• Advanced Courses in Life Sciences

    Header of Ecology at Transmitting Science

Short Course – 4th Edition

Environmental variables: how to download and process them with R

December 12th-13th, 2022

This course will be delivered live online

It 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.

Course Obtaining and processing environmental variables with RCourse 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 should have previous basic experience with R, a computer (Linux, Windows or MacOS) preferably with a webcam, and a good internet connection. A recent version of R will be needed, and RStudio is also recommended.




December 12th-13th, 2022

Schedule and Course length

Online live sessions on Wednesday and Thursday, from 15:00 to 19:00 (Madrid time zone).

8 hours

Live sessions will be recorded. 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.

A. Marcia Barbosa instructor for Transmitting Science

Dr. A. Márcia Barbosa

Haris Saslis coordinator for Transmitting Science

Dr. Haris Saslis
Transmitting Science


  • Course Fee
  • Early bird (until November 30th, 2022):
  • 156 €
    (124.8 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • Regular (after November 30th, 2022):
  • 196 €
    (156.8 € for Ambassador Institutions)
  • The price is VAT included.
    After registration you will receive confirmation of your acceptance in the course. Payment is not required during registration.

You can check the list of Ambassador Institutions. If you want your institution to become a Transmitting Science Ambassador please contact us at communication@transmittingscience.com


Discounts are not cumulative and apply only on the Course Fee. We offer the possibility of paying in two instalments (contact courses@transmittingscience.com).

Former participants will have a 5 % discount on the Course Fee.

20 % discount on the Course Fee is offered for members of some organizations (Ambassador Institutions). If you want to apply to this discount please indicate it in the Registration form (proof will be asked later).

Unemployed scientists living in the country were the course will be held, as well as PhD students based in that country without any grant or scholarship to develop their PhD, could benefit from a 40 % discount on the Course Fee. If you want to ask for this discount, please contact the course coordinator. That would apply for a maximum of 2 places and they will be covered by strict inscription order.


Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy: In order to process the registration, management and maintenance of your profile as course participant on our website, we need your personal data. If you want more information about the processing of your data and your rights, we recommend that you read our privacy policy carefully (below).