Strategic Analysis Group - Biometrics Support
Current Focus Areas
Extension Products and Services
Other Publications and Presentations of Interest
consult with research scientists and other Ministry staff on the proper
application of statistical methods, standards, and computer programs to meet
research and operational needs. They also provide leadership by developing
quantitative aspects of policy decisions.
provided critical support to Ministry priorities such as the
Forest and Range Practices Act Resource Evaluation Program (FRPA/FREP),
Forest Stewardship Planning,
timber supply review.
They provide continuous technical support to researchers and Ministry staff
working in many priority areas, including ranking
habitat for species at risk, modelling future climate change scenarios, and
studying the economics of beetle-killed forests.
statistical methodology and extension products on stocking standards
(free-growing status) and surveys. [LMH
Assisting with developing functions that provide objective input parameters
for stand development models such as the Tree and Stand Simulator (TASS)
TIPSY. For example, modelling maximum values rather than averages using
stochastic frontier functions, such as canopy width in relation to
Estimating parameters central to forest genetics research from discretely
valued variables (categorical predictors, counts, etc.) using generalized
linear mixed models.
statistical models to improve the ability of wildlife biologists to predict
and rank habitat important to marbled murrelets.
Consulting and supporting FRPA/FREP resource value team leaders on sampling
design and power analysis for evaluating effectiveness.
- Consulting on data
collection and analysis for the Site Index Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem
20-year shelf life of mountain pine beetle–killed wood in terms of how log
grades change. By linking this to the projection of MPB mortality, this
research has improved knowledge of the available fibre supply and economic
outputs under various harvesting scenarios. [link]
methodologies to explore the effects and risks of changing stocking survey
parameters. Providing extension materials and ongoing consultation with
operational staff. This research is
providing policy support to Forest Practices Branch and Operations Division
staff to evaluate the stocking standards proposed in
Forest Stewardship Plans.
Published a FRPA
Technical Note on sampling design. Using randomly selected units provides
unbiased estimates of the mean and variability for indicators that are being
studied or assessed for each resource value (for example, soils or
fish/riparian) under the FRPA Resource Evaluation Program. [link]
an introductory Biometrics Pamphlet that compares model-based versus
design-based inference from the standpoint of survey sampling. This pamphlet
will be most relevant to forest researchers that use sampling to estimate
variables such as abundance, density, basal area, or volume. [pdf]
Assisted with developing and testing a system for prioritizing fire
suppression response that is partially based on the “Analytical Hierarchy
Process.” This system allows Fire Control Centres to simultaneously
consider several variables (e.g., proximity to settlement, forest value,
wildlife considerations, or infrastructure) in one formal, objective,
Assisted forest pathologists in designing and analyzing a study to resample
stands previously declared free-growing in order to determine if they will
maintain free-growing status 30 or 35 years in the future. This study has
policy and liability implications related to the time at which a stand
should be declared free-growing.
Provided analytical support for modelling 32-year-old provenance trial data
and the implications for predicting the growth and yield impacts of future
climate change scenarios.
- Invited to Taiwan in
November, 2007, to consult on data analysis, give a seminar on growth and
yield modelling using the Ministry models as a framework, and discuss future
collaborations with the Taiwanese research community.
- Determining whether the SIBEC model can be refined by capturing any
variability in site index that may exist within a site series, to improve
growth and yield estimates for timber supply analyses and enhance
- Developing tools to better estimate site index for amabilis fir for
growth and yield modelling in support of the Coastal Forest Action Plan.
- Preparing an extension for Land Management Handbook 50 on silviculture
survey parameters in homogenous cutblocks to include recently developed
results for heterogeneous cutblocks.
- Studying the use of mean stocked quadrant (MSQ) plots instead of
well-spaced density to assess whether reforested cutblocks meet free-growing
- Developing methods to predict geographical zones of minimum stumpage
using available billing data to simplify and improve the stumpage system.
- Designing a new sampling algorithm for the provincial weight-scaling
- Assessing the impacts of kiln-drying on the composition of grade 4
scaled volume and determining those wood characteristics which, prior to
kiln drying, can quickly predict the percentage of grade 4 lodgepole pine
dry wood in a cruise, to support stumpage calculations.
biometricians provide invaluable analytical and technical support to Forest
Science Program researchers and Ministry entomologists and pathologists studying
a variety of forest management issues, including mountain pine beetle, climate
change, and soil conservation. They also provide critical support to many
internal Ministry clients, including FRPA/FREP Resource Value Team leaders, the
Resource Tenures and Engineering Branch, and the Chief Forester. For example,
biometricians are providing policy support to district staff and licensees
conducting stocking surveys and assessing free-growing status.
The role of Research Branch
biometricians has been valuable to the
Forest and Range Evaluation Program. They provide direct technical advice
and support to resource value team leaders on site selection and sampling
design. This has improved accuracy and reduced bias in evaluating the
effectiveness of forest practices in achieving resource objectives under the
Forest and Range Practices Act. They also assist researchers with
large-scale sampling design and methodologies for collecting data to evaluate
biodiversity, soils, and fish/hydrology indicators.
Antos, J.A., R. Parish, and G.D. Nigh. 2008. Growth patterns
prior to mortality of mature Abies lasiocarpa in old-growth subalpine forests of
southern British Columbia. For. Ecol. Manag. 255(5-6): 1568-1574.
Goudie, J.W., K R. Polsson, and P. K. Ott. 2009. An empirical
model of crown shyness for lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia [Engl.]
Critch.) in British Columbia. For. Ecol. Manag. 257(1): 321-331.
Lofroth, E.C. and P.K. Ott.
2007. Assessment of the sustainability of wolverine harvest in British Columbia.
J. Wildl. Manage. 71 (7): 2193–2200.
Mansfield, S.D., R. Parish, M.C. Di
Lucca, J.W. Goudie, K.-Y. Kang, and P.K. Ott. . Revisiting the transition
between juvenile and mature wood: a comparison of fibre length, microfibril
angle and relative wood density in lodgepole pine. Holzforschung. In Press.
Mansfield, S.D., R. Parish, J.W.
Goudie, K.-Y. Kang, and P.K. Ott. 2007. The effects of crown ratio on the
transition from juvenile to mature wood production in lodgepole pine in western
Canada. Can. J. For. Res. 37 (8): 1450–1459.
Nigh, G.D. and E. Everett.
2007. Years-to-stump-height and years-to-breast-height models for interior
Douglas-fir, western larch, and ponderosa pine. Northwest Sci. 81: 293–304.
Nigh, G.D., J.A. Antos, and R. Parish.
2008a. Density and distribution of advance regeneration in mountain pine beetle
killed lodgepole pine stands of the Montane Spruce zone of southern British
Columbia. Can. J. For. Res. 38(11): 2826-2836.
Nigh, G.D., J.A. Antos, and R. Parish.
2008b. Tools to help forest managers with regeneration decisions about
beetle-killed stands in the Montane Spruce zone of the Merritt Timber Supply
Area. B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br., Victoria, B.C.
Exten. Note 83.
O’Neill, G.A., T. Wang, G. Nigh, and P.K. Ott. 2007. Growth
response functions improved by accounting for nonclimatic site effects. Can. J.
For. Res. 37: 2724-2730.
2007. Comparing design-based and model-based inference: an Introduction.
Biometrics Information Pamphlet 63. B.C. Min. For. Range, Res. Br. Victoria,
Waterhouse, F.L., A.E. Burger,
A. Cober, A. Donaldson, and P.K. Ott. 2007. Assessing habitat quality of marbled
murrelet nest sites on the Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii, by algorithm,
airphoto interpretation, and aerial survey methods. Research Section, Coast
Forest Region, B.C. Min. For. Range, Nanaimo, B.C. Tech. Rep. TR-035. [link]
Waterhouse, F.L., A.E. Burger, D.B.
Lank, P.K. Ott, E.A. Krebs, and N. Parker. . Using the Low-level Aerial
Survey Method to Identify Nesting Habitat of Marbled Murrelets (Brachyramphus
marmoratus). B.C. J. Ecosystems Manag. In Press.
Waterhouse F.L., A. Donaldson, D.B. Lank, P.K. Ott, and
E.A. Krebs. 2008. Using air photos to interpret quality of marbled murrelet
nesting habitat in south coastal British Columbia. B.C. J. Ecosystems Manag.
Biometrics Pamphlets – More than 60 pamphlets cover a range of topics, from
Analysis of Co-Variance to Within Sums of Squares and everything
in between. Available as pdf files or by contacting biometricians directly.
The following seven Biometrics Information Handbooks are available online or can
be ordered as printed copies: [link]
- Bergerud, W.A. 1996.
Displaying factor relationships in experiments. Am. Statistician
- Bergerud, W.A. 2002. The
effect of the silviculture survey parameters on the free-growing decision
probabilities and projected volume at rotation. B.C. Min. For., Res. Br.,
- Bergerud, W.A. 2003.
FORREX workshop: The mysteries of operational trials unraveled.
- Bergerud, W.A. 2003.
Planning and Implementing a Research Study (March 21, 2003).
W. A. 2004. Why the units we evaluate should be randomly selected. The FRPA
Evaluator, Tech. Note 3, B.C. Min. For., For. Practices Br.
- Bergerud, W.A. and V.
Power Analysis Workshop Notes.
W.A., P. Tschaplinski, and P. Bradford.
2005. Protocol for 2005 Resource
Stewardship Monitoring: Steps for the selection of sites under riparian-fish
and stand-level biodiversity Resource Stewardship Monitoring. FRPA Resource
Evaluation Program. B.C. Min. For., B.C. Min. Water, Land and Air Protect.,
and B.C. Min. Sustain. Resour. Manage., Victoria, B.C. [link]
- Sit, V. and B. Taylor.
1998. Statistical methods for adaptive management studies.. B.C. Min. For.,
Res. Br., Victoria, B.C.
SAS Programming Support – Hints and Tips
Since 1999, the Ministry
standard for statistical software is SAS. The Biometrics Support group currently
provides official software support for SAS, and, to some extent, JMP. Annotated
Programs, Bulletins, and some of the local SAS user group presentations are
available at our
ftp site. To access the site, enter “anonymous” for user-id, and your e-mail
address for the password.
The Biometrics Group are
executive members of the SAS User’s Association of Victoria and environs (SUAVe),
which has a page on the SAS web site. Presentations from previous user’s group
meetings are also posted
Links to Useful Sites
Associations and Journals
The Statistical Society of Canada
SSC Statistical Education Committee
The American Statistical Association
Ecology and Society
The Society for Conservation Biology
The Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists
UVIC Math & Statistics
SFU Math & Statistics
The WWW Virtual Library of Statistics
The SAS Institute
Resampling Stats Home Page
Carl Schwarz' STAT 403/650: Quantitative Methods for Resource Managers and
Collecting Information on Treatment Response
Wendy Bergerud, Senior Biometrician
Peter Ott, Senior Biometrician
Please direct questions
regarding webpage to For.Prodres@gov.bc.ca
Updated February 2008