An introductory eco-data science course for R markdown

Getting started

Before we get to play with R markdown, we need to make sure you have the latest versions of R and R Studio. Then, I’ll give a list of basic R packages that we will use, and then some instructions on how to download the materials in this repository (the stuff you see above).

Although it may seem like a lot, it is important that you follow these instructions. This will reduce the chances of running into errors during the workshop, and will help us get through the material. It will not take more than 5 minutes, but make sure you do it well in advance of the workshop. We don’t want surprises right before we start, do we?

R and R Studio

Remember that R and R Studio are two separate things. For now, let’s say R is the engine that runs the code, and R Studio is the IDE (Integrated Development Environment… which is a fancy User Interface) that allows you to interact with R.

Check for updates

  1. First, make sure you have the latest releases of R and R Studio. If you have never installed them, skip this and go to the next step.
  • Open R Studio
  • In the Console, type sessionInfo() to see which version of R you have. You should be running on R version 3.4.2 or later. In my case, typing that looks like this, and I am only interested in the first line:



You get:

R version 3.4.2 (2017-09-28)
Platform: x86_64-w64-mingw32/x64 (64-bit)
Running under: Windows >= 8 x64 (build 9200)

... some other technical stuff follows this
  • To see if you are running the latest version of R Studio, use your toolbar to navigate to Help/Check for Updates