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NIMBioS Education Module

Using Linear Regression to Explore Environmental Factors Affecting Vector-borne Diseases

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This activity was developed by an Incubator Group associated with the Quantitative Biology at Community Colleges Network meeting hosted by NIMBioS, February 27-29, 2020.

In this module students will use linear regression to analyze real data on vector-borne diseases and explore how environmental factors, such as climate change or population density, influence the transmission of these diseases. The activities are designed for face-to-face instruction and may be adapted for an online classroom.

Math Learning Objectives

  • Perform data organization and analysis to produce descriptive statistics.
  • Explain the relationship between two variables.
  • Use technology to assist in the solution of both abstract and contextual problems.

Biology Learning Objectives

  • Investigate the relationship between two variables using graphical and statistical methods (specifically linear regression).
  • Assess limitations of the data set and data analysis methods.
  • Discuss the human health and environmental implications based on the data.


  • Instructor Guide (docx) (pdf)
  • Opening Activity (docx) (pdf)
  • Excel Instructions and Statistical Terms.docx" (docx) (pdf)
  • Student Activities (docx) (pdf)
  • Temp_Rainfall_Zika_Malaria Central America (xlsx)
  • Solutions (docx) (pdf)
  • Assessment (docx) (pdf)

Download Bundle Version 1.0 - published on 02 Sep 2020

Authors: Andy Adams¹, Jessica A Adams¹, John J. Bray¹, Tami Imbierowicz¹, Suzanne Lenhart², Breonna Martin¹
¹Harford Community College, ²University of Tennessee

Adams A, Adams JA, Bray JJ, Imbierowicz T, Lenhart S, Martin B (2020). Using Linear Regression to Explore Environmental Factors Affecting Vector-borne Diseases. QB@CC Spring 2020 Incubator 5, QUBES Educational Resources. doi:10.25334/3Y6Y-4C52

Licensed under CC Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International according to these terms

Other NIMBioS education modules

For further information, please contact:

Suzanne Lenhart
Associate Director for Education and Outreach
Ph: (865) 974-4270 (Math)   (865) 974-9349 (NIMBioS)   Fax: (865) 974-9300
NIMBioS, 1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410

1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
PH: (865) 974-9334
FAX: (865) 974-9461
Contact NIMBioS

From 2008 until early 2021, NIMBioS was supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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