Geospatial Modeling with QGIS and R (Online)


Date and Time:

Tuesday, July 5, 2022, 9:00am to Sunday, July 31, 2022, 12:00am

Registration Deadline:

Monday, July 4, 2022, 12:00am


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Analyses of wildlife home range and habitat use are used in wildlife-focused disciplines to inform population and habitat management practices. The geographical space used by animals is largely driven by habitat selection, where habitat can be described by spatially explicit site factors (e.g., land cover). Geospatial modeling is the process of synthesizing geographically referenced field measurements and spatial data layers representing those site factors. In this course, we will process raw point location data, estimate home ranges, and conduct habitat assessments using raster land cover data and the open-source software applications QGIS and R.


  • Review QGIS (QGIS Basics)
  • Downloading GIS data online (Maine Geolibrary)
  • Preparing spatial data in Excel
  • Creating Vector Data (points)
  • Projections and transformations (Coordinate system)
  • Creating shape files for individual animals
  • Setting up R-studio and Geospatial Modeling Environment (GME)
  • Calculating home ranges in GME
  • Home range analysis in QGIS
  • Determine area of home ranges
  • Calculate geometry
  • Vegetation analysis
  • Determining available habitat
  • Intro to remote sensing and raster data
  • Vegetation analysis
  • Determining used habitats
  • Statistical analysis of used vs. available habitat

PREREQUISITES: Introductory course in R (e.g., Data Science in R for Wildlife Scientists & Managers) and QGIS (e.g., Open-source QGIS for natural resource scientists and managers) or experience using the software.

FORMAT: Students will take the course at their own pace over a four week period. The course is divided into discrete competency-based modules composed of pre-recorded lecture material and hands-on exercises. Student interaction and instructor feedback will be provided in the form of online discussion forums and live Q&A. Each student will also have the opportunity over a 2-week period to meet with the instructor via video consultation to discuss course materials or their individual datasets. 

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT: This course has been pre-approved for continuing education by (1) the Ecological Society of America for 4 CEUs in Category I(a): Scientific Education and Training, and (2) The Wildlife Society for 22.5 CEUs in Category I of the Certified Wildlife Biologist® Renewal/Professional Development Certificate Program.

MINIMUM EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS FOR ESA CERTIFICATION: This course is approved by the Ecological Society of America for 1 semester hour of qualified coursework that can be used to meet the minimum education requirements in Physical and Mathematical Science.

How to Register:

To learn more/to register:

Course fee: $600 professional / $500 student

SCHOLARSHIPS: Full scholarships are available to participants from countries designated as “lower income” and “lower middle income” in the World Bank List of Economies. Please see our CWS World Scholars Program page for details.

Contact Email:

Contact Name:

Jessica Kennelly