UWA Handbook 2014

Unit details

SCIE4402 Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences [PG, UG]

Credit 6 points
Availability Semester 1, Semester 2 (see Timetable)
Details for new undergraduate courses
  • Honours core unit in Agricultural Science; Botany; Conservation Biology; Environmental Science; Marine Science; Natural Resource Management; Zoology [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
  • Honours option in Geography; Hydrogeology [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
Content This unit consists of two modules. Module 1 is the same for all students, but for Module 2, students select the option most relevant to their research project needs. Module 1 starts by considering the kinds of questions asked in the natural and agricultural sciences, and the types of data needed to address them. Within this biological context, Module 1 covers development of clear hypotheses or questions, design of experiments or surveys to address these questions, and introduces the statistical software program R as a powerful tool for managing, presenting, and analysing biological, environmental and economic data. There is a broad overview of some of the analysis methods likely to be of most use to natural scientists, with a more focused coverage of basic approaches such as linear regression and analysis of variance. The emphasis is on the applicability and limitations of different methods in different situations. For Module 2 there are a number of options, which address the needs of different research areas within natural and agricultural science. These may include approaches for multivariate species abundance data, species count data, germination data, growth data and survival data. Undertaking analysis and reporting findings in a manner consistent with research projects is emphasised in the second module.
Outcomes Students are able to (1) develop clear questions or hypotheses regarding natural or agricultural systems; (2) design experiments or surveys to collect data to address these questions; (3) have a broad overview of the analysis methods likely to be of most use to natural scientists; (4) have a more detailed understanding of simple regression and ANOVA approaches and more sophisticated approaches relevant to their research area; (5) appreciate the applicability and limitations of different analysis methods in different situations; and (6) use computer software to manage, present and analyse data appropriate to their research area.
Assessment This comprises written project reports (80 per cent) and quizzes (20 per cent).

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s) Assistant Professor James Fogarty
Location UWA (Crawley), Albany
Mode on-campus
Unit rules
Prerequisites: any Level 1 STAT unit or STAT2210 Biometrics 1 or SCIE1104 Science, Society and Data Analysis or SCIE4401 Data Use in the Natural Sciences or equivalent, or approval of unit coordinator
Contact hours 5 days (1 day per fortnight). The total workload for the unit is 150 hours.
Unit Outlinehttp://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/SCIE4402/SEM-1/2014


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