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Institute for Applied Ecosystem Studies

Innovative scaling concepts and tools

[photo:] Study of Three Scales by Sue LietzOne of the most persistent difficulties in science is extrapolating relationships discovered through scientific research to other domains of scale.  This problem is a great impediment to the application of scientific research because the domains of scale for management decisions and policy development are almost always different than the scales at which scientific research must be conducted.  Extrapolation across scales cannot be achieved by simply multiplying estimates derived at a local scale by the area of the larger region, because of the variability of human and natural systems in space and time.  Valid extrapolation requires linking of “pattern to process,” so that local-scale knowledge of what controls biological processes can be linked to the pattern of those control agents on the landscape.  Innovative scaling concepts and tools are needed to integrate disciplinary research and translate forestry knowledge to policy-relevant scales. 

Research Goals

Identify the most promising theoretical frontiers of scaling science.

Develop quantitative methods to apply scaling theory to practical resource management problems.

Selected Research

Last Modified: 03/31/2015