UWA Handbook 2016

Unit details

SCIE4402 Data Management and Analysis in the Natural Sciences

Credit 6 points
(see Timetable)
Non-standard teaching periodUWA (Perth)Multimode
Non-standard teaching periodAlbanyMultimode
Details for new undergraduate courses
  • Honours core unit in Agricultural Science; Botany; Conservation Biology; Environmental Science; Marine Science; Zoology [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
  • Honours option in Geography; Hydrogeology; Natural Resource Management [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]
Content This unit provides students with skills relevant for research. The 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 an overview of some of the analysis methods likely to be of most use to natural scientists, with a more focused coverage of 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, survey 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 regression and analysis of variance (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 Typically this unit is assessed in the following ways: (1) quizzes; and (2) assignments. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s) Dr James Fogarty
Unit rules
Prerequisites: enrolment in a postgraduate course or honours. STAT1400 Statistics for Science or STAT1520 Economic and Business Statistics or STAT2210 Biometrics 1 or SCIE1104 Science, Society and Data Analysis or SCIE4401 Data Use in the Natural Sciences
Contact hours 5 days (1 day per fortnight). The total workload for the unit is 150 hours.
Unit OutlineTS-TP-1 : http://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/SCIE4402/TS-TP-1/2016
TS-TP-3 : http://www.unitoutlines.science.uwa.edu.au/Units/SCIE4402/TS-TP-3/2016

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