S10. Bridging the gaps between design and use: developing appropriate tools for environmental management and policy

Chair: Prof. Carlo Giupponi, Universitˆ Statale di Milano and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Italia

Organisers: Brian S. McIntosh, School of Water Sciences, Cranfield University, UK; Sean Wang, Computer Science Department, University of Vermont, USA; Alexey Voinov, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont, USA

Sound decisions in environmental management and policy usually require the examination of alternative solutions (in terms of continuous ranges or qualitatively different options), and may require the consideration of alternative problem formulations prior to option assessment. In this context, formal modelling techniques can provide a means of constructing problems, and of generating qualitative and quantitative information for exploring and characterising decision spaces. Computer-based models and modelling technologies consequently have a potentially critical role to play in informing environmental management and policy processes. In particular, tools such as integrated assessment models (IAM) and decision support systems (DSS) have been identified as being well suited to providing information support to complex decision processes. However there is a recognised gap between the claims made about the usefulness of such tools within the academic literature and their demonstrated utility. Potential end-user organisations are often unreceptive to the potential benefits. The question is why, and what, if anything, can be done in terms of improving tool design and usability?

To answer these questions we wish to better understand how data, information and knowledge are acquired and manipulated during processes of human decision-making, and how such processes can be augmented and supported through the use of models and software. The aim of the workshop will therefore be to improve our understanding of the gaps between tool design and tool use, and of how to develop more appropriate tools for environmental management and policy. The following indicative topics are addressed:

This session focuses on sharing design ideas, practice and lessons learned through a series of fifteen minute presentations including a five minute Q&A for each. Attendees are then strongly encouraged to discuss the key issues raised through participating in the workshop that accompanies the session. More information can be found under workshop 6.


Part 1, Monday 15:45-17:30

15:45. Bridging the design-use gap for DSS in environmental policy and practice. Dr Keith Matthews. Macaulay Institute

16:00. Development Of A Protocol For The Development, Evaluation And Application Of Environmental Models In Decision Making. Dr Noha Gaber. US Environmental Protection Agency

16:15. Challenges encountered during integrated modelling across multiple catchments. Dr NevilleCrossman. CSIRO Land and Water

16:30. Combining participatory approaches and modelling: lessons from two practical cases of policy support. Ms Hedwigvan Delden. RIKS

16:45. Applying a Multi-Agent Model to Evaluate Effects of Development Proposals and Growth Management Policies on Suburban Sprawl. Dr Michael Monticino. University of North Texas

17:00. SIAT, a Sustainable Impact Assessment Tool for Understanding the drivers in integrated impact assessment. Mr Peter Verweij. Alterra

17:15. Experience with a system dynamics model in a prospective study evaluating the future impact of ICT on environmental sustainability. Dr Patrick Wager. Empa

Part 2, Tuesday 9:45-11:00

9:45. Integrated assessment of agricultural and environmental policies towards a computerized framework for the EU (SEAMLESS-IF). Dr Martinvan Ittersum. Wageningen University

10:00. Without a common mental model a DSS makes no sense (a new approach to frame analysis using mental models). Mr Rien Kolkman. University of Twente

10:15. Towards A User-Oriented Design of a DSS For Integrated River-Basin Management: The Elbe Prototype DSS. Dr Jean-Luc de Kok. University of Twente

10:30. Features of Advanced Decision Support Systems for Environmental Studies, Management, and Regulation. Mr Edwin Roehl. Advanced Data Mining

10:45. Scenario Analysis In Water Resources Management Under Data Uncertainty. Mr Andrea Sulis. University of Cagliari - Italy

Part 3, Tuesday 11:15-12:30

11:15. A Web-Based Tool for Economic Analysis of Sediment Control on Rangeland Watersheds. Mr Yanxin Duan. USDA-ARS-SWRC

11:30. Developing an oasis-based irrigation management tool for a large semi-arid mountainous catchment in Morocco. Dr Carmende Jong. University of Bonn

11:45. From research to management: a suite of GIS-based watershed modeling, assessment and planning tools. Dr Darius Semmens U.S. EPA

12:00. Supporting Multidisciplinary Model-Based Water Management Projects: A User Perspective. Mr Huub Scholten. Wageninge University

12:15. Questions and General Discussion.

Part 4, Wednesday 9:45-11:00

09:45. Towards effective water governance: putting the Integrated Water Resource Management in force. Dr Jaroslav Mysiak. FEEM Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei

10:00. Towards agent-based modeling of stakeholder behavior - a pilot study on drought vulnerability of decentral water supply in NE Brazil. Ms Anne Gunkel. University of Freiburg

10:15. Identification of Alternatives Strengths and Weaknesses during the Conceptual Design of Environmental Systems. Mr Xavier Flores Alsina. University of Girona

10:30. A Decision Support System for energy production from renewable resources: logistics aspects of sustainable forest biomass collection. Ms Michela Robba. University of Genova

10:45. Validation of Multiple Stable States and Thresholds Within the Goulburn Catchment. Mr Tim Peterson. University of Melbourne