Notes from the Chair
Jun Zhu, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Greetings to you all from Wisconsin! I hope you have the Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), to take place July 28 to August 2 in San Diego, on your calendar because the Section on Statistics and the Environment (ENVR) is sponsoring two short courses, three roundtables, five invited sessions, 10 contributed sessions, and 12 topic-contributed sessions. We are also co-sponsoring about a dozen sessions.
The two ENVR-sponsored short courses are “Introduction to Analysis of Extremes: Univariate and Multivariate Cases,” to be taught by Dan Cooley from Colorado State University, and “Statistical Methodologies for Exposure Data Analysis,” to be co-taught by Thomas Mathew of the University of Maryland and K. Krishnamoorthy of the University of Louisiana.
Also at JSM, our annual open business meeting/mixer is tentatively scheduled for the evening of July 30. We will present this year’s ENVR distinguished achievement medals, young investigator awards, JSM student paper awards, and JSM presentation award. Please join us, catch up with old friends, and make some new ones!
A couple of months after JSM, the 2012 ENVR workshop will take place from October 4–6 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The workshop, titled “Spatial Modeling and Inference for Environmental Science,” is co-organized by Murali Haran (co-chair), Brian Reich (co-chair), Montse Fuentes, Jennifer Hoeting, and Bo Li. It will focus on state-of-the-art statistical methods motivated by important research problems in modern environmental science. There will be a day of tutorials on October 3, preceding the workshop, at the same venue. We hope you will be able to attend.
It has been an honor for me to serve as section chair this year. I have been learning a great deal about the American Statistical Association as an organization and enjoying working with other ENVR officers and members. Our officers this year include Jennifer Hoeting (past chair), Petrutza Caragea (chair-elect), Megan Higgs (secretary), Paul Patterson (treasurer), Margaret Short (Publications Chair), Kate Calder (Publications Chair-Elect), Jarrett Barber (program chair), Veronica Berrocal (program chair-elect), Ron McRoberts (representative to the Council on Sections), Zhuoqiong (Chong) He (newsletter editor), Don Stevens (liaison officer for WNAR and The International Environmetrics Society), Brian Reich (liaison officer for ENAR), Walt Piegorsch (chair of the Committee on Distinguished Achievement Medals and Young Investigator Awards), and Andrew Lawson (chair of the JSM Student Paper Awards Committee).
We appreciate past officers for passing down institutional memory, and we will be looking for nominations and volunteers in the future. There are many opportunities to contribute to ENVR. For example, we are currently looking for a webmaster and a home for the ENVR website. Please consider getting involved at a level you feel comfortable with and do not hesitate to contact me or any other officer if you have questions.
As was written in the charter (a.k.a., the “constitution”) of ENVR, the objective of the section is to serve as the focal point for the members of the ASA with special interests in the following areas:
- Application and interpretation of statistics in disciplines related to the environment, including, but not limited to, such areas as environmental monitoring, environmental chemistry, environmental epidemiology, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, atmospheric modeling, geochemistry, geostatistics, groundwater modeling, dose-response modeling and risk assessment of environmental contaminants, cost benefit studies, and environmental policy studies
- Development of improved statistical theory, concepts, and procedures for application to problems of the environment
- Improvement of training in environmental statistics, including the development of training materials
An “easy” way to get involved is to check out ENVR on the ASA Community website. While you are there, consider updating your online profile. In case you could use a pointer for doing this (as I did), here is how to proceed. Log in to Members Only. Then, go to the ASA Community, followed by Community Directory and My Communities. Statistics and the Environment Section should be on the list of any ENVR member. You can then use several social networking tools there to, for example, post messages, share documents, or start a blog. To update your profile, simply go to My Profile.
A tally of the ENVR members at the ASA Community in January suggested ours is a diverse community. Geographically, there is at least one ENVR member in each of the 50 states, with North Carolina having the largest number (45), followed by California (43), Colorado (38), Texas (35), Virginia (32), and Massachusetts (31). In addition, there are ENVR members in 28 other countries. How wonderful!
Inspired by the Meet the Members section of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics Bulletin a number of years ago, I conducted an informal survey. Below are four of our ENVR members who responded. I hope we will get to do this more often and build a stronger community together. This brings me to my last point for the day: Whenever you get a chance, please consider recommending ENVR to a student/colleague/friend and inviting them to join ENVR and get involved. Thank you.
Ali Arab, Washington, DC
Assistant Professor of Statistics, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Georgetown University
Adjunct Faculty, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Clemson University
Time since you became an ENVR member: Since 2006 (I think!)
Reason for you to join ENVR: Interest in environmental and ecological problems.
Work you do that is related to ENVR: I teach and conduct research on spatial and spatio-temporal statistics applied to environmental and ecological problems.
Hobbies: Playing guitar, watching good films, and reading
Anything else about you that you would like to share with other ENVR members: My last name is Arab, but I’m Persian! Also, I’m interested in works related to environmental research and public policy and hope to join with other ENVR members with the same interest to increase the impact of our research on our local and global communities.
Mikyoung Jun, College Station, Texas
Assistant Professor of Statistics, Texas A&M University
Time since you became an ENVR member: Hmm, at least a few years, but I don’t know for sure.
Reason for you to join ENVR: Research interest in spatial and environmental statistics
Work you do that is related to ENVR: My main research interest is in spatial and spatio-temporal statistics with application to geophysical problems. I teach a spatial statistics course for graduate students. I am part of a spatial statistics program at Texas A&M.
Hobbies: Shopping and watching movies
Anything else about you that you would like to share with other ENVR members: As I mentioned above, we have a spatial statistics program at Texas A&M with many faculty, postdocs, and students whose research interests lie in spatial statistics. We have regular meetings and active interactions and collaborations between statistics and atmospheric sciences.
Lindsay McManus, Fort Collins, Colorado
Biometrician, Western EcoSystems Technology, Inc. (WEST)
Time since you became an ENVR member: About four years
Reason for you to join ENVR: To learn more about environmental statistics, to network and find interesting opportunities
Work you do that is related to ENVR: I analyze data collected from a variety of wildlife monitoring studies to help managers make informed decisions.
Hobbies: Hiking, (outdoor) photography
Anthony (Tony) Olsen, Corvallis, Oregon
Chief, Freshwater Ecology Branch, Western Ecology Division, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Time since you became an ENVR member: Since its inception. I do not know when it was formed, but in the 1990s.
Reason for you to join ENVR: Interest in environmental statistics
Work you do that is related to ENVR: Conduct research on spatial survey design and analysis for application in aquatic monitoring programs, specifically the U.S. EPA’s National Aquatic Resource Surveys (NARS)
Anything else about you that you would like to share with other ENVR members: Working with aquatic ecologists, biogeochemists, GIS professionals, and other environmental sciences continues to be exciting and a learning experience. Participating in the institutionalization of the NARS is a long-term goal in my career. Someday, I hope to see NARS recognized as a federal statistics program, joining the many others in the federal government.