• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

    Header of Ecology at Transmitting Science

Short Live Online Course – 6th Edition

Environmental variables: how to download and process them with R

January 15th-18th, 2024

Live sessions will be recorded

Course Obtaining and processing environmental variables with R


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Course Overview

Georeferenced maps of environmental variables are currently essential for a range of ecological and biogeographical analyses, from species distribution and ecological niche models to global biodiversity trends. Such maps are now widely available in multiple online sources, although they often need to be processed to become compatible with each other and with the remaining data in the analysis (e.g. species occurrence or abundance).

In this short course, we will use a range of tools to

1) Import maps of climatic, topographic and anthropogenic variables from various sources into R (e.g. WorldClim, ENVIREM, CHELSA, AquaMaps, MARSPEC, Bio-ORACLE, SEDAC, CORINE)

2) Obtain the values of these variables for point locations (e.g. species occurrence sites, random background samples) and for polygons (e.g. grid cells, provinces and other spatial divisions

3) Try out different ways of converting categorical variables to continuous form, including proportions and distances

4) Adjust the spatial extent and resolution of different maps, so that they appropriately match each other as well as additional data in the analysis.

The course will be highly interactive and will include both theoretical and practical sessions. Participants are welcome to try working with variables of their own interest, although several illustrative examples will be provided too.

Participants are required to have a computer with a good internet connection, a recent version of R and RStudio installed, and a set of R packages whose installation script will be provided before the course.

Participants should have previous basic experience with R.


A. Marcia Barbosa instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. A. Márcia Barbosa

Dates & Schedule

January 15th-18th, 2024

15:00-19:00 (Madrid time zone)

Two online live sessions on 15 and 18 January, from 15:00 to 19:00 (Madrid time zone).

Total course hours: 8



This course will be delivered live online

The course will be taught using a combination of live (synchronous) sessions on Zoom and Slack.

Live sessions will be recorded. Recordings will be made available to participants for a limited period of time. However, attendance to the live sessions is required.


Places are limited to 18 participants and will be occupied by strict registration order.

Participants who have completed the course will receive a certificate at the end.

Haris Saslis instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis
Transmitting Science

Fees & Discounts

  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until October 31st, 2023):
  • 196 €
    (156.80 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • Regular (after October 31st, 2023):
  • 270 €
    (216 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • All prices include VAT.
    After registration you will receive confirmation of your acceptance on the course.
    Payment is not required during registration.

We offer discounts on the Course Fee.

Discounts are not cumulative. Participants receive the highest appropriate discount.

We also offer the possibility of paying in two instalments. Please contact us to request this.

Former participants of Transmitting Science courses receive a 5% discount on the Course Fee.

20% discount on the Course Fee is offered to members of certain organisations (Ambassador Institutions). If you wish to apply for this discount, please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later). If you would like your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador Institution, please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com

Unemployed scientists, as well as PhD students without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, can benefit from a 40% discount on the Course Fee. This applies only to participants based in Spain. If you wish to ask for this discount, please contact us. The discount may apply for a maximum of 2 places, which will be covered by strict registration order.