Don Schoolmaster is an Ecologist at WARC in Lafayette, LA.
Don Schoolmaster's research focuses on the use quantitative tools to combine ecological theory and data to address important applied questions. Two major avenues his work takes is 1) Using theory in inform causal networks (such as structural equations) that can be tested with data. His work in this area included both the development of methods, such as advanced methods for Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and applying these method to address ecological problems. 2) Using ecological theory to inform tools of ecological assessment. The methods used to develop quantitative tools such as Ecological Indicators (EI) and Multimetric Indices (MMI) often imply causal assumptions. The usefulness of the final assessment tool will often depend critically on how well these assumptions are met. Schoolmaster works to develop quantitative assessment methods that have causal assumptions that are met by ecological theory and expert opinion to insure a match between the assessment tool and understanding of how the systems works.