The Nelson Institute recognizes that statistical analysis is an essential tool in environmental studies. We offer support for thesis related data analysis, but to qualify, we ask that you conform to the following principles and requirements:
- The need for statistical analysis must be addressed as early as possible in the planning of thesis work. If you are contemplating analyses that will require skills or resources beyond your capacity to accomplish them, you must discuss with your advisor how you will acquire what is needed before data collection begins. Note that the support discussed here is provided from Nelson Institute operating funds. There are other sources of support and ways to obtain help with statistics.
- We expect that you will have the minimum training necessary to conduct the analyses and interpret the results. For many, this will mean, at a minimum, taking a one semester course in basic statistics, though more extensive training, courses, or workshops may be necessary. We will not pay for remedial education in basic statistics.
- Statistics is a complex subject. Therefore, it is understood that even careful planning may require consultation with a statistical expert for reassurance that the methods proposed will meet general professional standards. In all cases, the first consultation should be with the advisor and members of the committee. But in recognition of the importance of sound statistical design and analysis the intention of this policy is to make consulting available through the UW-Madison SSCC*.
Requirements to obtain financial support from Nelson for statistical consulting:
You must submit a request for support using the online form (or a facsimile). See the form for the information requested.
Important Note: Nelson Institute support for statistical consulting is limited. We set a baseline maximum for a single student as five hours in a calendar year. In exceptional cases this maximum may be exceeded, but additional justification will be required.
* The Social Science Computing Cooperative provides statistical consulting, most typically for working with data and techniques in the social sciences. Basic analyses in environmental analysis, however, overlap considerably, and support can therefore be provided for students working with a wide range of data sets.