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Quantitative Analysis Using Structural Equations

About the Site

USGS scientists have been involved for a number of years in the development and use of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). This methodology represents an approach to statistical modeling that focuses on the study of complex cause-effect hypotheses about the mechanisms operating in systems. SEM is increasingly used in ecological and environmental studies and this site seeks to provide education materials related to that enterprise. In its first-generation form, this site largely serves up tutorials, reference information, and highlights of potentially useful applications of SEM principles.

How to Use This Site

The front page of contains modules constituting a workshop I commonly teach. Here, those modules are turned into individual tutorials. There are also links on the bottom of the front page where additional tutorials can be found.

The materials on this site build upon one another to a degree. In particular, the first set of materials (those tutorials on the main page) are usually presented in sequence. So, regarding fine points, material in any given tutorial may not provide a complete explanation, but instead, depend on material in another tutorial. Hopefully, this will not be too much of an impediment to self-learning. A topic index is planned for the near future


Comments on existing tutorials and suggestions for additional tutorials can be sent to Please note that while emails to this address will be read, we cannot provide individual replies given time constraints. For this we apologize, but we do hope the materials provided will be helpful.

To Receive Update Notices

We will maintain a mailing list for sending out updates to those interested in following the development of new materials. Just let us know of your interest by sending a message to

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Page Last Modified: Monday, 28-Sep-2015 14:02:19 EDT