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Time is TBD


Institute for Natural History Arts

Biogeography: Climate Change and Natural History

2 sessions, 8 hours per session with Dr. Utku Perkas and Dr. Peter Capainolo

Biogeography: Climate Change and Natural History
Biogeography: Climate Change and Natural History

Time & Location

Time is TBD

Institute for Natural History Arts, 192 Lackawanna Ave Unit 104, Woodland Park, NJ 07424, USA

About the program

About this Course

This course is designed for individuals interested in learning ecological niche modeling (i.e., species distribution modeling) and predicting the future distribution of biodiversity elements from an ecological perspective.

Course Overview: 

This engaging workshop offers an exciting opportunity to delve deep into the world of species distribution modeling, a key aspect of biogeography. 

Throughout this workshop, the primary focus will be on a specialized software tool, recognized for its capability to unravel the intricacies of the natural world. This software is specifically designed for ecological niche modeling, which is often referred to as species distribution modeling for convenience.

Ecological niche modeling is a powerful method for gaining insights into the ecological requirements of various species. It plays a pivotal role in applications such as biodiversity conservation, analyzing species distribution patterns, making habitat predictions, and, most notably, understanding the climatic preferences of different organisms. During this workshop, participants will acquire the skills required to construct ecological niche models and interpret the resulting data. Moreover, attendees will gain a profound appreciation for the immense value that these models hold for biologists, environmentalists, and researchers, especially in the context of climate change and its impact on natural history.

In a world where climate change and its repercussions pose unprecedented challenges to the natural world, the significance of species distribution modeling becomes ever more crucial. This workshop, nestled under the overarching theme of biogeography, aims to equip participants with the knowledge and tools to harness ecological niche modeling effectively. As they explore the intricacies of the software and its practical applications, attendees will develop a deep understanding of how ecological niche modeling contributes to preserving biodiversity, predicting species distribution shifts in response to climate change, and adapting to the evolving dynamics of our planet's ecosystems. In essence, "Biogeography: Climate Change and Natural History" promises to be a transformative experience, enabling individuals to contribute actively to the conservation and sustainable management of Earth's diverse ecosystems amidst the challenges of a changing climate.

Course Outline: 

This course takes place over 2 sessions (1 day each).

Session 1:

 1- What does the natural history of species tell us? An introduction to the concept of biological diversity.

2- What is ecological niche modeling or species distribution modeling? An introduction to the niche concept.

3- Data and data sources for ecological niche modeling.

4- Using data sources for ecological niche modeling and data preparation.

Session 2:

5- Introduction to different approaches for ecological niche modeling.

5.1. Using the Wallace approach and creating sample models.

What INHA Will Provide:

INHA will create a suitable setting for this workshop. We'll explore the effects of climate change on biodiversity extensively during the workshop. INHA will facilitate an environment for participants to discuss these effects using examples from our collection, all within the workshop's framework.

Supply list (to be supplied by student):

Students should bring their own laptops. During the workshop, instructors will demonstrate the entire process on a single computer for the students. However, by the end of the second day of the workshop, students will be guided to install the necessary software applications on their own laptops.

About the Instructors:

Utku Perktaş is an ornithologist and evolutionary biologist with practical and theoretical experience ranging from museum-based studies and fieldwork to molecular-based laboratory and analytical techniques. He finished his PhD in 2008 at Hacettepe University. He then conducted postdoctoral studies in the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York as a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow. Much of his recent research involves using DNA sequences to reconstruct phylogeographic scenarios of vertebrate species, particularly birds.  He is becoming increasingly interested in evaluating how past responses to climate changes may affect the history of vertebrate species, and how this knowledge can be used for conservation. He is now a faculty member in the Faculty of Science at the Hacettepe University, where he runs his lab (Biogeography Research Lab.), and he is also a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History.

Peter Capainolo has had an interest in Natural History, particularly ornithology, since boyhood. At age eighteen, he was granted one of the first falconry licenses issued by New York State. He studied zoology and practiced falconry under renowned ornithologist Heinz Meng at the State University of New York, College at New Paltz, and subsequently earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology. A strong proponent of field and specimen-based research and education, he is currently Senior Museum Specialist in the Department of Ornithology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and adjunct professor of biology at the City College of the City University of New York.

He serves on the New York State Falconry Advisory Board, and on the advisory board and as Curator of Birds of the Institute for Natural History Arts.  He is author and co-author of books and scientific papers on zoology, ornithology, ecology, and medicine.

Group Size: 30 people


  • Distribution Models

    This ticket is valid for the 2 sessions.

    From $575.00 to $625.00
    Sale ended
    • $625.00
      +$15.63 service fee
    • $575.00
      +$14.38 service fee
    • $575.00
      +$14.38 service fee



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