Modeling and Decision Support Tool Forum

The Modeling and Decision Support Tool Forum (held 8/1/11, Penn State Harrisburg) featured experts who are developing and/or using the decision support tools in a presentation/discussion format that enabled conservation partners to look at the inputs, outputs, users, attributes, scales of relevance, and potential for integration across a range of tools and programs.
Marel Raub, PA Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission, served as Forum moderator

Marel Raub, PA Director, Chesapeake Bay Commission, served as Forum moderator

Forum Participants and Role

The Forum was comprised of an informed audience who seek to improve understanding of the utility, potential for integration, and attributes and limitations of respective models and tools. Participants included leadership from the PA Department of Agriculture and State Conservation Commission, USDA ARS and PA Natural Resources Conservation Service, PA Department of Environmental Protection, targeted county conservation district managers, Penn State, and other education and NGO partners. Marel Raub, Director of the Pennsylvania Chesapeake Bay Commission served as the forum’s moderator.

Forum Outcomes

In addition to the resources listed below, Penn State Extension is developing a white paper summary of the Modeling and Decision Support Tool Forum expected to be available in draft in Fall 2011.

"Chesapeake Bay Program Models: A Guide to Better Understanding" encompasses the integration of models and decision tools that make-up the Chesapeake Bay Program's Phase 5.3. Mark Dubin, Agricultural Technical Coordinator, University of Maryland Extension and USEPA Chesapeake Program Office presented.

"MapShed: A GIS-Based Watershed Modeling System" presented by Dr. Barry M. Evans, Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment, Penn State University.

"STEPL: Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Loads" presented by Aileen Molloy, TetraTech.

"Using the Source Loading and Management Model (WinSLAMM)" presented by Dr. Shirley E. Clark, P.E., Penn State Harrisburg

Dr. Tamie Veith, USDA-ARS Pasture Systems and Watershed Management Research Unit , presented on SWAT (Soil and Water Assessment Tool) and the IFSM (Integrated Farm System Model).

"WRI's NutrientNet and USDA's Nutrient Tading Tool" presented by Sara Walker, World Resources Institute

"Nutrient Load Estimator" presented by Tom Simpson and Sally Bradley, Watershed Stewardship Inc. The NLE acronym is often referred to phonetically as "nelly".

"The Conewago Watershed Information Technology (IT) Platform" presented by Joe Russo and Jeremy Zidek, ZedX Inc.

"PA One Stop" presented by Dr. Rick Day, Associate Professor of Soil Science and Environmental Information Systems, Penn State Crop and Soil Sciences

The Fertilizer Forecaster tool (in development) and Web 2.0 Approaches to Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Environmental Modeling was presented by Dr. Doug Miller, Director of the Penn State Center for Environmental Informatics in the Earth and Environmental Systems Institute