic models use a mathematical optimisation framework to identify the how individuals (or groups of animals) should behave and allow us to simulate how changes impact these decisions as well as vital rates and population dynamics.

This workshop will integrate both theory and practice. We’ll discuss the theory underpinning stochastic dynamic models, including how model assumptions & uncertainty can impact their usefulness. We’ll delve into the potential uses of these dynamic models for ecological and conservation applications. And, finally, participants will be guided through the development of a simple dynamic model (basic code structure will be supplied) to provide a framework and inspiration for future model development.

Note: it is recommended that participants in this workshop have some basic R / RStudio experience. Participants will need to provide own laptop with RStudio to run their own code.


Open Ecoacoustics: Tools, Training, and Data for Ecoacoustics Workflows

Facilitated by: Kellie Vella (kellie.vella@qut.edu.au) and Paul Roe (p.roe@qut.edu.au)
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 10am – 11:30am
Participation fee: AUD$15

Ecoacoustics can be applied in all types of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and to questions relevant to individual species, populations, or species assemblages across landscapes. Open Ecoacoustics aims to make ecoacoustic fauna monitoring accessible and scalable, in an open science setting. Our workshop is aimed at any ecologist interested in or currently working with environmental acoustic recordings, especially those focused on biodiversity monitoring for conservation.

This workshop will demonstrate the Open Ecoacoustics platform by taking the workshop participants through an ecoacoustics workflow. Participants will be shown how to download data from the Australian Acoustic Observatory, and upload these for audio annotation. Test annotations will be provided that can then be used to conduct an SDM.

Participants are requested to bring their own laptops.


A Beginner’s Guide to Data Analysis and Visualisation in Python for Ecologists & Conservation Scientists using EcoCommons’ Coding Cloud

Facilitated by: Dr Amanda Buyan, Data Analyst, CSIRO The Atlas of Living Australia & EcoCommons Australia, Canberra, Amanda.Buyan@csiro.au; Dr Rob Clemens, Change & Communications Manager, EcoCommons Australia, Griffith University, Brisbane r.clemens@griffith.edu.au; Dr Emilia Decker, Support and Training Officer, EcoCommons Australia, Griffith University, e.decker@griffith.edu.au; Dr Jessica Fenker, R Programmer, EcoCommons Australia, CSIRO The Atlas of Living Australia, Canberra, Jessica.Fenker@csiro.au
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Participation fee: AUD$15

EcoCommons Australia is building the platform of choice to analyse and model ecological and environmental problems while also increasing researchers’ digital literacy. This workshop will focus on increasing your computational skills by introducing you to how the Python programming language can be used for data analysis and visualisation in Ecology and Conservation Science. By the end of the workshop, participants will have an overview of how to run their Python code in the EcoCommons’ cloud environment ‘Coding Cloud‘, and how to use key Python libraries for easy data analysis. In particular, we will give you a quick overview of the Python syntax, what different types of variables there are in Python, and how to harness the {Pandas} library to easily manipulate data. At the end, we will show you how to plot your data using {Matplotlib}.
When ecologists and conservation scientists become better at coding, the pathways to solving environmental challenges increase vastly and the ways to solve environmental problems are only limited by your imagination rather than by the software you use. Learning coding skills early will save hours of coding heart-ache later on. This workshop is suitable for early career researchers, undergraduates, postgraduates and ecologists/conservation scientists who have a keen interest in learning how to code in Python while harnessing the power of cloud computing to solve environmental challenges. This course is very suitable for researchers and practitioners who have some basic Python experience and coding skills and have the desire to learn how to use code within the cloud-computing resources of EcoCommons. It is also well suited for people who would like to refresh their coding skills in Python.
For participants to get the most out of this workshop, it is recommended to have some basic Python experience including using the editor Spyder, setting up a working directory and loading data. Workshop participants will also require a laptop with the software Python and Spyder installed to run their own code as well as internet connection.

This activity is part of the official launch of the EcoCommons Australia platform on 29th of November 2022. Access to the platform will be available to the public after the launch via: https://www.ecocommons.org.au/
This workshop is brought to you by EcoCommons Australia. EcoCommons is a partnership of nine organisations including NCRIS-funded Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), CEBRA at the University of Melbourne, CSIRO’s Land and Water unit, Griffith University, Macquarie University, QCIF, TERN, and the University of NSW. It also involves investment from the Queensland Government’s Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund (RICF).


Using the EcoCommons’ Point-and-click Dashboards to run Species Distribution Models, make Climate Projections and carry out Biosecurity Risk Mapping

Facilitated by: Dr Rob Clemens, Change & Communications Manager, EcoCommons Australia, Griffith University, Brisbane r.clemens@griffith.edu.au, Dr Emilia Decker, Support and Training Officer, EcoCommons Australia, Griffith University, Brisbane e.decker@griffith.edu.au, Dr Jessica Fenker, R Programmer, EcoCommons Australia, The Atlas of Living Australia, Canberra Jessica.Fenker@csiro.au, Dr Peter D. Wilson, Adjunct Fellow, Macquarie University, Sydney, peterdonaldwilson@gmail.com, Dr Sean Haythorne, Research Software Engineer, Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, sean.haythorne@unimelb.edu.au
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Participation fee: AUD$15

Recent technologies have enabled consistent and continuous collection of ecological data at high resolutions across large spatial scales. A big challenge that all ecologists, conservation scientists and practitioners face is to find the best available data and then to apply appropriate methods to that data. EcoCommons Australia is building a platform where an increasing number of datasets are accessible at the click of a button, and where we will grow the number of scientific workflows that are shared within the research community. EcoCommons includes a huge upgrade of the functionality that has been available in the Biodiversity & Climate Change Virtual Laboratory (BCCVL) and the ecocloud platform which together, over the years, have been used by more than 7000 people based at over 400 different organisations in more than 35 countries worldwide. The EcoCommons platform provides Virtual Laboratories where you can run Species Distribution Models, Climate Projections, Ensemble Modelling, Biosecurity Risk Mapping, Community Modelling, Species Trait Models and more with only a few clicks of your mouse. EcoCommons also offers an easy and streamlined access to species occurrence records and environmental predictors. EcoCommons saves users time by giving them access to large environmental raster datasets in formats that can easily be overlayed with the same extent, resolution and projection. These time saving steps give you more time to focus on the most important and hardest part in your work or study: your Science.
Here we present an overview of the EcoCommons platform and introduce workshop participants to Species Distribution and other Modelling approaches. Species Distribution Models (SDM) can be used to understand the potential distribution of a species based on available species occurrence records and environmental variables. In this workshop, we demonstrate how to construct an SDM with freely available data, and show the ease with which a variety of SDM algorithms can be trialled. We also show you how to predict the possible shift of those distributions under different Climate Change emission scenarios. We then demonstrate the new Biosecurity Risk Mapping workflow that is used to estimate likelihoods of arrival, spread, and establishment of invasive exotic species, such as pests or pathogens. Lastly, we will showcase the Generalised Dissimilarity Modelling workflow that is used to analyse and predict patterns of turnover in species composition.

This workshop is most suited to undergraduate & postgraduate students, early career researchers, ecologists, conservation scientists and practitioners who would like to trial advanced modelling but have limited time and coding experience.

This activity is part of the official launch of the EcoCommons Australia platform on 29th of November 2022 at the ESA-SCBO. Access to the platform will be available to the public after the launch date via: https://www.ecocommons.org.au/
This workshop is brought to you by EcoCommons Australia. EcoCommons is a partnership of nine organisations including NCRIS-funded Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), CEBRA at the University of Melbourne, CSIRO’s Land and Water unit, Griffith University, Macquarie University, QCIF, TERN, and the University of NSW. It also involves investment from the Queensland Government’s Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund (RICF).


Running Species Distribution Models in the EcoCommons’ R environment

Facilitated by: Dr Rob Clemens, Change & Communications Manager, EcoCommons Australia, Griffith University, Brisbane r.clemens@griffith.edu.au, Mr Abhimanyu Raj Singh, Functional Analyst, EcoCommons Australia, Griffith University, Brisbane, abhimanyuraj.singh@griffith.edu.au, Dr Jessica Fenker, R Programmer, EcoCommons Australia, The Atlas of Living Australia, Jessica.Fenker@csiro.au
Date: Friday 2 December 2022
Time: 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Participation fee: AUD$15

EcoCommons Australia is building the platform of choice to analyse and model ecological and environmental problems and we are excited to be offering a growing number of scientific workflows within point-and-click dashboards. The code that runs these dashboards can be downloaded, so it provides a great introduction to getting familiar with modelling methods using the software R. This workshop will provide an overview of the considerations that are important when generating Species Distribution Models (SDMs) and will explain to you the R code underpinning them when using the EcoCommons platform.
Prior to the workshop all participants will receive the R code for a complete SDM workflow, so they can familiarise themselves. During the workshop, we will first cover how to download, filter, and process occurrence data. We will specifically explain the code snippets that exemplify spatial thinning, generating a bias layer or targetted background points. Second, we will highlight the steps to process environmental rasters so that their extents, resolutions and coordinate reference systems match. We will further explain code which reclassifies rasters and runs neighborhood functions which can be used to help define habitat patch edges and are surrogates for connectivity. Third we will walk you through the training models with four of the most commonly used algorithms with some examples of running Boosted Regression Trees. Finally, we will demonstrate how to generate the most common evaluation metrics, and apply those to independent data for testing purposes.
If participants are able to run the code provided before the workshop, we will have 15 minutes for questions at the end of the workshop.
This workshop will increase your understanding of the kinds of things you can do in the software R to boost your SDM modelling options. Growing your proficiency in R will not only allow you to explore deeper modelling methods, but it will also provide you with a foundation for sharing workflows that are easy to reproduce. Running your analyses in R also allows you to easily rerun code with adjustments required by reviewers for your scientific publications.
This workshop is suitable for anyone who wants to learn more about Species Distribution Modelling or general modelling in R using spatial data and predictions. Intermediate and advanced modelers will get the most out of the material. If you are a beginner in R and would like to challenge yourself with this intermediate-advanced workshop, we will provide you some examples of what is possible in R, but you will need to learn the foundations of coding to make the most of using this programming language.


For participants to get the most out of this workshop, it is recommended to have good R experience including using RStudio such as: setting up a working directory, loading data, visualisation, data processing and running basic models. Workshop participants will also require a laptop with the software R and the editor RStudio installed to run their own code as well as internet connection.

This activity is part of the official launch of the EcoCommons Australia platform on 29th of November 2022 at the ESA-SCBO. Access to the platform will be available to the public after the launch date via: https://www.ecocommons.org.au/
This workshop is brought to you by EcoCommons Australia. EcoCommons is a partnership of nine organisations including NCRIS-funded Australian Research Data Commons (ARDC), the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA), CEBRA at the University of Melbourne, CSIRO’s Land and Water unit, Griffith University, Macquarie University, QCIF, TERN, and the University of NSW. It also involves investment from the Queensland Government’s Research Infrastructure Co-investment Fund (RICF).