About Us

Tool Developers' Collaborative

Tool developers from non-profit, for-profit, government, and academic institutions share the same challenges for building, maintaining, and supporting software for the EBM sector.  With a currently small market with low resources, it is not feasible to cover software costs through license and support fees, yet EBM practitioners request and need a broad set of fully supported and interoperating tools.  Limited tool funding sources have been diminishing with the global economic downturn, and changing initiatives of funders aggrevate these challenges and lead to unproductive competition.  The Tool Developers' Collaborative is committed to working together to address these shared challenges and offer a unified group of collaborators for future tool development and interoperability.

The goal of the Collaborative is to promote increased quality and sustainability of EBM tools to ensure robust tools and tool support are available to EBM practitioners.  This addresses the stated mission of the EBM Tools program to promote the availability of EBM tools.

The objectives of the Collaborative are to:

  • Provide a forum for tool developers to identify challenges to tool sustainability and possible solutions.
  • Provide an opportunity to share skills, capacity, and infrastructure in tool research and development, deployment, and support among members to increase the quality of all tools and give stability to retain skilled tool development staff and infrastructure.
  • Develop, maintain, implement, and disseminate core guidelines or standards for tool development and deployment that contribute to quality and interoperability.
  • Increase funder interest and confidence in EBM tool development and support by presenting a united approach and venue for tool development rather than a competitive and confusing array of individual institutions.
  •  Provide a forum for identifying and prioritizing tool function gaps and other needed improvements to guide member research and development and priorities of funders.
  • Provide a forum for prioritizing and sharing tool funding (from various sources including license and support fees, grants, endowments, etc.) among collaborative members.
  • Focus members on their key strengths (e.g., research and development in particular sectors, spatial/analytical function engineering, interface engineering, QA/QC and productization, deployment and technical support, training, etc.) to increase collaborative and interoperating tool development and reduce inefficient competition while maximizing innovation.

The Tool Developers' Collaborative welcomes new members at any time that are committed to the principles of the group and willing and able to commit time toward achievement of its objectives.  To find out more please contact Patrick Crist at patrick_crist (at) natureserve (dot) org.

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Social Science Tools Working Group

Although tools have been developed to model biological interaction on an ecosystem level, tools incorporating socio-economic considerations are not widely used by EBM practitioners. It is not clear at this stage whether such tools do not yet exist or if they have just not been integrated into the suite of tools typically used by EBM practitioners and researchers. To address these issues, a social science working group has been formed by EBM Tools Network members to investigate the existence, possible uses and needs for social science based EBM tools.

The goals of the Social Science Tools Working Group include:

  • compiling information on existing social science (SS) EBM tools
  • promoting the development of new tools if the existing pool does not seem adequate to address the needs of EBM practitioners and researchers
  • working to increase the awareness of SS EBM
  • determining if there are relevant SS tools in other areas that could be applied to EBM with some work

Please contact Megan Bailey (m dot bailey at fisheries dot ubc dot ca) to join the Social Science Tools Working Group or to inform us about relevant tools.

About the EBM Tools Network

The Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) Tools Network is a 5,000+ member network of coastal and marine conservation and management practitioners working to promote healthy coastal and marine ecosystems and communities through the use of tools that help incorporate ecosystem considerations into management. Started in 2006, the Network works to connect coastal and marine practitioners with appropriate tools through a wide variety of outreach and training activities. The Network is coordinated by NatureServe and employs a Network Coordinator and Training Program Coordinator. Learn more about services the Network provides.

The Network involves the active participation of tool experts from a wide variety of organizations including:

ACE Basin NERR, American Museum of Natural History Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, Boston University,Brown University, Center for Watershed Protection, Coastal Development Centre, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Conservation International, Conservation Planning Institute, Davey Jones' Locker, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, DHI, Duke University, Ecotrust, ENCORA, Environmental Protection Agency, Florida Sea Grant, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement, Intelligent Marine Planning, Mappamondo GIS, MarineMap, Memorial University, National Center for Coral Reef Research, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Ocean Economics Program/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, The Nature Conservancy, NatureServe, Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Network, Pacific Marine Analysis and Research Association (PacMARA), Palau Automated Land and Resource Information System (PALARIS), Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC), PlaceMatters, Placeways, the Sea Around Us Project, University of California at Santa Barbara, University of Queensland, University of the South Pacific, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), University of Tasmania, University of Texas Marine Science Institute, Wild Salmon Center, and the World Fish Center.