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Teaching with Movebank

Movebank has been used in a number of teaching settings, both for teaching about Movebank, and using Movebank to teach about science. Movebank can be used as a teaching tool for many ages and skill levels, from high school science projects to workshops for animal tracking researchers. This group is a place to store materials that have been used for courses, tutorials, or projects, and discuss tips for successful teaching using Movebank.

For now, most course documents will be available to group members only, so that we can keep track of who is using the materials and provide extra info. But anyone can join the group—just register on Movebank, log in, and select "Request membership". Please join if you are interested in finding out more!

There have been many workshops and short courses on how to use Movebank for wildlife management and research in movement ecology. Of these, the most extensive course we are aware of are the AniMove summer schools hosted by the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior. If you're planning to lead a class or prepare assignments using Movebank, feel free to contact us ahead of time for help with preparation ( If you are leading a course or tutorial, we encourage you to let us know exactly when it will be held—we will do our best to have someone available during the class in case you have questions. We would also love to get any feedback and copies of materials for tutorials or class projects that use Movebank. You can contact us directly or join this user group and post your information.


Icarus Initiative Data

Any idea when the data from will be posted on the site and when the data might be available for community and educational organizations?

Would be so good to be able to access that to teach about climate, migrations, impacts of urban life, etc.

I understand that the science/research community will get access in 2019, but not sure if that is all being posted through Movebank or if that is being accessed elsewhere.


Online training in Movebank, Env-DATA and R

Roland Kays, Gil Bohrer, Sarah Davidson from Movebank, along with John Feiberg from the University of Minnesota, led a workshop in spring 2018 on how to use Movebank, EnvDATA and R to build resource and step-selection models.

Cat Tracker for Middleschools

We have a new Middle School curriculum developed around pet cat tracking.  This includes projects that can be done using data from Movebank, and instructions on how to track your own cat and contribute the data to movebank.   More details below as well.




College-level lab exercise exploring raptor migration data

I wrote a lab exercise for an upper-level college course in conservation biology at Swarthmore College that was held in April 2013. The exercise is titled "GIS and conservation biology: A case study with animal movement data". After a 30-min presentation introducing GIS applications for biology, methods for tracking individual animal movements, and the Movebank project, the students worked in pairs on the exercise. There are three parts:

Notes from the VWJD tutorial

I gave this tutorial on 12 October, 2012 at the University of Bonn as part of the annual meeting of the German Union of Game Biologists (Vereinigung der Wildbiologen und Jagdwissenschaftler Deutschlands e.V.). It was part of a day-long workshop for young scientists—there were about 25 participants, most were graduate students or recently out of graduate school with a working knowledge of animal tracking methods and data. A handful had used Movebank previously.

Science Buddies projects with Movebank

Science Buddies, a non-profit education organization, has worked together with Movebank to design two high-school level science projects that use Movebank. These project ideas allow students to access publicly available tracking data and use it to answer questions about wildlife conservation and relationships between weather and migration. See the links below for more information:

Outline for college-level exercise exploring Movebank

This is an outline for a graduate school course exercise that Roland Kays, one of Movebank's leaders, gave a while back. It would probably also work well for an undergraduate class: