Jack Schuenemeyer, local owner of Southwest Statistical Consulting, recently published a book directed at professionals working in the area of environmental science, and advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying geology, archaeology, climate and other earth science disciplines.
Statistics for Earth and Environmental Scientists, co-authored with geoscientist Lawrence Drew, is Schuenemeyers first book, but not the first time his work has been published. The professor emeritus at the University of Delaware has authored more than 100 journal articles and contributed chapters for other books.
Schuenemeyer said the new book uses real data and emphasizes graphics, model construction, model evaluation and inference. He said they tried to hit a balance between something that is very mathematical and something that is entirely verbal to motivate the methodology so people can get the sense of where its applied and how its applied.
One of the important things about science is sort of understanding when and how you apply models, what the limitations of the models are, what the assumptions are that go into the models, and weve also tried to do a lot of graphical illustrations so the reader can get a gut level feeling inside to what is going on, Schuenemeyer said.
He said even if people dont necessarily understand all of the mathematics they can get a feel for what particular methods do and how they should be applied in real life situations.
One of the things we really spent a lot of time doing was using real examples, he said. There is a wind row shown from Mesa Verde, a pictorial view of both wind direction and wind speed, said Schuenemeyer.
They also used U.S. Geological Survey Cortez Quadrangle data. This is geochemical data that covers much of Southwest Colorado and was from soil and stream sediment data.
Examples are also shown from archaeology, geology and climate along with a website that was developed with Netforce as an adjunct to the book. The website contains data sets, exercises and a blog.
The detailed book took years to complete, even a lifetime it seemed, to one family member.
My granddaughter, whos 9 years old, accuses me of (writing the book) her whole life, Schuenemeyer said jokingly.
It probably took about four years of serious work on it, he said.
Schuenemeyer is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, and a winner of the International Association for Mathematical Geology teaching award.
Best known locally for his community involvement, he has served on numerous boards, including the Montezuma-Cortez School District Re-1 Board of Education, For Pets Sake, Pinon Project, Cortez Parks and Recreation Advisory Board and was past president of the Cortez Area Chamber of Commerce. Schuenemeyer also lets his sense of humor show each year in the Pinon Projects Comedy Show.
For more information on Statistics for Earth and Environmental Scientists, visit www.EarthStatBook.com.
Reach Paula Bostrom at [email protected]