Ecological Modelling

Natural resource management and decision making require tools to assess the trade-offs between alternative choices. Our Ecological Modelling team has many years of experience in the design, development, and application of models and environmental information systems in the areas of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem management. Many of these models are designed using the approach and methods of Adaptive Management. As the success of a resource management model is defined by its actual use, we work closely with our clients during all stages of model development and implementation.

ESSA’s approach to Ecological modelling includes:

  • Planning and multi-stakeholder participation: conducting workshops for scoping, issue definition, knowledge engineering, model design, and the development of adaptive management plans.
  • Scientifically credible models: developing, applying, and assessing computer simulation models, to explore alternative scenarios, trade-offs and management options.
  • Monitoring and auditing: increasing understanding through the design of monitoring programs and analysis of results that is critical to adaptive management.

Our approach has produced successful models that are used throughout North America. In addition to the development, documentation and implementation of models, we provide:

  • training and user support
  • assessment of the decision support requirements of resource managers
  • reviews and syntheses on the state of the science related to ecological modelling
  • model audits and assessments that examine model performance and integrity
  • development of strategic management plans and research programs

Training in landscape modelling tools

ESSA provides training courses in our landscape modelling tools VDDT and TELSA.

We regularly provide these courses for clients such as the U.S. Forest Service, and sessions are scheduled throughout the year when numbers permit. Those who are interested in the courses may contact the Training Coordinator for course dates and registration information.

We can provide customized training courses in these tools for any interested organization. The costs for each of these courses are provided on the individual course pages:

Selected Projects

Reports and Publications

Frid, L., L. Provencher, E. York, G. Green and K. Bryan. 2008. Adapting LANDFIRE vegetation models for restoration planning. Poster presented at the Association for Fire Ecology Regional Conference, Tuscon, AZ, January 28-31, 2008.
[PDF - 1mb]

Provencher, L., J. Campbell and J. Nachlinger. 2008. Implementation of mid-scale fire regime condition class mapping. International Journal of Wildland Fire 17:390-406.
[PDF - 780 kb]

Carlson, M. and W. Kurz. 2007. Approximating natural landscape pattern using aggregated harvest. Can. J. For. Res. 37: 1846-1853.
[PDF - 114 kb]

ESSA Technologies Ltd. 2007. Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool User Guide, Version 6.0. Prepared by ESSA Technologies Ltd., Vancouver, BC. 196 pp.
[PDF - 3.5 mb]

Martin, B., D. Hanna, N. Korb and L. Frid. 2007. Decision Analysis of Alternative Invasive Weed Management Strategies for Three Montana Landscapes . Prepared by The Nature Conservancy of Montana, Helena, MT and ESSA Technologies Ltd., Vancouver, BC. 34 pp.
[PDF - 873 kb]

See more publications, presentations and reports…

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