Program MARK logo

We'll use Program MARK extensively in the course.  Program MARK is freeware that was developed, and is maintained by Gary White, a retired professor from Colorado State University. Program MARK is a flexible, widely used application for parameter estimation using data from marked individuals.  Software downloads and software documentation can be obtained from a site maintained by Evan Cooch.  If you have a Windows-based laptop that you can use in the course, you can download and install Program MARK on your computer, which will prove very useful as we will use the software almost every week for homework assignments. If you work on another platform, e.g., Mac OS or Linux, there are methods such as "parallels" that can be used to run Windows. forum logo

Evan Cooch maintains a set of very useful Analysis Forums for mark-recapture data.  You can post questions concerning analysis/theory using program MARK, PRESENCE, and  other mark-recapture software.  It also archives past questions and replies (very useful)  and provides software announcements.


R logo & link to CRAN

We'll occasionally use R, which is a free software environment for statistical computing and graphics.  R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation, calculation and graphical display. Previous knowledge of R is NOT a pre-requisite for the course. You can download and install R on your own computer if you wish.  Finally, you can use the software on various computers across campus.  For lots of information on R, visit the CRAN repository. On the left side of the main CRAN page, look under "Documentation" to find links to lots of good resources for learning R. Please let me know if you find resources that are especially helpful.

CRAN repository:

  • Download R (the first few links in the main frame)
  • Learn about R -- lots here. Under Documentation, the six "manuals" are usually downloaded when you install R, so you can read them locally under the help menu after starting R.  The FAQs contain lots of good info about R setup and operation."Other" has links to manuals and introductions written by others. If you find any of these to be particularly good, please let me know so I can bookmark them for others.
  • Visit CRAN's page that provides a variety of contributed Short Documents and Reference Cards to obtain short documents that provide you with helpful documentation many commonly used commands/functions.

RStudio logo I prefer to run R through RStudio, which is an integrated development environment for R that makes many tasks easier and adds a variety of excellent tools to what's available in R. 


DataCamp logo As a studentenrolled inthe course, you will have free, unlimited access to all DataCamp coursesduring the semester. It's a great resource for learning R and other related languages, e.g., Python.


Latex Project logoIf you want to be able to produce pdf's from RMarkdown, you'll need to install LaTex. Visit The LaTex Project page to learn more and to download the necessary software for various computer platforms (e.g., Windows, Linux, Mac OS) under the "Get" tab.

RMark Library - The RMark library is a collection of R functions developed by Jeff Laake that can be used as an interface to MARK for analysis of capture-recapture data. The library contains various functions that import/export capture data, build capture-recapture models, run the FORTRAN program MARK.EXE, and extract and display output. I do not expect that we will use RMark in this course but some of you may be R users interested in this software once you have learned MARK. 

Program PRESENCE - Estimates patch occupancy rates and related parameters.

Online teaching tool from the USGS Vermont Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit.  A helpful set of spreadsheet exercises for learning occupancy modeling.

Related software - There are a variety of other useful software programs available for analysis of mark-recapture data. Evan Cooch maintains a set of links to many of the packages at his Program MARK web site.