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Activity Number: 559 - Preferential Sampling of Environmental and Ecological Processes
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 1, 2018 : 2:00 PM to 3:50 PM
Sponsor: Section on Statistics and the Environment
Abstract #326519 Presentation
Title: Integrating Auxiliary Data in Optimal Spatial Design for Species Distribution Mapping
Author(s): Jonathan Stallings and Brian Reich* and Krishna Pacifici
Companies: North Carolina State University and North Carolina State University and North Carolina State University
Keywords: Bayesian inference; Citizen science; Exchange algorithm; Geostatistics; Imperfect detection

Traditional surveys used to create species distribution maps and estimate ecological relationships are expensive and time consuming. Citizen science offers a way to collect a massive amount of data at negligible cost and has been shown to be a useful supplement to traditional analyses. However, there remains a need to conduct formal surveys to firmly establish ecological trends. We investigate the use of citizen science data as a guide to designing more efficient ecological surveys. Initial occupancy estimates from citizen science data are used as the prior in a Bayesian spatial occupancy model. An efficient posterior approximation that accounts for spatial dependence, covariate effects, and imperfect detection is developed and used in an exchange algorithm to search for the optimal set of sampling locations to minimize misclassification rate. We examine the optimal design as a function of the detection rate and quality of the citizen science estimate, and compare this optimal design with several common ad hoc designs via an extensive simulation study. The method is illustrated using citizen science data from eBirds for the brown-headed nuthatch in the Southeast US.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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