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MULTIMEDIA INTEGRATED MODELING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: INTRODUCTION TO A COLLABORATIVE FRAMEWORK
Johnston, J M., J H. Novak, AND S R. Kraemer. MULTIMEDIA INTEGRATED MODELING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION: INTRODUCTION TO A COLLABORATIVE FRAMEWORK. ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT 63(1):253-263, (2000).
This research project sets out to design and conduct an assessment of the long-term ecological consequences of alternative management choices. As the first project to be done at this scale using predictive ecological endpoints, we will seek to identify the appropriate components of such an analysis. We will use experience gained in the conduct of this BASE analysis to identify key research and data needs for address, to estimate timing, resource needs, etc., for future analyses. We will extend this analysis beyond previous and ongoing studies in two ways: by incorporating biological endpoints, primarily properties of fish communities, and by introducing the concept of sustainability of ecological state under future scenarios contrasted with the present state of those same ecological resources. Requirements that are identified during the course of this study will permit the recommendation of specific capabilities that should be incorporated in a general modeling system currently under development to support BASE and other environmental assessments. Finally, the analysis is intended to be of value for establishing environmental management choices that will be beneficial and those that would be detrimental to the sustainability of ecological resources of the Albemarle-Pamlico Basin.
The EPA's Office of Research and Development is embarking on a long term project to develop a Multimedia Integrated Modeling System (MIMS). The system will have capabilities to represent the transport and fate of nutrients and chemical stressors over multiple scales. MIMS will be designed to improve the environmental management community's ability to evaluate the impact of air and water quality and watershed management practices on stream and estuarine conditions. The system will provide a computer-based problem solving environment for testing understanding of multimedia (atmosphere, land, water) environmental problems, such as the movement of chemicals through the hydrologic cycle, or the response of aquatic ecological systems to land-use change, with initial emphasis on the fish health endpoint. The design will attempt to combine the state-of-the-art in computer science, system design, and numerical analysis (i.e. object oriented analysis and design, parallel processing, advanced numerical libraries including analytic elements) with the latest advancements in process level science (process chemistry, hydrology, atmospheric and ecological science). The problem solving environment will embrace the watershed/airshed approach to environmental management, and build upon the latest technologies for environmental monitoring and geographic representation. The MIMS team will promote a common and open modeling framework for the university and government modeling communities, and be open to cooperative arrangements with private partners where appropriate.