Toolkits and Other Resources

This page currently provides information about other EBM tools resources, such as toolkits, surveys and best practice documents, often targeted at specific audiences.

General/Multi-Disciplinary | Stakeholder Engagement and Social Science Tools | Marine Ecosystem and Fisheries Tools | Marine Protected Area Tools | Climate Change Tools | Watershed and Land Use Planning Tools | Aquaculture and Freshwater Tools


Interactive Website On Cumulative Impact of Human Activities on Marine Ecosystems
The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis announces the launch of an interactive mapping website showing the cumulative impact of human activities on marine ecosystems around the world. The website allows users to view maps of cumulative human impacts, and each of the individual component datasets that were used to calculate cumulative impact. It also allows users to zoom in and out to any scale and location of interest, or type in a specific lat/long and zoom to that location. Using the cite, users can produce a summary report of the results for any location that includes explanations for why the location has the impact scores that it does, and download data for any given location. Learn more. 


Advancing Ecosystem-Based Management: A Decision Support Toolkit for Marine Managers

This toolkit provides guidance to managers and EBM practitioners for jointly addressing multiple objectives in biodiversity conservation, fishery production, and coastal hazard mitigation. It utilizes a number of EBM tools, including Ecoregional Assessments, MARXAN, Ecopath with Ecosim, and the Community Vulnerability and Assessment Tool. Learn more.


Learning from Case Studies to Advance Decision Support for Ecosystem-based Management: Meeting Summary, Advice & Needs
In October 2006, The Nature Conservancy hosted a group of 35 practitioners and managers to examine case studies where decision support tools have been used to jointly account for objectives in fisheries, coastal hazards, energy, and conservation. These case studies focused on tools, methods and approaches that could advance EBM by explicitly accounting for multiple objectives in a decision support framework. This document contains a summary of the meeting focused on the advice and needs for the advancement of tools to inform EBM. Learn more.

Oregon State University Davey Jones' Locker of Marine and Coastal GIS Resources including a Marine and Coastal GIS Software Page
This resource is offered as a service of the Davey Jones' Locker Lab to help seafloor mapping and marine/coastal GIS specialists, students, and interested parties worldwide find helpful information and data. Learn more.


Overview of Common Social Network Analysis Software Platforms by the Monitor Institute
The guide developed by the Monitor Institute provides an informal overview of available social network analysis tools. Learn more.

Integrated Approaches to Participatory Development (IAPAD) - Participatory Avenues
This website acts as focal point for sharing information and technical progress on community-based mapping and Public Participation GIS (PPGIS). The website provides ample documentation on Participatory 3D Modelling (P3DM), an efficient tool for merging indigenous technical knowledge and traditional spatial information. Learn more

PPGIS Open Forum on Participatory GIS and Technologies is an the electronic forum on participatory use of geo-spatial information systems and technologies. It hosts four distinct discussion lists, the global list which is Anglophone, and its Latin American (Spanish), Lusophone (Brazilian) and Francophone chapters. These fora serve as global avenues for discussing issues, sharing experiences and good practices related to community mapping, Participatory GIS (PGIS), Public Participation GIS (PPGIS), and other geographic information technologies (GIT) used in participatory settings. Learn more.

Landscape Value and Special Place Mapping Website
Landscape value and special place mapping is a planning technique for sustainable land use and environmental protection, meaningful public participation, and the inclusion of multiple values in land use decision making. Landscape value and special place mapping is a type of public participation geographic information system or (PPGIS) used to support land use planning efforts at multiple scales ranging from local, to regional, to national scales. The Landscape Values Institute website provides examples of applications, methods, and tools for mapping and analyzing landscape values and special places and resources to help design and implement landscape value mapping for a variety of planning applications. Learn more.

Society for Conservation Biology Social Science Working Group's Catalog of Conservation Social Science Tools
This Catalog is a searchable database of social science tools designed for conservation practitioners, planners, students and researchers interested in the social dimensions of conservation. It is designed to facilitate more effective conservation initiatives based on a better understanding of the relationship between humans and nature. Each tool in the database has been categorized by discipline, methodological approach, social challenge, and conservation intervention. Learn more.

Mapping Human Activity in the Marine Environment: GIS Tools and Participatory Methods Workshop
In November-December 2005, NOAA hosted Mapping Human Activity in the Marine Environment: GIS Tools and Participatory Methods Workshop to develop general design criteria for a practical participatory method or a suite of methods to collect spatial data on human use patterns to inform local and regional MPA planning processes. Learn more.


Comprehensive Report on Modeling Approaches for Ecosystem Approaches to Fisheries
FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 477 "Models for an ecoystem approach to fisheries" by Eva E. Plaganyi of the University of Cape Town provides a comprehensive review of the methods available for assessing the impacts of interactions between species and fisheries and their implications for marine fisheries management. A brief description of the various modelling approaches currently in existence is provided, highlighting in particular features of these models which have general relevance to the field of the ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF). The report concentrates on the currently available models representative of general types such as bionergetic models, predator-prey models and minimally realistic models. Short descriptions are given of model parameters, assumptions and data requirements. Some of the advantages, disadvantages and limitations of each of the approaches in addressing questions pertaining to EAF are discussed. The report concludes with some recommendations for moving forward in the development of multi-species and ecosystem models and for the prudent use of the currently available models as tools for provision of scientific information on fisheries in an ecosystem context. Learn more.

Summary of Canadian National Workshop on Modelling Tools for Ecosystem Approaches to Management
A national workshop on modeling tools in support of ecosystem approaches to management was held in Victoria, BC, in October 22-25, 2007. Its main objectives were to discuss and evaluate different ecosystem modeling approaches and to explore their suitability in the Canadian and DFO context. Scientists from all regions, fisheries managers and international experts participated in the workshop. The workshop included an overview of the current use of ecosystem models in DFO, a series of presentations by ecosystem modelling experts of methods in use globally and in-depth discussions during breakout groups and plenary sessions. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions, evaluates the questions that can be addressed by different ecosystem modelling approaches, highlights the essential role of ecosystem modeling for developing strategic advice and provides conclusions and recommendations to further develop ecosystem modelling and ecosystem approaches to management in DFO. It concludes with a summary of recommended actions, including suggestions of where efforts could be directed to provide strategic advice over the next one to two years. Learn more.

EUR-OCEANS Model Shopping Tool (MoST)
The Model Shopping Tool provides a searchable database of current ocean ecoystem models, including details on the processes, number and types of functional groups, and key variables they simulate. It also serves as a common platform for sharing knowledge within the modeling community and with experimental scientists. Learn more.

National Ecosystem Modeling Workshop (NEMoW) Report
NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service held the National Ecosystem Modeling Workshop (NEMoW) from August 29-31, 2007. The objectives of this workshop were to: 1) Identify the main classes of ecosystem, bio-physical and multispecies models used, planned, or needed within NMFS, including the main objectives of these models, basic data requirements, when and how to use them relative to their objectives, and pros and cons of each; 2) Compare modeling approaches and methods across the NMFS science centers; 3) Evaluate various available modeling software packages and determine the feasibility of establishing a national ecosystem modeling toolbox; and 4) Recommend further steps (e.g. National Ecosystem Modeling Standards, Ecosystem Modeling Model Review Criteria, further engagement of the external modeling community) to advance ecosystem modeling within NMFS. Learn more.

GIS and Ocean Mapping in Support of Fisheries Research and Management Conference
In April 2006, MIT Sea Grant hosted the GIS and Ocean Mapping in Support of Fisheries Research and Management Conference to provide a forum to focus on the use of ocean mapping to support fisheries management and research. Learn more.

Workshop on Ecosystem-Based Decision Support Tools for Fisheries Management
In February 2005, NOAA hosted the Workshop on Ecosystem-Based Decision Support Tools for Fisheries Management to produce an integrated overview and needs assessment of science in support of ecosystem approaches to fisheries. Learn more.

Workshop on GIS Tools Supporting Ecosystem Approaches to Management
In September 2004, NOAA hosted the Workshop on GIS Tools Supporting Ecosystem Approaches to Management to explore the state-of-the-art and future requirements for GIS tools supporting ecosystem-based fishery management. Learn more.


NOAA National Marine Protected Areas Center Inventory of GIS-Based Decision-Support Tools for MPAs
The report focuses on GIS tools with the highest utility for MPA processes. Each tool summary includes a description of what the tool does, the data and software needed to run it, and contact information. In addition, several tools are highlighted in greater detail, providing examples of how they have been used in MPA zoning and monitoring activities. Learn more.


Climate Ready Estuaries Coastal Toolkit
The Climate Ready Estuaries Coastal Toolkit provides resources for estuarine and coastal programs that are interested in learning more about climate change impacts and adaptation. The Toolkit pages below provide information and links to websites, reports, and other resources related to Monitoring Climate Change, Coastal Vulnerability and Adaptation Tools, Where to Find Data, Adaptation Planning, Smart Growth in the Context of Climate Change and Sustainable Financing Options. Learn more.


PlaceMatters Community Design and Decision Making Tools Database
This database is a resource for communities (their professional planners, public agencies, and concerned citizens) to identify tools and processes for better community design and decision making. Learn more.

National Association of Counties (NACo) Issue Brief on Using GIS Tools to Link Land Use Decisions to Water Resource Protection
This issue brief is designed to help county officials learn more about the tools that model how different decisions influence the various systems in your community. These geographic information systems (GIS) based tools work by bringing together data and models to create real life scenarios depicting the benefits and consequences of each decision option. NACo, with support from the USEPA designed this project to provide information on the tools available to counties nationwide and the counties that are utilizing them to link land use decisions to water resource protection. Learn more.

U.S. EPA Inventory of Environmental Models
The Models Knowledge Base includes frequently used environmental models at the U.S. EPA. Users can search for models of interest by listing of all available models, conducting a keyword search, or by browsing for models by selecting environmental indicators. Learn more.

Environmental Law Institute Watershed Initiatives and Decision Support Tools
This is a supporting document for the National Symposium on Compensatory Mitigation and Watershed Approach, hosted by the Environmental Law Institute in 2004. The symposium was held in partnership with the Mitigation Action Plan (MAP) Workgroup, an interagency group that is charged with developing national guidance on making compensatory mitigation decisions in a watershed context. The symposium was designed to provide the MAP Workgroup with direction and input on watershed-based planning tools and resources that could be utilized for the purposes of making compensatory mitigation decisions under the Clean Water Act. Learn more.

Association for Biodiversity Information (NatureServe) Rapid Scan of Decision Support System Tools for Land-Use Related Decision Making
This 2001 report identifies the range and capabilities of existing tools for land-use related decision making and the current use of biodiversity information. Emphasis was placed on tools that have been used successfully in actual decision making processes, tools that are unique or have outstanding capabilities, or tools that use biodiversity information. Learn more.

EPA Projecting Land-Use Change: A Summary of Models for Assessing the Effects of Community Growth and Change on Land-Use Patterns
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed this selective summary of 22 leading landuse change models to provide clients for land-use change models, such as city and county planners, community groups, and environmental agencies, with better information on the features, strengths, and limitations of various model packages. EPA’s Office of Research and Development (ORD) initiated the land-use change models summary in order to improve its ability to assess and mitigate future risk to ecological systems, human health, and quality of life. Learn more.

National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry Decision Support Systems for Forest Biodiversity: Evaluation of Current Systems and Future Needs
The primary objectives of this review are to help forest managers find decision support system (DSS) which meet their needs, and (2) help DSS designers and funders identify unmet DSS needs in the area of forest biodiversity. Thirty systems met the screening criteria from a pool of over 100 tools generated from previous reviews and interviews with DSS experts. These systems are reviewed against three themes: (1) classes of forest biodiversity indicators used, (2) major forest threats and influences addressed, and (3) abilities to assist with complex political decisions. Learn more.

USFS Decision Support Systems for Ecosystem Management: An Evaluation of Existing Systems
This report provides an evaluation of 24 computer-aided systems capable of supporting management decision-making in forest ecosystems. It provides comparative information on the scope of each system, spatial capabilities, computational methods, development status, input and output requirements, user support availability, and system performance. This evaluation is intended to aid potential users of decision support systems in determining which system most closely fulfills their needs, and to highlight opportunities for future DSS development. Learn more.


GISFish Website
GISFish, created and managed by the FAO Aquaculture Management and Conservation Service, is a "one stop" website to provide information on and interact with professions in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing and Mapping as applied to Aquaculture and Inland fisheries. Learn more.

ECASA Ecosystem Approach to Sustainable Aquaculture Toolbox
The ECASA project has developed a toolbox for ecosystem approaches to sustainable aquaculture. The toolbox contains tools to aid owners and operators of fin-fish and shell-fish farms in selecting farm sites, and operating farms, so as to minimize environmental impact and ensure the sustainability of sites and water bodies for aquaculture. Learn more.

Geospatial Resources for Freshwater Conservation Website
The Geospatial Resources for Freshwater Conservation website, created and managed by the American Museum of Natural History's Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, is geared toward people interested in using geospatial tools for freshwater conservation applications. It provides links to the tools necessary to plan, acquire, process, and analyze geospatial data for freshwater applications, as well as guides, tutorials, and case studies. Learn more.