Introduction to Occupancy Modeling (ONLINE)


Date and Time:

Monday, May 2, 2022, 9:00am to Sunday, May 29, 2022, 11:59pm

Registration Deadline:

Sunday, May 1, 2022, 11:59pm


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Species presence/absence is a fundamental concept used in many areas of ecology (e.g., species distributions, habitat modeling, monitoring, and metapopulation studies), however imperfect detection can lead to false absences. Unaccounted for false absences can lead to misleading inferences about patterns and dynamics of species occurrence and the factors that influence them. We will learn methods for accounting for imperfect detection with species detection/non-detection data and also discuss important study design considerations. Exercises are completed using Program PRESENCE and RPresence.

PREREQUISITES: This course is for those with no, or little, experience with occupancy modeling, but more experienced users may also benefit from attending. Familiarity with regression, logistic regression, or generalized linear modeling would be advantageous. Suggested readings for the course:

MacKenzie, D. I., Nichols, J. D., Lachman, G. B., Droege, S., Royle, J. A., & Langtimm, C. A. (2002). Estimating site occupancy rates when detection probabilities are less than one. Ecology, 83(8):2248–2255.

MacKenzie, D. I., Nichols, J. D., Royle, J. A., Pollock, K. H., Bailey, L. L., & Hines, J. E. (2006). Occupancy estimation and modeling: inferring patterns and dynamics of species occurrence. Elsevier.

FORMAT: The course is divided into discrete competency-based modules composed of pre-recorded lecture material and hands-on exercises. Students will interact with each other and the instructor by email, online discussion threads, and live Q&A each week. Participants may also schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. MacKenzie after they have completed the materials in this course.


How to Register:

To register or learn more, please visit:

Price: $650 professional / $550 student

Contact Email:

Contact Name:

Jessica Kennelly