May 1, 2008
Although SimBiotic Software focuses on biology education for undergraduates, the tools we produce have applications for graduate students and professionals as well. During the 2008/2009 academic year, SimBiotic will be working with a team of fisheries biologists from the University of Washington (UW), the Pacific Northwest branch of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), to build a flexible model of how salmon populations in Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska will respond to projected climate change. SimBiotic will then use this model as the basis for custom-made educational modules that will help fisheries managers explore the consequences of climate change for the stocks they manage.
The educational models on salmon and climate change will both introduce fisheries managers to the issues, and introduce them to the modeling framework and how to use that framework to conduct meaningful analyses of their stocks. While absolute predictions will of course not be possible, the modules will help managers explore which stocks are likely to be more or less affected by varying levels of climate change. These lessons will be informed by the research results of the teams from UW, NOAA, and NCEAS. The same modules will be useful in undergraduate wildlife management and fisheries classes at University of Washington and elsewhere.
The development of the research model is being funded by the Moore Foundation through NCEAS and UW. Prototypes of the first educational modules are expected to ready in spring 2009. Feel free to contact us if you would like to be informed when they are available to the public. We can also put you in touch with the lead researchers on the project to find out more about their plans and results.