Undergraduate Research Assistant Position Available

I’m happy to report that I will be hiring an undergraduate student this summer for an Undergraduate Research Assistant (URA) position (details below).

All URA positions available are listed on the University of Guelph‘s website here. Undergraduate Research Student Awards (URSA) can also be found here.

Eligibility requirements can be found here. The requirements include a Needs Assessment Form found here (NAF), and a cumulative 70% average or better (although this can be waived).

The NAF must be submitted to the Awards Office in Student Financial Services.

This position will remain open until midnight February 3, 2012. After that, I will be contacting students for interviews (between February 6-15). A final decision will be made by the 16th of February.


 

Title: Investigating Risk Assessment Metrics via Simulation

Project Description:

Most environmental risk assessors use the measure known as Catch Per Unit Effort (CPUE) as a surrogate for unobserved abundance to estimate total population or biomass of a biological population. However, CPUE is often calculated as the total aggregated yearly harvest divided by the total aggregated yearly effort. As such, the point estimates are devoid of individual harvest event variation.

This project has two specific goals:

1. To develop options for the development of a database to house harvest and effort data, with specific attention paid to ease of use, data structures, data management, data visualization, and security. The database should be developed such that the data can be easily ported and used with the deliverable from goal 2.

Expected deliverable: A short report outlining the available options.

2. To assist the investigation to determine the utility of CPUE as a surrogate for unobserved abundance. The standard CPUE measure will be used, along with an event specific CPUE. Here the student will help develop a simulated environment to assess the utility of the different metrics.

Expected deliverable: A simulation program (written in C, R, or any other appropriate language), a short report describing the program, and a draft manuscript co-authored by the supervisor for submission for peer review.

The student should have a strong background in computer science. While beneficial, a background in mathematics and statistics, or biology is not required.

 

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