Advanced Telemetry Techniques: Time-to- Event Analysis for Fish Passage Studies

About the Course

Fish passage is about movement, and fish passage effectiveness can only be understood by measuring rates at which fish move past barriers.  Telemetry is often the best tool for measuring effectiveness.  Many studies however fail to make optimal use of available data, and over-simplistic analyses can often lead to inaccurate conclusions.  Unequal durations of exposure, tag failure, predation, and migratory failure are all common sources of bias and errors in interpreting passage data.  This course will provide an introduction to Time-to-Event Analysis—a suite of analytical tools uniquely capable of minimizing bias and maximizing information yield from telemetry studies. 

As the name implies, time-to-event analysis is designed for quantification of times and rates at which events occur.  Importantly, the approach controls for unequal exposure times, duration of effort, etc.  It is an excellent tool for studying movement at barriers, and has been proposed as a standard methodology for quantifying fish passage performance.  Among the particular strengths of the approach is that it allows for quantification of event rates in the presence of competing rates, such as what might happen when fish have a choice between two or more passage routes. It also allows users to control for periods when fish are actually exposed to a passage route, and for effects of covariates that change over time. 

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to this analytical approach, developing fundamental understanding of when and why one should apply the various methods, and gaining confidence in their application through hands-on practice.  The first half of the day will be spent covering theory, orienting students to the unique characteristics and problems associated with barrier passage data.  The afternoon will be spent practicing with actual datasets, covering concepts of increasing complexity to provide an overview of the kinds of approaches that are possible with this powerful suite of tools. 

Attendees should have decent computer skills, a solid statistical background (familiarity with common regression methods and nonparametric statistics) and should come prepared with a laptop loaded with R statistical software.  We strongly recommend R Studio as an interface for working in R.  The following R packages are required: survival(), dplyr(), coxme(), and ggplot2().

Course Syllabus Click here to view the syllabus

Ted Castro-Santos is a Research Ecologist at the USGS’ S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center.  His research interests center on fish passage, employing an integrative approach and including topics ranging from biomechanics, hydraulics, physiology, and behavior.  His work balances field and laboratory components with an emphasis on development of appropriate methods and metrics for understanding and optimizing passage performance.  He holds adjunct faculty and advisory positions at the University of Massachusetts and at several other universities worldwide.

Elsa Goerig is a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University. Her work focuses on fish swimming performance and passage success at culverts and dams, mostly through field studies. She also conducts laboratory work on kinematics and swimming behavior of various species, in collaboration with the USGS’ S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research center.
Date and Time Sunday June 18th, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Location Nash Hall, Oregon State University
Cost General - $260, Agency - $210, Student - $80
Registration Status Open