Cancelled – Assessing Global Change in the Anthropocene

Cancelled! From agriculture to industry to urbanization, human activity has had an immense impact on the ecosystems of the Earth. How can we measure the resulting changes in natural systems?

In this project course, we discuss global climate change and other environmental consequences of human activity in Canada and around the world. We also develop statistical techniques for analyzing the effect of these environmental factors on individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems, and for using historical data to predict future trends. Finally, for the course project, you will perform your own analysis of the observed and projected impacts of your chosen aspect of global change.

Registration information. This course will be offered in Winter 2021. It is listed on Aurora under Science Interdisciplinary, course number SCI 2000, section T08, CRN 60546.

One of STAT 1000 or STAT 1150 is required. BIOL 1030 is strongly recommended.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jennifer Vaughan

Expected Course Content

We will begin with a review of global environmental climate change in the Anthropocene, followed by a focus on Canada. We will also discuss how to measure the impacts of environmental change on individual behaviour, population dynamics, and biodiversity. Sources of biotic and abiotic data will be introduced at the beginning of the course.

The statistics content will be driven by the needs of the project. Topics may include multiple linear regression, data visualization, and hypothesis testing.


Class time will be given for the course project during weeks 9 – 12. Working in teams, you will use the statistical techniques learned in class to carry out the following tasks.

  • Formulate a hypothesis concerning one of the available datasets, then implement the appropriate statistical analysis to test that hypothesis. Submit a report on your hypothesis, procedure and conclusions.
  • Use existing climate data for a particular city or region to predict future changes from past ones, and discuss the expected impact of those changes.