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R Essentials for Natural Resource Professionals

R Essentials for Natural Resource Professionals is a non-credit, on-line course that introduces students to the R statistical software package and programming environment. R is an extremely powerful and versatile data analysis package that is freely available for download off the world-wide web. R rivals and, in some cases, surpasses commercial statistical software and graphing packages. Thus, wide adoption of R by managers and biologists in the field of natural resources and ecology may result in substantial cost-savings to natural resource agencies. Students who complete this course will understand the benefits of using R and will be able to more easily transition to using R from other software packages. Progression through the course is self-paced, and students may enroll at any time. Topics that are covered in the course include how to install and use R libraries, importing data, graphing, writing loops and conditional statements, creating user-defined functions, generating random numbers, and conducting optimizations.

View course units and preview a unit video

Cost: $250 ($100 discount given to students and employees of QFC Supporting Partners*)

Purchasing the class


  • Go to the QFC online store to purchase the class -- login using your MSU ID

  • Get an MSU Community ID
  • Activation instructions are sent to the email you entered in the previous step. The email you entered is your MSU Community ID
  • Go to the QFC online store to purchase the class -- login using your MSU Community ID (same as the email you used in the previous step)

    1. The student needs to login at the store before you can purchase a class for them:
      • Have the student click here or copy and paste them this link: https://caps.itservices.msu.edu/roundabout/b0d9318e-7b6b-496a-a75a-19334f77139c
      • The student logs in on their device at the link above using their MSU ID -- they will get a message saying their ID is registered for the store
      • At any point after this, you may purchase a class for the student
    2. On your own device, go to the QFC online store to purchase the class using the students MSU ID as their email

    1. Have the student click here to get an MSU Community ID or give them this link: https://community.idm.msu.edu/selfservice/faces/signin.jsp
      • Activation instructions are sent to the email the student entered in the previous step.
      • The email the student entered is their MSU Community ID
    2. The student needs to login at the store before you can purchase a class for them:
      • Have the student click here or give them this link: https://caps.itservices.msu.edu/roundabout/b0d9318e-7b6b-496a-a75a-19334f77139c
      • The student logs in on their device at the link above using their MSU ID -- they will get a message saying their ID is registered for the store
      • At any point after this, you may purchase a class for the student
    3. On your own device, go to the QFC online store to purchase the class using the students MSU ID as their email


    *Supporting partners - employee or student of a QFC Supporting Partner agency or institution (MSU, GLFC, Michigan DNR, Ohio DNR, Minnesota DNR, Wisconsin DNR, New York DEC, Ontario MNRF, Illinois DNR, Pennsylvania FBC, GLIFWC)

    For help, contact Charlie Belinsky: 517-432-5087 or belinsky@msu.edu