Triangle Ecosystem Services


George Hess and Melissa McHale, in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund , is offering a graduate collaborative research course during the Fall 2010 semester. The objective of the course is to use the InVEST ecosystem services model to quantify the value of ecosystem services provided by the natural landscapes of the Triangle Region of North Carolina (defined here as Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Orange, and Wake Counties). I expect us to produce a solid draft of an article for a peer-reviewed journal by the end of the semester.

Course syllabus || Course calendar



Taylor Ricketts , director of WWF's Conservation Science Program, will travel to Raleigh in early September to meet with the class and help finalize our research direction. Possible directions include:
  • using InVEST to locate and highlight areas in the Triangle that provide multiple ecosystem services
  • using InVEST to evaluate changes in ecosystem services under different build-out scenarios that change land use in different ways
  • comparing InVEST to other ecosystem service models, such as ARIES or Co$ting Nature

At the end of the course, we will travel to World Wildlife Headquarters in Washington, DC to present our findings and learn about some of the conservation efforts being led by WWF. (This will be a one-day trip with transportation provided by the College of Natural Resources, meals and incidentals paid by students.) We should also have ready a solid draft of an article for a peer-reviewed journal.

We will have technical help using InVEST from World Wildlife and from Duke University faculty and staff who have used the program. Several NCSU and Duke faculty are interested in this effort and will participate peripherally - Bob Abt (NCSU Economist), Dean Urban (Duke Landscape Ecologist), John Fay (Duke Geospatial Analyst and InVEST user), Wally Thurman (NCSU Economist).

The course will be NR595-006 ...
  • 4 credits (in recognition of the level of outside work required)
  • meets Monday 4:30-6:45PM starting 23 August, 3214 Jordan Addition
  • start date is Fri 20 Aug, end date Fri 3 Dec
  • final presentation in Washington, DC (at Wolrd WIldlife) on 6 or 7 December (one day road trip)
  • limited to 6 students, by application - please apply before 18 August - final acceptance and announcement of course will be on 19 August - course will be cancelled if there are not at least 4 students by 19 August
  • application form ... TES2010Application.doc

If you have any questions about the course, please contact George Hess .