UC ANR Statistics

Text   Applied Statistics for ANR Researchers

Almond orchard in bloom


Workshop description

We will study some of the most common statistical methods with emphasis on practical application. Topics were selected based on a survey of the potential audience. Participants will learn how to complete data analysis, interpretation and reporting using the modern tools of R and the RStudio environment. Starting with simple linear regression, the instruction proceeds through analysis of variance to linear mixed models and methods to deal with situations that do not meet the usual assumptions of linearity, normality, independence and homogeneity of variance. A final section treats principles for the design of surveys and experiments.

The workshops are designed to maximize the time spent on active participation in groups or individually. Presentation by instructors is kept to the minimum necessary to allow participants AND instructors to learn by doing and by having conversations with the rest of the group. Each meeting will include one to three sections, each of which will include an example and a hands-on exercise to be completed during the meeting.



  • Refresh and update practical knowledge about the most common statistical methods in agricultural and socioeconomic research.
  • Get started on a path to use R and RStudio as the ultimate platform for reproducible collaborative research.
  • Provide resources and methods for participants to continue to learn.



The core target audience is Cooperative Extension Advisors. Topics and format are designed to minimize the time necessary to be able to effectively apply the methods covered. Participants should have some experience doing research and taken at least one introductory and one intermediate course in applied statistics or the equivalent.



Jodi Azulai     jlazulai@ucanr.edu

Ellen Bruno     ebruno@berkeley.edu

Matt Daugherty     mattd@ucr.edu

Emilio A. Laca     ealaca@ucdavis.edu

Andy Lyons     andlyons@ucanr.edu



NOTE: Zoom and RStudio Cloud are accessible ONLY when the course is offered "live."

Organization and workflow

Meetings will be online by  Zoom. There is another link to the Zoom room at the top of the page on the right of the flowering almonds. The link will be the same for all meetings. Participants should receive calendar invitations that contain all information to join meetings.

In preparation for each meeting, please visit the corresponding Canvas page and take a minute to become familiar with the navigation and materials therein. Right before the meeting, please log into this site and into RStudio Cloud. See more instructions below. Meetings will start at 9:00 with a brief welcome, but participants can join at any time (please, alert the instructors ahead of time if possible to make sure you will be allowed into the meeting).

In each section of each meeting there will be lecture-like presentation. One or more specific example will be worked out completely for the whole group by the instructor while participants can follow in their individual workspaces or computer. An exercise will be given to be done by participants in Zoom breakout rooms while instructors provide support. Then all will reconvene in the main room and have a brief discussion as needed. Each meeting can have 1-3 sections like this.


RStudio Cloud (RSC)

Although instructions and some support will be provided for participants to install and use R and RStudio in their computers. All statistical computing and most of the report creation will take place in RStudio Cloud. Participants (who do not already have one) have to create a free RStudio Cloud account. Then, you will receive an invitation to join the workshop workspace from Emilio. If you have not received an invitation prior to the first meeting, contact Emilio ASAP.

Instructors will provide all data sets and code for the course through the Files in RStudio Cloud Projects. We use RSC to avoid wasting time dealing with issues that pertain to individual’s computers. We recommend that participants complete all work in RSC during the meetings, and then try to recreate the work in their own RStudio installation in their computers.

RSC also provides very useful and concise guides to using R and Rstudio. Once you log in, you will see a navigation pane on the left with a link to Primers. Follow the link to find a list of primers. We recommend that all participants complete the first four primers. NOTE: the functions gather() and spread() presented in the Tidy Data primer have been superseded by pivot_longer() and pivot_wider(), but their use is very similar.


Screenshot of primers in RStudio Cloud



Email list

email list: anr-stats-sp22@ucdavis.edu



Meetings will be recorded, particularly presentations and organized discussions. Recordings will be posted in the corresponding Canvas Topics within a week of being created.


Office hours

Instructors will hold office hours as follows:

Emilio A. Laca

Immediately after the meetings (30 min) and by appointment. 

For appointments, send an email to Emilio ealaca@ucdavis.edu with the following information:

  1. Subject: ANRStats4CEA (copy this verbatim into the subject of the message)
  2. All dates and times when you are available in the 5 days following the email (weekends are OK).
  3. Topic to discuss or questions, if you have them (not mandatory).
  4. Whether you want to meet individually or it is OK for others to join us.


Matt Daugherty 

Immediately after class or contact for an appointment.


Andy Lyons

Monday and Tuesday afternoons, 3-5pm. Sign-up here. R questions only.