Instructor Notes

What is an ecological surprise and how would it effect forecasting?

  • A change in an ecological system unanticipated by current knowledge/models
  • Difficult to incorporate into forecasts since not present in models
  • Can have large impacts on future states of ecological systems
  • Forecasts - most likely outcome
  • Scenarios - explore range of possible outcomes

What is scenario planning and how does it differ from predictions and forecasting?

  • Thinking about range of possible futures
  • Based on both existing knowledge
  • But recognizing uncertainty and potential for surprises
  • Constructing story lines for each possible future to guide decision making

Has anyone been involved in scenario planning?

Which are the benefits of scenario planning?

  • Identify strategies for different possible futures
  • Be prepared to respond to different possible futures and respond if unexpected scenarios occur
  • Actively engage those using and impacted by the forecasts in planning and decision making processes in ways that create awareness of future changes
  • Good for systematic planning in uncertain situations
  • Allows consideration of different decisions leading to different outcomes
  • Actively recognizes uncertainty/surprises

What are some challenges you can envision for scenario planning?

Are scenarios qualitative, quantitative, both?

  • Can be qualitative, semi-quantitative, full quantitative

What are the reasons that environmental scenario planning needs ecology?

  • Climate scenarios can fail to capture the complexity of ecological systems and their feedbacks on climate

How will incorporating scenarios benefit ecologists and managers?