InterJournal Complex Systems, 419
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [419]
Submission Date: 609
Revised On: 20925
Developing Understanding of Ecological-Economic Systems
Author(s): Thomas Maxwell

Subject(s): CX.34, CX.44, CX.65

Category: Article


Model building is an essential prerequisite for comprehension of system dynamics and for choosing among alternative actions (e.g. policies). To effectively use those models, i.e., to foster consensus about the appropriateness of their assumptions and results and thus to promote a high degree of compliance with the policies derived from the model, it is necessary to involve a wide range of parties interested in or affected by the policy decisions. What is required is a new role for modeling as a tool in building a broad consensus not only across academic disciplines, but also between science and policy. To support the consensual modeling paradigm we are developing a Modeling Collaboratory, i.e. a hardware and software laboratory that can be used for the exploration of collaborative modeling techniques and the development of spatial models, as well as transparent access to high performance computing facilities. This collaboratory is being applied ( jointly with state, local, and federal management agencies ) as an integrated, adaptive, framework for managing ecological-economic systems. We are involving a broad spectrum of scientists, managers, and policy makers in the process from the beginning. The current management applications of this framework include the Everglades Landscape Model (ELM:, the Baltimore LTER project (BES,, and the Patuxent Landscape Model (PLM: We expect that this infrastructure will open the simulation arena to a much wider set of participants, and facilitate the application of computer modeling to the study and management of natural systems.

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