Skills, Tools and Techniques

Simulation Modelling

We have been developing simulation models for a wide range of applications for almost 20 years. Subject areas range from single or multi species fisheries models to landscape level agriculture and forestry models and detailed models of physical processess such as stream dynamics. We view models as being tools to better understand the implications of our assumptions about how the world works and to help us determine the implications of what we do not know.

Conceptual Modelling

It is not always appropriate to develop rigorous simulation models for complex systems. Sometimes it is more appropriate to structure "box and arrow" models to facilitate discussion and clarify thinking. This approach can be particularly appropriate in the development of monitoring and research plans.

Geographic Information Systems

We utilize the ArcView GIS from ESRI as a tool to help in the analysis and display of geographically based information. Our skills include the development of customized ArcView applications using the Avenue scripting language and links with external databases and libraries.

Multi Stakeholder Workshops

We have been involved in the use of highly structured workshops for almost twenty years. Initially many of these were focussed around the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders using the Adaptive Environmental Assessment Management (AEAM) techniques developed by Buzz Holling and others at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis. Over many years these have been refined and expanded working with colleagues at ESSA Environmental and Social Systems Analysts.

Software Requirements Analysis, Design, and Development

We have extensive experience in the software development process as it relates to the production of tools for environmental and natural resource management applications. This includes the development of formal requirements and design documents as well as coding for software of moderate complexity. We have the capacity develop software using the Visual Basic language, and also when required C++, Fortran, Prolog, Smalltalk, and scripting languages such as Avenue.

Database Design

We have developed designs for databases ranging from the simple consisting of a few tables to the complex with several hundred tables. In all cases we utilize entity relationship diagrams in an iterative design process to ensure that the final design captures all of the requirements for the final product as well as balancing generality against simplicity and clarity. Typically we are involved in the user interface design at the same time as the database design.

Data Analysis

Some form of data analysis forms a part of many of our projects. This can range from simple data summaries to complex custom analyses using programming tools such as Visual Basic .

Technical Writing

Report writing is an essential part of any consulting project since it provides a major tool for recording and communicating the results. We have the capability of producing professional reports in paper format as well as delivering these in electronic and web based formats and as slide shows.