David Fox: Data Science – Statistical Science for the Environment


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Statistics has been an integral component of the scientific method. It has provided us with tools and methods for extracting signals from noise; detecting patterns and trends in high-dimensional data; designing experiments in optimal ways; making statements about the unknown; estimating the size of wildlife populations and much more. Early developments were motivated by problems posed by the war-time effort and the manufacturing industries. The integration of statistics into the environmental sciences was a much later development, frustrated perhaps by mother-nature’s unwillingness to participate in designed experimentation. Standard tools of estimation and inference that had hitherto served the physical science community well, struggled to deliver the same results when applied to environmental data that was characterised by paucity, non-normality, over-dispersion, and heteroscedasticity. In this talk I will draw upon over 35 years of experience working in universities, scientific research organisations, and private industry to highlight the breadth of application of statistical methods for effective environmental monitoring, management and assessment. Topics covered include: environmental risk assessment; inverse problems; impact assessment; setting standards; and extreme events.

Prof. David FoxEnvironmetrics Australia and University of Melbourne.[subscribe2]

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