Discussion Questions

Why ecological forecasting?

  • Why do we need ecological forecasting?
  • What are some of the things we need to be able to make forecasts?


  • What influences our ability to forecast and how?

Forecasting, planning, and goals

  • What kinds of time-scales of forecasts do we want/need in ecology?
  • How might these different “forecasting horizons” influence our approaches to forecasting?

Determining what to forecast

  • How should we think about what to forecast in ecology?


  • What is the distinction between forecasting, prediction, projection & prognosis?
  • Are these terms consistently used the two readings? In your experience more broadly?


  • What is the distinction between point estimates and uncertainty?
  • Do most ecological forecasts include uncertainty estimates?
  • Why does estimating uncertainty matter?

Forecasting data and methods

  • What are the general types of models that can be used for forecasting and how do they differ?
  • What are the different ways in which model parameters are determined?
  • When might these different approaches be most appropriate in ecology?
  • What are the different ways in which time and can incorporated into models?

Basic steps

  • How do the “basic steps” of forecasting relate to ecological forecasting?