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Painting turtles: an introduction to species distribution modeling in R

Cooperative learning: Students can work through the exercises in groups, using either the painted turtle data
or group-specific taxa (i.e., each group selects a taxon to model). This module addresses multiple, complex
concepts online data availability & access, spatial query & analysis, global climate models, theoretical
concepts of SDMs, model fitting any of which can be expanded depending on the instructors preference,
group work can be especially beneficial for facilitating comprehension and may be more efficient.
Jigsaw: The module can be easily extended to allow each student/group to examine the distribution of a
different species and explore data availability among taxa as well as different aspects of model fitting.
Associated files
Resource Group TIEE
Resource Group Link
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
General Biology Competencies
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords Geospatial/mapping skills, R/command-line skills, data manipulation and plotting of large spatial datasets, introductory distribution modeling, searching public databases
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description Students use R to search, download, and plot the
distribution of painted turtles from the Global
Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), then implement the BioClim modeling algorithm to build an
occurrence-based species distribution model for painted turtles using the BioClim variables.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Anna L. Carter
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Department of Ecology, Evolution & Organismal Biology, Iowa State University
Primary Author email
Added By Id
  • eduintern
Rights TIEE, Volume 13 2017 Anna L. Carter and the Ecological Society of America. Teaching Issues and
Experiments in Ecology (TIEE) is a project of the Committee on Diversity and Education of the Ecological
Society of America (
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2017-11-27
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2019-09-15 16:02:15
Last Modified By Id
  • tmourad
Date Last Modified 2019-09-15 16:02:15
Release Flag Published

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