An informatics revolution is under way in ecosystem science and natural resources policy and management. Many key research areas—climate change/Earth history, water, astrobiology, Earth hazards, forest/stream processes, ocean ecosystems—are limited by common informatics problems. These include:
accurately representing biophysical processes in mathematical terms;
obtaining, storing, retrieving, and analyzing multiple datasets;
testing hypotheses using various models and model versions;
assessing uncertainty in predictions; and
scaling or extrapolating findings among systems.
These problems are the core of ecosystem informatics, a novel, interdisciplinary approach to education and research that provides a unifying framework for studying complex problems in natural and managed ecosystems.
Ecosystem informatics is at the intersection of:
Computer science (bringing algorithms and representations for manipulation, modeling, and prediction based on large data sets and complex models)
Mathematics (bringing a cohesive analytic framework)
Ecosystem science (bringing complex systems rich in interactions, changing contexts, and challenging links with the natural resource management and policy arena)
The power of ecosystem informatics lies in its ability to cut across, and contribute to, a very wide range of interdisciplinary problems affecting Oregon and the world. Ecosystem informatics is based on an approach to problem solving, rather than specific problems. Thus it complements many ongoing cross-disciplinary collaborations at OSU, including climate change/Earth history, water, astrobiology/subsurface biosphere, Earth hazards, forest/stream processes, and ocean ecosystems, which face challenges in ecosystem informatics. PhD graduates trained in ecosystem informatics will be qualified for diverse, well-remunerated jobs that benefit society.
FW 620. Ecological Policy (3)
GEO 507. Seminar (Colloquium for 3 quarters) (3)
GEO 538. Ecosystems Informatics Field Trip (2) [Terminated winter 2013]
GEO 542. Concepts in Ecosystem Informatics (3) [Terminated winter 2013]
GEO 543. Applications in Ecosystem Informatics (4) [Terminated winter 2013]
GEO 547. Collaborative Research in Ecosystem Informatics (4) [Terminated winter 2013]