In general workshops are designed to inspire and foster discussions on most important topics within the field.

Though workshops have a different setting compared with sessions, it is also possible to submit an abstract and, if approved and you wish to, also a full paper for a workshop. More information on paper submission you find here. If you want to contribute something else, please contact the workshop organiser(s) directly.


All proposed workshops of the iEMSs 2012 are integrated into the following thematic streams:

A - Environmental Information-, Decision Support-, and Software Systems

D - Model Development, Analysis and Application: Methodological Aspects

E - Participatory Modelling and Stakeholder Involvement

F - Resource Management and Sustainability

G - Knowledge, Data and Semantic Processing for Environmental Research

H - Socio-Environmental Systems

J - Special Workshops for Young Academics

Please, press on the thematic stream of your choice to find the corresponding workshop summaries.

For a quick overview over all workshops and sessions inclusive organisers, or alternatively, an overview inclusive content please, take a look at the linked pdf-files.


We would like to thank all workshop organisers for their commitment to the iEMSs 2012.






Organisers: Karina Gibert, Knowledge Engineering and Machine Learning group and Dep. Statistics and Operations Research, both at Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Miquel Sanchez-Marre, Knowledge Engineering and Machine Learning group. Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Joaquim Comas, Laboratory of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Girona, Catalonia
Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda, Catalan Institute for Water Research, Catalonia
Antonio Ciampi, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Ioannis Athanasiadis, Istituto Dalle Molle di Studi sull'Intelligenza Artificiale, Lugano, Switzerland
Joaquin Izquierdo, Grupo Multidisciplinar de Modelacion de Fluidos, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain

This workshop (W-DMTES-2010, 3rd iEMSs Workshop) aims to approach and to promote the interaction between the Environmental Sciences community to the Data Mining community and related fields, such as Artificial Intelligence, Statistics or other fields to discuss the contribution of Data Mining techniques to Knowledge Discovery in Environmental Sciences, as well as to make data mining techniques more accessible to environmental modellers and to give data miners and developers a better idea of the needs and desires of the environmental community. The workshop will introduce interested parties to a range of data mining techniques and a selection of software packages. We also invite presentations of interesting applications of data mining to environmental problems. New or improved techniques or methods are welcome, as well as innovative applications.

 W12. Breakingdowndisciplinarysilos: what can environmental modellers in different domains learn from each other?
Organiser: Barbara Robson(

Do modellers of terrestrial ecology use the same type of models that aquatic ecological modellers use? Do modellers of catchment hydrology employ the same criteria in evaluating model complexity as those who model estuaries and coastal systems? Do limnological modellers have something to learn from oceanographic modellers, and ocean modellers something to learn from atmospheric modellers? Do biophysical modellers have something to learn from economic modellers?

In short, are environmental modellers employing consistent modelling frameworks, validation techniques, evaluation criteria and approaches to handling uncertainty across disciplinary boundaries? If not, are there good reasons for this? Are the differences due to inherent differences in the systems being modelled and the questions being asked, or are they down to the differences in the training and expectations of scientists in each field? What should we be learning from each other?

Those contributing to the workshop are also encouraged to submit a review paper on a subject within this topic to the associated session.

The workshop will explore these issues, consider the lessons that emerge, and work towards a position paper for Environmental Modelling and Software.

 W13. Expert knowledge in landscape ecological decision support tools: Benefits and cautions
Organiser: Ajith H. Perera (, Ontario Forest Research Institute, OMNR, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, CANADA
Lisa J. Buse (, Ontario Forest Research Institute, OMNR, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, CANADA
Richard S. Sojda (, Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, USGS, Bozeman, Montana, USA
C. Ashton Drew, Dept. of Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Chris J. Johnson, Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern British Columbia, Prince George, British Columbia, CANADA

Advances in remote sensing, GIS, and computing technology have made popular the development of decision support tools for conservation and management of terrestrial and aquatic landscapes. In most instances both the development and applications are aided by knowledge of professional experts, who impart their wisdom and insight on ecological patterns and processes. This contribution has remained informal in the past but attempts are now being made to formalize the process of eliciting and including expert knowledge in landscape ecological decision support tools. While the benefits that expert knowledge offers in this regard are many, it is necessary to ensure the same rigour and explicitness that would be associated with using conventional empirical input in developing such tools. Recent advances in science, especially in statistical methods are useful in this endeavour.

This workshop is intended to address the use of expert knowledge in landscape ecological decision support systems and explore the advantages and limitations of its use. We invite presentations that discuss experiences, in both research and/or implementation that may include many steps of using expert knowledge: eliciting and formalizing, assessing uncertainty, validating, and incorporating expert knowledge into the development cycle of decision support systems. Also, we welcome demonstrations of models or decision support tools and literature reviews or syntheses that involve expert knowledge and its use in landscape ecology.

The intended outcome of this workshop is a jointly authored article among interested attendees that (1) highlights the diversity of roles of expert knowledge in developing and implementing decision support tools, (2) summarizes methods employed in eliciting, formalizing, and incorporating expert knowledge, (3) examines the advantages and disadvantages of applied use of expert knowledge, (4) provides insight to the state of knowledge, and (5) suggests topical areas for further research related to use of expert knowledge in landscape ecological decision support tools.

 W14. “S” is for “Software” – Licensing Issues, Shared Code Development, and Why You Should Consider Going Open Source
Organisers: Daniel P. Ames, Idaho State University (
Alex Storey, University of Guelph (

Repeat after me: “I [state your name] am not going to get rich writing environmental modeling software.” The sooner you and I and the rest of our community accept this truism, the more quickly we can advance our science by breaking down walls of software secrecy – be they intentionally or unintentionally emplaced – and hence fostering collaborations at all phases of modeling software development, testing, and use. Indeed, a new spirit of software “openness” has sprung forth in some of the least likely of places. To wit: Microsoft now sponsors a fast growing open source software development community portal and has released all of its key development languages as free “express editions” – in part to support the development of open source software. This movement definitely follows the long standing scientific tradition of publishing one’s research methods and findings in the open literature; certainly the release of source code is the most fundamental form of publication in the field of environmental modeling and software.

There are many reasons why you may not be participating in the open source movement. For example: discomfort at the thought of other individuals viewing your spaghetti code, lack of a clear understanding of the different licenses available and what they mean, lack of time and energy to manage such an effort, or possibly delusional ideas about the fortune to be made from selling your latest groundwater model optimization code (if this last reason is yours, then be sure to review the opening mantra in this workshop summary).

The purpose of this workshop is to address these issues through presentations and discussion of 1) licensing options and implications, 2) shared code development tools and systems, and 3) shared/open source model software development case studies. Participation is sought from individuals with experience and success stories related to this topic. Also, individuals new to open source software development, or who are afraid that one day their code will be sitting in a doorstop (the final resting place of so much good code long since forgotten in an old worn out computer) are also highly encouraged to join this workshop.

 W15. Tales of DSS adoption: How and why are DSS successful in environmental and related sectors?
Organisers: Marten Stavenga (
Brian S. McIntosh (
Serena Chen (
Tony Jakeman (

Concerns persist that DSS tools fail more often than succeed in being adopted by the intended end users. Contemporary environmental concerns including cross-border pollution and integrated resource management under conditions of climate change require larger, multi-scale, complex modeling efforts. Such concerns must be addressed but present significant challenges to the achievement of successful adoption of Decision Support Systems. This workshop will present a number of case studies of successful DSS adoption in environmental and related sectors, such as agriculture, fisheries, production and environmental health sectors. Each case study will review DSS adoption as a process rather than as a single event with the aim of teasing out the factors which influence adoption in context.

The workshop will be organized based on a matrix framework using two perspectives: a) type of DSS application, and b) subject area / context of application. The subject application areas in scope will include all relevant areas of environmental sciences, including, but not limited to waste, environmental pollution, water management, climate change, environmental planning, environmental chemistry. In addition, also DSS applications in bordering sectors are in scope, such sectors being, but not limited to, forestry, oceans and fisheries, agriculture, environmental health, sustainable production and consumption.

What have been key factors for successful adoption of DSS in these various sectors? What have been pitfalls with adoption and application of DSS? What are key learnings on the adoption process across these various sectors? This workshop will aim to address these questions and issues.

The goal of this workshop is to deliver key insights for DSS developers to create a deeper understanding what the real uses and needs are for DSSs.

Those contributing to the workshop are also encouraged to submit an abstract on a subject within this topic.

 W16. Interoperability for Web Based Modeling
Hosted by the Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC)
Organisers: David Arctur, Interoperability Program Director, Open Geospatial Consortium (
George Percivall, Executive Director Interoperability Program, and OGC Chief Architect (
Phillip C. Dibner, Ecosystem Research (

The goal of this workshop is to develop familiarity among iEMSs participants with OGC open standards for web services, with particular attentionto the utility of these and complementary standards to support improved interoperability of environmental modeling. The workshop will also be positioned to identify and prioritize challenges and issues for joint work by OGC and iEMSs members as part of the Alliance partnership established between these two organizations in late 2009.

Background: The OGC has developed a range of OGC Web Service (OWS) standards to improve the ease at which location or geospatial information can be discovered, accessed, fused and applied to increasingly complex problems facing decision makers worldwide. In the past several years, OGC members have emphasized standards development in support of broad geosciences objectives in the areas of hydrology, climate change, ocean observation, geology, and environmental science. Recently, OGC released a family of Sensor Web Enablement standards which provide rapid and real time access to a range of fixed and mobile sensors, and the ability to access, integrate, fuse and apply sensor information for decision making in a location and temporal context. This coupled with the release of the OGC Web Processing Service provides a significant level of standards-based capability to help advance the objectives of the modeling community.

Proposed focused work sessions and discussions

  • Overview of OGC organization and process, and OGC service implementation specifications as they relate to location interoperability. Emphasis on user community benefits being realized in environmental, ocean, climate and other science communities of interest.
  • Presentation of OGC standards and best practices relevant to environmental modeling. Discussions include emphasis on Web Processing Services, Workflow Management, Digital Rights management, Sensor Web Enablement and other standards.
  • Group Discussion. Development of issues. Opportunities and challenges potentially ripe for OGC / iEMSs collaboration, areas for immediate use of OGC standards, iEMSs use cases for potential use in future collaborative project activities.
  • Further discussions on potential collaboration between OGC and iEMSs.

 W17. Low-carbon industry and multi-scale input-output modeling
Hosted by Beijing Development Area Co., Ltd. (BDA Ltd), Beijing, China
Organisers: G. Q. Chen, State Key Lab. for Complex Systems, Peking University / Institute of Low-carbon Industry, BDA Ltd, Beijing, China. (
B. Chen, School of Environment, Beijing Normal Univ. / Institute of Low-carbon Industry, BDA Ltd, Beijing, China (
S.Y. Zhou, Institute of Low-carbon Industry, BDA Ltd, Beijing, China (
H.S. Tang, Dept. of Civil Eng., City College, City Univ. of New York, NY, USA (

Aims and Topics:

As an urgent dilemma facing the human society, with all our strength we make efforts to reduce and mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at distinctive industrial levels, but as a whole the carbon emission is booming with rapid increase. This is due to the bottom end characteristics of conventional mitigation strategies necessitating intensive economic input at the end with massive carbon cost. The emerging trend to resolve the dilemma is based on the low-carbon systems engineering supported by databases and module packages associated with top-down and bottom-up integrated multi-scale multi-regional Leontief modeling.

We aim to identify the systems theory, methods, technologies, business modules and best practices in low carbon development that could be applied to reduce GHG emissions for nations, regions, sectors, and industries. To achieve the goal of the carbon reductions as reinforced by the Copenhagen Accord, specific efforts on environmental modelling will be instrumental to obtain more fruitful results. This may help make corresponding government policies to promote the energy efficiencies and reduce carbon emission intensity at each level of the concerned systems, provoke financial incentives in the form of domestic and international investments for low carbon projects, and spur development of multi-scale input-output tools and deployment of new energy, environmental and ecological technologies to realize carbon emission reduction.

The workshop will be structured but not limited to the following inter-dependent topics:
  • Low-carbon industry park
  • Low-carbon building and real estate
  • Low-carbon supply chain
  • Low-carbon logistics
  • Low-carbon evaluation and consultant
  • Multi-scale ecological input-output models
  • Multi-scale multi-regional databases for direct and embodied carbon inventory
  • Renewable and substitute energy
  • Life cycle analysis
  • Environmental accounting
  • Greenhouse emission accounting
  • Embodied energy accounting
  • Carbon footprint
  • Low-carbon wastewater treatment
  • Carbon measurement
  • Carbon capture
  • Low-carbon technologies
This special workshop invites professionals from universities, enterprises, and administrative departments concerned with low-carbon projects and multi-scale input-output methods to make effective comparisons, to present and to share new ideas, innovations, trends, experiences, and concerns in the environmental modeling and systematic simulation. We also believe the workshop for low-carbon industry and multi-scale input-output modeling will become an important platform for the other participants of iEMSs 2010 to exchange knowledge, perspectives and ideas for the low-carbon economy and to discuss the most recent advances in simulation models and assessment methods from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

Workshop format

A two-day workshop will be held during June 5 - 7, 2010. The initial workshop will be devoted to invited and contributed presentations around the topics just outlined. The rest of the workshop will be devoted to Institute of Low-carbon Industry of BDA Limited and round-table discussion, oriented to identifying specific collaborative research projects and potential funding sources, which will further clarify potential research opportunities among the participants.

Workshop outcomes

These interactions should yield multi-institutional teams prepared to pursue collaborative interdisciplinary research projects. In addition, selected and peer-reviewed papers from plenary and contributed presentations will be published as a contribution to specific journals.