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Environmental Decision Making

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Using the Extend "connect-the-components" visual programming, students can model and simulate ecosystems including social and economic forces as well as study parameter variations to develop an understanding of ecosystem function and productivity.

By making "what if..." changes in the model, the effects of various proposed decisions about the environment can then be shown.

EDM includes three ecological systems: Ponds, Grasslands, and Logging. Students can predict results of changes in the models and explore relationships.

First, you diagram a model of the system showing parts and connections among them. For example, components of the model, such as the sun, are placed on the computer screen. Each component is linked to the others with a mathematical relationship, such as the transfer of the sun's energy to plants.

Values are entered into block dialog boxes to characterize the interactions of the components, such as the amount of sunlight at a particular location or the initial number of bluegill in a pond. When the simulation is run, you can see the growth curves of the various components of the system.