[Coral-List] Coral Reef Scenario Evaluation Tool web portal now available

John McManus jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu
Thu Dec 23 13:21:17 EST 2010

This looks like a superb tool for understanding reefs and I hope it will be
widely used.

More importantly, I hope it will pave the way towards more groups putting
their simulation systems online. It is unfortunate there are hundreds of
very useful simulation models out there which are created at tremendous
expense with public funds, and then used a few times to provide inputs to a
few formal publications, and then basically abandoned (as with many great
data sets). It would be great if some of these could be put online for
others to use (as in this case), or made into educational games, or at least
used to develop graphical educational material such as online videos and
descriptive text. Unfortunately, there are rarely any funds available for
this kind of value-added work. The lost opportunity costs, however, are
immense -- well into the hundreds of millions. It is a bit like building
great bridges but never putting in the roads to cross them. 

Perhaps this online model will stimulate more efforts, and funding, to make
better use of simulation systems. Simulations are only tools, to be
carefully field-verified, but they are the best hope for making sense of
complex ecosystems and their potential futures. 


John W. McManus, PhD
Director, National Center for Coral Reef Research (NCORE)
Professor, Marine Biology and Fisheries
Coral Reef Ecology and Management Lab (CREM Lab)
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS)
University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, 33149
jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu      http://ncore.rsmas.miami.edu/
 Phone: 305-421-4814   

  "If I cannot build it, I do not understand it."
              --Richard Feynman, Nobel Laureate


-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Jessica
Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 5:06 PM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Coral Reef Scenario Evaluation Tool web portal now

Dear All,

www.reefscenarios.org<http://www.reefscenarios.org> is an online portal that
enables users to access and use a simulation model called CORSET (Coral Reef
Scenario Evaluation Tool) to explore coral reef futures at regional scales.

CORSET is a generic, biophysical model for coral reef systems which couples
dynamics from local to regional scales. Interactions between benthic and
consumer functional groups at local scales (hundreds of metres to
kilometres) are linked across regional scales (hundreds of kilometres to
thousands of kilometres) by larval dispersal. The approach is bottom-up;
simple components are combined to create a portable framework which can be
applied for reef systems anywhere in the world. Model components and outputs
are understandable for non-experts, but the system is able to generate
complex, emergent patterns. Moreover, there is the facility to incorporate
larval connectivity data from sophisticated dispersal models. CORSET is
equally applicable as a research tool or as a decision support tool for
coral reef management.

The www.reefscenarios.org<http://www.reefscenarios.org> portal includes a
link to documentation for CORSET, which provides an overview of the model
together with detailed instructions on how to access and edit default input
files for running scenarios, how to create new versions of the model, and
example scenarios.


Dr. Jessica Melbourne-Thomas
Research Associate
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
University of Tasmania

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