:: Course Summary
This optional hands-on workshop offers
an introduction to the fundamental principles and concepts in statistics
used in Search and Rescue (SAR).
A fundamental part of Lost Person
Behavior is using and understanding certain basic statistical concepts.
In order to better teach Lost Person Behavior it is important for a
potential instructor to understand the tables and statistical concepts
presented. Many participants already come well prepared to discuss the
statistics that are used in the course. Other participants can gain from
this short workshop on SAR statistics.
The first part covers classical and more recent exploratory data
analysis (EDA) techniques to describe data with numerical and graphical
tools. Using actual SAR data the course will illustrate how common
statistics used in SAR are obtained and what they actually mean.
The second part addresses, with the help of real-life examples, the
principles underlying statistical testing and decision-making in the
presence of uncertainty. It covers risks involved (alpha and beta),
p-values and statistical significance. The use and interpretation of
confidence intervals is also discussed.
This course can serve as an introductory class or a refresher and
provides a solid basis for becoming better prepared to teach SAR
:: Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this course,
participants will be able to:
Understand the difference between
descriptive and inferential statistics
Explore and characterize and trends in
data using graphical tools
Use descriptive statistics to
Analyze data more quickly and more
Interpret results reliably and
:: Target Audience
This applied training session in SAR
statistics is aimed at SAR instructors or potential instructors who need
a higher understanding of the statistics commonly used in Search and
This course introduces the most basic
concepts in statistics and data analysis. It assumes that participants
either have no previous knowledge of statistics or that they have not
used statistics for a long time.
:: Topics Covered
- Introduction to Statistics
- Descriptive Data Analysis
- Why Do we Need Statistics?
Overview of Descriptive or Exploratory Data Analysis
- Type and Role of Variables in
Studies and Experiments
- Visualizing and Summarizing Data:
The Concept of a Distribution
- Characterizing Distributions with
Numerical and Graphical Tools: mean, median, standard deviation,
standard error, histogram, Box-plot, etc.
- Predicting distributions using
standard deviations. Why 95%
- Exploring the Relationship between
Two variables: Scatter Plots and Correlation Coefficients.
- Statistical Inference or Statistical
- Overview: What is Statistical
- Statistical Inference with
Hypothesis Testing: null and alternative hypotheses, one-tailed vs.
two-tailed tests, test statistics, p-value, statistical
significance, decision rules
- Bayesian Statistical approach,
Monte Carlo Statistical approach
- Statistical Inference with
Confidence Intervals: how it works, when to use it
- Equivalence of the Hypothesis
Testing and the Confidence Interval Approaches
:: Course Content
This three-hour workshop reviews the
most important basic concepts in statistics. It begins with an overview
of the role of statistics in a decision-making process. The
types and roles of variables are discussed along with tools for
characterizing and summarizing variables and for exploring the
relationship between them.
Among the graphical tools presented for visualizing
data are: the histogram, the box-plot
and the scatter plot.
:: Notes and Other Information
The exact subject matter and content
are subject to change as the workshop is further refined and improved.
The additional fee for this course covers course material and dinner.
This workshop is optional but highly recommended for those who do not
feel comfortable discussing basic statistics.
:: Pricing and Schedule
The Fundamentals of SAR Statistics is
now offered as a regular part of the Train-the-trainer workshop.