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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

This workshop will develop the science agenda for an initiative in Ecological Forecasting. Within this initiative we define Ecological Forecasting as the process of predicting the state of ecosystems, ecosystem services, and natural capital based on scenarios for climate, changing atmosphere and nutrient cycles, and socioeconomic activities. Forecasts address areas ranging from regions to the globe and time horizons of 10 to 100 years. The unprecedented threats to human civilization posed by continuing deterioration of ecosystem services and rapid decline in biodiversity is the basis for ESA's decision to make Ecological Forecasting a research priority. We believe that planning and decision making can be improved by access to reliable forecasts. This first workshop is funded by the National Science Foundation to set a science agenda for Ecological Forecasting. The workshop will assess the readiness of our science to provide ecological forecasts for diverse types of ecosystems. It will identify the basic research questions that must be addressed in order to improve the state of the art. It will consider the mechanisms that might be effective in developing the needed research, such as novel ways of fostering interdisciplinary collaboration, focusing collaborations on ecological forecasting, and making the forecasts useful and informative to decision makers and the general public.

Principal Investigator(s)

James S. Clark

Project Dates

Start: October 15, 2000

End: October 17, 2000



Mary C. Barber
Ecological Society of America
Stephen R. Carpenter
University of Wisconsin
James S. Clark
Duke University
Scott L. Collins
National Science Foundation
Maurice Crawford
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Andrew P. Dobson
Princeton University
Jon Foley
University of Wisconsin
David M. Lodge
University of Notre Dame
Margaret A. Palmer
University of Maryland, College Park
Mercedes Pascual
University of Maryland
Roger A. Pielke, Jr.
National Center for Atmospheric Research
William Pizer
Stanford University
Catherine Pringle
University of Georgia
Omar J. Reichman
University of California, Santa Barbara
Walter V. Reid
World Resources Institute
Kenneth Rose
Louisiana State University
Osvaldo E. Sala
Universidad de Buenos Aires
William H. Schlesinger
Duke University
Diana H. Wall
Colorado State University
Dave Wear


  1. Journal Article / 2001

    Ecological forecasts: An emerging imperative