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Statistics and the Environment
Chair Offers Greetings,
Asks for Nominations
Jun Zhu, Section Publications Chair
W
ell, it’s 2009 and environmen-
tal statisticians have their work
cut out for them. With a
change in administration and numerous
national initiatives on the horizon, we may hearts race. Think about the challenges reduction efforts with biomass energy
soon see an increased emphasis on climate involved in implementing a market-based projects in the wildland-urban interface,
change, clean air, clean water, healthier cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon in developing new national standards to
sustainable communities, land conserva- emissions, in monitoring deforestation ensure less carbon intensive energy, and in
tion, and wildfires, to name a few. Each of and carbon sequestration, in creating improving water conservation and effi-
these topics brings with it a host of statisti- ‘green’ jobs in areas where the greatest ciency in the western United States.
cal problems tough enough to make our good can be realized, in coordinating fuel The list continues for more pages
than Amstat News will print. The point
is that the problems coming down the
environmental pike are even thornier
Business and Economic Statistics than usual; require the immediate atten-
Short Course on Time Series
tion of strong, interdisciplinary teams;
and have to be addressed quickly if sci-
Analysis Planned
ence is going to have a role in policy
decisions. Environmental statisticians
will not be bored! (And neither will any-
Tucker McElroy of the U.S. Census Bureau, Section Publications Officer one participating in the section.)
Formed in 1990, ENVR focuses on
the development and application of
S
. J. Koopman of the Free University of Amsterdam will teach a short statistical methods to environmental
course, “State Space Time Series Analysis in Practice,” during JSM 2009 research and policy. In addition to orga-
in Washington, DC, which will take place August 1–6. This one-day nizing invited and contributed sessions
course, which is aimed at applied statisticians and students interested in time and roundtable discussions at the annual
series analysis and forecasting, will provide a practical guide to state space Joint Statistical Meetings, ENVR spon-
methodology and include topics such as the Kalman filter, smoothing methods, sors or cosponsors meetings, training
unobserved components, signal extraction, forecasting, stochastic volatility, and courses, and seminars on topics related
simulation methods. to statistics and the environment. Of par-
A range of applications will be covered, including financial time series ticular interest is ENVR’s biannual work-
(returns, volatility, risk), economics (inflation, unemployment), engineering shop involving relevant problems of the
(signal extraction), medicine (intervention analysis), and marketing (multiple day. Previous workshops have focused on
time series). Practical cases will be illustrated using the OxMetrics software hierarchical modeling (2000), spatial
system, which includes the user-friendly packages STAMP and SsfPack. For a statistics (2002), computational environ-
full outline, visit www.amstat.org/sections/bus_econ/index.html. metrics (2004), and multivariate meth-
Koopman is an internationally renowned researcher and software developer ods in environmetrics (2006). The 2008
who has a great deal of experience teaching courses of this type. All are encour- biannual workshop, Statistical Issues
aged to participate in what will surely be an important short course. ■ in Monitoring the Environment, was
held last October in Boulder, Colorado,
and hosted by the National Center for
Atmospheric Research.
50 AMSTAT NEWS FEBRUARY 2009
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