A river pouring over green, mossy rocks sheltered by tall, dense trees.

An Introduction to Bayesian Network Ecological Risk Assessment

Instructor: Dr. Wayne Landis, Professor & Director at the Institute of Environmental Toxicology, Huxley College of the Environment

Bayesian networks are increasingly used in ecological risk assessment and in environmental management. The use of Bayesian networks and influence diagrams have been applied to sites as varied as the South River VA, the Puget Sound WA and for emergent diseases in the Southwestern United States. 

Highlights of this 5-day intensive course include:

  • Introduction to the basics of incorporating Bayesian networks into the relative risk model network
  • Use of the software package Netica to build the Bayesian networks to run course examples, and for student teams to run the risk assessments
  • Presentation of the examples from contaminated sites, invasive species, natural resource management, adaptive management, and the estimation of pesticide risks to populations
  • Work in teams of 5-7 students

At a Glance

Professionals and Students

August 13-17, 2018

SEA Discovery Center
Poulsbo, WA


2 credits available for an additional cost of $100


Day One:

  • Introduction to the course and the fundamentals of risk.
  • Introduction to Bayesian thinking and the use of Bayesian networks in risk assesment.
  • How to start in Netica.
  • Probabilistic thinking, exposure response curves, and how risk varies in a landscape.
  • Afternoon welcome reception at the SEA Discovery Center.

Day Two:

  • Thinking about how to frame the risk assessment question and putting it into a Bayesian network risk assessment.  
  • Step by step examples of how the models were built.  
  • Building a conceptual model and its transformation into a Bayesian network.  
  • The issues with model quantification and the construction of conditional probability tables.
  • Students start on formulating their projects.

Day Three:

  • What is uncertainty and sensitivity?  
  • How to incorporate uncertainty in quantitative and qualitative terms.
  • Building the Bayesian network from the conceptual models.

Day Four:

  • Students work on building their risk assessments.
  • Progress reports.
  • Evening dinner at the Clearwater Casino Resort Private Dining Room.

Day Five:

  • Presentation of class projects in a Risk Symposium.
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Location Details


A block of rooms have been reserved for program participants; individual reservations need to be made to secure your lodging at the award winning Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort located on the shores of Agate Passage in Poulsbo Washington. The resort features breathtaking views and captures the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  

Room Cost

$93 per night + tax. Amenities include: unlimited local phone calls, high speed internet access, HDTV cable TV, access to the pool/spa, exercise room and equipment.  Reservations must be made no later than Friday, July 20, 2018 to secure this reduced room rate. 

Room Reservations

Call: 1-866-609-8700 and indicate you are part of Western Washington University group. 
Online: At www.clearwatercasino.com and use the Group ID: 13901 


Free shuttle transportation is provided to and from the hotel to the SEA Discovery Center each day  (Monday through Friday).  
The hotel also provides free courtesy shuttle service to and from the Bainbridge Island Ferry Terminal each day.  

Local Area

You will enjoy the sights and sounds of the beautiful Kitsap Peninsula located directly across the Puget Sound from Seattle. Extend your stay and enjoy the area. For more information about Poulsbo and the Kitsap Region, visit: https://www.visitkitsap.com/poulsbo.

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Cost Details

Program Cost: $1,900.

Optional: Two (2) college credits available for an additional cost of $100.

Refund Policy: A full refund minus a processing fee of $250 will be given for cancellations received in writing before July 15, 2018.  No refunds will be given after July 15, 2018.

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Western Washington University is conveniently located throughout the Puget Sound and the Central Salish Sea regions.

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