Uncertainty Analysis and Statistical Validation of Spatial Environmental Models (UA&SV)   (2024)

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Uncertainty Analysis and Statistical Validation of Spatial Environmental Models (UA&SV) (2)

Monday 9 - Friday 13 December 2024


Uncertainty Analysis and Statistical Validation of Spatial Environmental Models (UA&SV) (3)Input data for spatial environmental models may have been measured in the field or laboratory, spatially interpolated, derived from remotely sensed imagery or obtained from expert elicitation. In all these cases errors are introduced. Although users may be aware that errors propagate through their models, they rarely pay attention to this problem. However, the accuracy of the data may be insufficient for the intended use, causing inaccurate model results, wrong conclusions and poor decisions. The purpose of this course is to familiarize participants with statistical methods to analyse uncertainty propagation in spatial environmental modelling, such that they can apply these methods to their own models and data. It also teaches methods that quantify the contribution of individual uncertainty sources and statistical validation methods to assess the accuracy of spatial model outputs with independently sampled data. Quantification of model parameter uncertainty is covered using Bayesian calibration techniques. The methodology is illustrated with real-world examples. Computer practicals make use of the R language for statistical computing.

This course differs from the “Statistical Uncertainty Analysis of Dynamic Models” (SUADM) course, in that it:
• focuses on uncertainty propagation in spatial models, while SUADM concentrates on uncertainty analysis of dynamic models;
• uses basic to intermediate statistical approaches and graphical tools to analyse uncertainty and uncertainty propagation, while SUADM uses more advanced statistical approaches;
• dedicates a full day to statistical validation of outputs of spatial models using spatial sampling theory, while SUADM draws specific attention to stochastic sensitivity analysis.


Day 1, morning: Course overview; lectures and exercises probabilistic modelling of uncertainty; lecture and exercises Taylor series method.
Day 1, afternoon: Computer practical Taylor series method.
Day 1, evening: Group dinner in Wageningen centre.
Day 2, morning: Lecture and exercises Monte Carlo method and quantification of uncertainty source contributions.
Day 2, afternoon: Computer practical Monte Carlo method and analysis of uncertainty source contributions.
Day 3, morning: Lecture and exercises Bayesian calibration for quantification of model structural and model parameter uncertainty.
Day 3, afternoon: Computer practical Bayesian calibration.
Day 4, morning: Lecture and exercises statistical validation and cross-validation, including spatial sampling for validation and reliability plots.
Day 4, afternoon: Computer practical statistical validation and cross-validation.
Day 5, morning: Lecture, exercises and computer practical uncertainty quantification of spatial averages.
Day 5, afternoon: Finish computer practical; course evaluation; uncertainty game; drinks and snacks.

The last 45 minutes of each afternoon (except Friday) are reserved to either continue the scheduled computer practical or apply the methods learnt to your own models and data.
On Monday evening there is a group dinner in town (cost included in course fee).

Uncertainty Analysis and Statistical Validation of Spatial Environmental Models (UA&SV) (4)

General information
Target GroupThe course is aimed at PhD candidates and other academics working with spatial models who want to trace how errors in model inputs and parameters propagate to model outputs and want to learn how to evaluate map accuracy with independent data.
Group SizeMin. 15, max. 25 participants
Course duration5 days
Language of instructionEnglish
Frequency of recurrenceOnce every two years
Number of credits1.5 ECTS
LecturersThis course is taught by Prof.dr.ir. Gerard Heuvelink (Soil Geography and Landscape group, Wageningen University) and dr.ir. Sytze de Bruin (Laboratory of Geo-information Science and Remote Sensing, Wageningen University).
Prior knowledgeIntermediate knowledge of statistics, geo-information science and spatial modelling. Familiarity with the R programming language is highly recommended but not required.
LocationWageningen Campus
AccommodationAccommodation is not included in the fee of the course, but there are several possibilities in Wageningen.For information on B&B's and hotels in Wageningen please visit proefwageningen.nl. Another option is Short Stay Wageningen. Furthermore Airbnb offers several rooms in the area. Finally, there are a number of groups on Facebook where students announce subrent possibilities and things like that. Examples include: Wageningen Room Subrent, Wageningen Room Sublets, Room Rent Wageningen, and Wageningen Student Plaza. Note that besides the restaurants in Wageningen, there are also options to have dinner on Wageningen Campus.
Fees 1
PE&RC / WIMEK / WASS / EPS / VLAG / WIAS PhD candidates with an approved TSP€ 360,-€ 410,-
All post-docs and staff of PE&RC€ 720-€ 770,-
All other academics€ 760-€ 910,-
All non-academic participants€ 1120,-€ 1170,-

1 TThe course fee includes all course materials, coffee/tea, lunches and a workshop dinner. It does not include other dinners and accommodation.
2 The Early-Bird Fee applies to anyone who REGISTERS ON OR BEFORE9 OCTOBER 2024


  • The Early-Bird policy is such that the moment of REGISTRATION (and not payment) is leading for determining the fee that applies to you.
  • Please make sure that your payment is arranged within two weeks after your registration.
  • It is the participant's responsibility to make sure that he/she (or his/her secretary) completes the payment correctly and in time.
PE&RC Cancellation Conditions
  • Up to 4 (four) weeks prior to the start of the course, cancellation is free of charge.
  • Up to 2 (two) weeks prior to the start of the course, 50% of the participation fee will be charged.
  • In case of cancellation within two weeks prior to the start of the course or no show, 100% of the participation fee will be charged. For PhD's this implies they must pay the regular fee of "All other academic participants"..

Note: If you would like to cancel your registration, ALWAYS inform us (and do note that you will be kept to the cancellation conditions)

More information

Prof. dr. Gerard Heuvelink
Phone: +31 (0) 317 482716
Email: gerard.heuvelink@wur.nl

Dr. Claudius van de Vijver (PE&RC)
Phone: +31 (0) 317 485116
Email: claudius.vandevijver@wur.nl


To register, please enter your details below and click "Register".

Uncertainty Analysis and Statistical Validation of Spatial Environmental Models (UA&SV)   (2024)


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