As part of the Nature Conservation Programme a professional training was held for “statistics and the use of software R”, in order to enrich the forestry curriculum with new and useful topics in the field of statistics, widely used in various spheres. The training was held between 5-8 November on the premises of the Faculty of Forestry in Skopje, while the lectures were given by Jeremy Hentgen from the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. Students and staff from the faculties of forestry, agriculture and natural sciences and mathematics in Skopje attended the classes where they learned the basics and the numerous opportunities and functions that this software offers for presentation of scientific research results.
Statistics is a science that has fundamental application in all scientific spheres and is closely linked to research, helping to simplify complex data to simple forms so that they can be understood. The numerous statistical methods help to formulate and test various hypotheses, so with the use of statistical software such as software R, a huge number of complex statistical operations can be processed and boiled down to a simpler and clearer form.
The training comprised several parts that covered topics on descriptive statistic, numerical and categorical variables, one-way analysis of variance, and linear regression, calculation of table data and matrixes as well as visualization of data with the application of software R.
The trainees recognize the importance and the need for trainings of this type, so this is what some of them said:
“The training was an excellent opportunity to expand our knowledge in the field of descriptive statistics, numerical and categorical variables. From a personal aspect, I am glad that through specific examples, group work and direct communication with the lecturer I was able to learn about one-way analysis of variance, simple linear regression, variance analysis and data visualization with the R-software” – said Boris Najdovski, MA at the Faculty of Forestry in Skopje.
“The training was very productive. I am an active researcher of fish population in the country and the common language of statistics that all the participants used was very important. We discussed the numerous challenges when we need to draw conclusions about an entire population based on a limited sample of species. Answering these questions through the widely applicable R software was maybe the greatest challenge and of course it was a pleasure to start mastering it. I am grateful to the team behind this idea as well as to the lecturer who made it possible for us to enter the so-called R world” – said Julijana Arsovska, a PhD student at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Skopje.
The training for statistics made it possible to expand the knowledge about the use of appropriate methods for data processing, descriptive analysis and effective data visualization. Having in mind that statistical knowledge is a major contributor to science and acquiring precise data, the needs for trainings and upskilling in this area are significant.