Ecosystem Assessment and Modeling (EAM)
The Ecosystem Assessment, and Modeling (EAM) research group assesses, evaluates, and predicts the holistic, integrated ecosystem status using a broad range of scientific tools (e.g. observations, empirical analyses, end-to-end ecosystem modeling, etc.). The mission of EAM is to provide the products needed to inform ecosystem-based management (EBM) decisions; thus ensuring resource managers evaluate their decisions in a holistic, integrated ecosystem context rather than evaluating in isolation the response of a single ecosystem sector. Thus, a consistent goal of all projects in EAM is to provide useful scientific information to resource managers in a manner that improves their science-based decision-making. EAM projects aim to understand coupled socio-ecological tropical and sub-tropical coastal ecosystems and in particular their response to the myriad natural and anthropogenic pressures they currently face. This understanding allows us to predict and evaluate the ecosystem response to potential management actions.
Current projects being conducted by EAM are:
1. The Coastal Ecosystem Services in South Florida (COCA) seeks to develop decision support tools to explore the effect of urbanization on the sustainability of ecosystem service production under future the climate change scenarios.
2. The Gulf of Mexico Integrated Ecosystem Assessment (GoM-IEA) provides the scientific syntheses, analyses, and models necessary to inform EBM throughout the Gulf of Mexico.
3. The Marine and Estuarine Goal Setting project (MARES) develops a science-based consensus about the defining characteristics and fundamental regulating processes of a South Florida coastal marine ecosystem that is both sustainable and capable of providing the diverse ecosystem services upon which our society depends.
4. Juvenile Sportfish Research in Florida Bay determines how Everglades restoration and climate change will affect economically and ecologically vital sportfish species within Florida Bay.
5. Integrated Models for Evaluating Climate Change, Population Growth, and Water Management (i.e., CERP) Effects on South Florida Coastal Marine and Estuarine Ecosystems (iMODEC) couples ecological, physical oceanographic, and climate models to predict the potential effect of climate change and restoration scenarios on the ecology of Florida Bay.
6. The South Florida Project (SFP) monitors the physical, chemical, and biological oceanography of south Florida's coastal ecosystem and develops indicators for water quality.