Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Using Computer Models In Great Lakes Decision-Making

May 2: A new publication by researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) and the University of Michigan -- The Use of Models in Great Lakes Decision Making, An Interdisciplinary Synthesis -- examines how computer simulation models were used in four case studies in the Great Lakes. The four cases were chosen because they represent the increasing demands being placed on both environmental managers and computer modelers. They covered high interest topics as diverse as fish stocking and lake levels. Dr. Jack Manno of ESF said, “Computer models have been used for a long time, but no one asked how to do the modeling to best promote good decision making. The issue is whether the models really answer the right questions.”

Manno said the researchers looked at how models were used and which ones worked well in addressing the issue at hand and communicating the model's meaning to stakeholders. He said the publication suggests a process that can be used when facing a policy issue that has environmental aspects. The research project, “The Development and Use of Predictive Models in Great Lakes Decision-Making: An Interdisciplinary Synthesis,” was funded with a one-year, $65,330 grant from New York Sea Grant.

Access an announcement of the report (click here). Access a copy of the 96-page publication (click here).