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EMS journal news

To promote our journal for Environmental Modeling and Software and improve support to our authors further, Elsevier has rolled out a unique initiative called *CiteAlert*. This will notify the authors when their research is cited in Elsevier-published journals. We expect this new service to have positive effects on usage and citation of the content of the journal.

Please find here an example of a CiteAlert message:

This option looks nice and very useful. Another good reason to publish your outstanding work in “Environmental Modeling and Software”!

Educational resources

A recently published book , edited by Toru Iiyoshi and M. S. Vijay Kumar

Opening Up Education: The Collective Advancement of Education through Open Technology, Open Content, and Open Knowledge”

The book contains essays by leaders in open education describe successes, challenges, and opportunities they have found in a range of open education initiatives.

More about the book and some sample chapters can be downloaded from here.

Interestingly, while it is presented as “sample chapters”, in fact you can download the whole book under the ‘Creative Commons” license. Very much in the spirit of the book itself!


An interesting discussion of copyright issues related to education can be found in this article:

Education: where copyrighters and publishers are the pirates

Online Simulation Modeling Course

An introduction to modeling, mostly focused on system dynamics. Modules on Predator-Prey Systems, Hydrologic Modeling, Modeling of Socio-Economic Systems. Mostly targeted for post-graduate level, but can be used in lower level classes as well.

(You will be asked to register, but it’s free)

More about the course concept.

A companion book that is written for this course and contains an updated and revised version of most of the modules is “Systems Science and Modeling for Ecological Economics“.

Modelling, Simulation and Optimization

The course provides a guide on modelling, simulation and optimisation that are fundamental to solving problems in a number of fields of science, technology and life. Students will learn to design, implement, simulate, and optimise a model of dynamic system.

More about the course.

The course is directly available only within Switzerland. More details and course slides are available upon request from Dr. Andrea E Rizzoli.

Integrated Enviromental Modelling and Evaluation

This is a MSc level course by Dr. Carlo Giupponi goes about modelling complex systems, fundamentals of ecology and ecosystem modelling. It aims to provide students with introductory knowledge of ecological systems, in order to allow understanding of the basic elements of the structure and functioning of ecological systems and their relationships with humans.

More about the course.

System Analysis and Integrated Modelling in Climate Change Research

Here the materials and presentations of the First winter school ‘Changes: global change science and policy’ are presented. The winter school organized by Dr. Carlo Giupponi covers topics about climate change, integrated modelling of natural and economic systems, policy development, decision making and modelling tools to tackle these issues.


EPANET is a computer program, developed by the U.S. EPA, which performs extended period (or quasi-steady) simulations of the hydraulic behaviour and water quality model of a water distribution system. A network is made up of pipes, nodes (pipe junctions), pumps, valves and tanks and reservoirs. EPANET calculates the flow through the lines, the head at the consumption nodes, the level at the tanks and reservoirs, and also the concentration of chemicals in the water distribution systems along large periods of time. Besides, it allows calculating the residing times and the origin of water among the different feeding points.

This web page proivdes the downloadable version of EPANET in Spanish together with manuals and examples (also in Spanish). The resource is provided by Dr. Petra Amparo Lopez-Jimenes (contact).


The EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) is a dynamic rainfall-runoff simulation model used for single event or long-term (continuous) simulation of runoff quantity and quality from primarily urban areas. The runoff component of SWMM operates on a collection of subcatchment areas that receive precipitation and generate runoff and pollutant loads. The routing portion of SWMM transports this runoff through a system of pipes, channels, storage/treatment devices, pumps, and regulators. SWMM tracks the quantity and quality of runoff generated within each subcatchment, and the flow rate, flow depth, and quality of water in each pipe and channel during a simulation period comprised of multiple time steps.

This web page proivdes the downloadable version of SWMM in Spanish together with manuals and examples (also in Spanish). The resource is provided by Dr. Petra Amparo Lopez-Jimenes (contact).

Computational methods for water resource assessments – an exercise kit

This book editied by T. Kokkonen, A. J. Jakeman, H. Koivusalo and J. P. Norton presents a valuable teaching material that combines theory and exercises. The exercises are developed in a way that encourages readers to explore what happens ‘behind the scenes’ in environmental simulation models. Many of the exercises are also built on real data measured in the field. Most of the exercises are based on Microsoft Excel, which is the only proprietary software required for the exercises of this book and typically available to most students. More information about the book as well as the disctribution package itself is availabale here.

iEMSs Threads

iEMSs serves as an umbrella organization to support a number of “threads“, or “themes” that are organized into on-going community projects that evolve based on the open source principles. This means that we are encouraging and appreciating the participation in these projects, and we are trying to provide the infrastructure by developing web support and tools needed for these community projects.


If you have ideas for other “Threads” related to the iEMSs mission and objectives, please contact secretary (at) iemss (dot) org


So far, the following threads are started:


The topic of this thread is environmental modeling that uses resources or services that exist distributed in the Internet. The overall goal is to study methods and technologies of distributed environmental modeling.
We are especially interested in how to use existing standards or new standards that should be developed. This thread is a response to the iEMSs and OGC memorandum of understanding. The methods of work include development of demonstrator systems, preparation of scientific papers, organization and running of workshops and sessions in conferences, and collaborative work. The thread is open for participation of interested researchers.

Contact: Ari Jolma and Kostas Karatzas 


The Community for Integrated Environmental Modeling (CIEM) or the IM4E (Integrated Modeling for the Environment) has been started as an effort to facilitate discussions and development of software tools and standards for integrated modeling.

Currently it is functioning as a Google Group, where you can join if interested. 


Here we collect links to educatonal resources that can help prepare courses, presentations, etc. We also intend to use this repository to present the materials that will be published in the new Journal rubric on “Teaching and Learning Tools/Software”.



Overall goals:
– Initiate and maintain a discussion process about feedbacks in socio-environmental systems
– Initiate, plan & publish papers

Current objectives:
1) Develop a common language and an analytical framework to study feedback mechanisms and their implementation in models / modelling frameworks.
2) Review and analyse existing approaches, identify state of the art and research needs.
3) Present (best practice) examples for technical implementation in broadly used simulation methods (ABM, CA, GA, ODE), identify and discuss advantages, shortcomings and research needs.

Publish results of 1 – 3 in various steps (currently 2 papers planned)

Founding members (alphabetical):
Dalgaard Tommy (
Jakoby Oliver (
Lautenbach Sven (
Le Bao (
Otero Viviana (
Priess Jörg (initiator) (
Schwarz Nina (
Seidl Roman (
vanDelden Hedwig (



The ecosystem services concept enables development of policies that integrate social, economic, and ecological perspectives. Integrated environmental models are prone to support this concept as those can integrate several ecological functions, support the analysis of trade-offs and have been developed to a state where stakeholders can be involved and management solution can be derived.

How can environmental modelling support the implementation of the ecosystem services concept for environmental management? Towards appropriate methods for investigation, assessment, and implementation of ecosystem services in environmental management.

Topics of the thread

  • Model based quantifying ecosystem services
  • Use of ecosystem service modelling in regional case studies for environmental management
  • Who is using it where? Examples for the implementation of the ecosystem services concept in environmental management (under stakeholder involvement)

Thus in this thread we seek for discussions on regional studies and model development, that support a biophysical founded assessment of ecosystem services studies. Thus we seek for interdisciplinary examples by focussing on abiotic (water provisioning, regulating, soil protection) as well biotic processes (provisioning services, crop production, pollination, biocontrol). We welcome projects that performance those studies with modelling approaches on different levels of complexity. Second, we seek for investigations that specifically analyze trade-offs and off site effects. Thirdly, we appreciate to see how these results fed into a stakeholder process (for instance using multi criteria analysis and weighting of ecosystem services for assessment). We expect to get excellent examples of these issues to stimulate consistency and creativity of future ESS studies.

Organisers:Ralf Seppelt, UFZ, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
Martin Volk, UFZ, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany
Ann van Griensven, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, The Netherlands




Educational resources2

There are several extensive educational resources about modeling availabe online. Here we present the collection of links to the modules developed by iEMSs memebers.



iEMSs Threads


Let us envision iEMSs as an umbrella organization to support a number of
“threads”, or “themes” that are organized into on-going community projects that
evolve based on the open source principles. This means that we are encouraging
and appreciating the participation in these projects, and we are trying to
provide the infrastructure by developing web support and tools needed for these
community projects.

There is the that has been built to support open source software
development. Many of its components are very appropriate for what we envision.
However there may be certain elements that are missing, since modeling is not
just software development. We could start on SourceForge and at the same time
start thinking about our own forge focused on models and projects. If we wish we
can even start an domain (the name is ours if we like it),
making it specifically designed to support environmental modeling projects. could then host either individual community models (say an open
source model for watershed dynamics) or projects (say on a framework to support
participatory modeling, or a project on environmental data mining).

The projects “live” on the web. They are open for others to join, to contribute,
to participate. The results are distributed under one of the open source
licenses (MIT, GPL, GPL 2, etc.) – this is at the discretion of the particular
communities that run the projects.

iEMSs conferences offer the opportunity for the iEMSs communities to meet in
person. Some of the sessions and workshops naturally extend the work in the
community projects.

It would be good to have a couple of projects identified and proposed for this kind of efforts.

Perhaps the two Special Issues recently announced on the iEMSs web page could morph into this kind of community efforts in the future.

One project that we probably should announce is the design of an eModelForge
itself. That is, to decide what kind of functionality such a web framework
should provide to support research and modeling in addition to only software

Another one that I’d like to see started is on frameworks for participatory,
stakeholder modeling. For this one we also have an SI in the works.

Please let know if there are any other proposals that we could announce to the
members and seek their involvement. We can probably start with a wiki on our web
page, or go to SourceForge and use their tools to start the projects going.
After we see how its developing we can then consider investing some more effort
to create the eModelForge web site specifically designed to support this kind of

Thanks and looking forward to hear from you shortly. Click here to contribute to the discussion

EM&S subscripion: discounted rates for iEMSs members

Elsevier has published the rates for the  subscription to the journal Environmental Modelling and Software for the year 2013. If you are a member of iEMSs the prices for 2013 are:

  • 72 USD for the print only version (it was 69 in 2012)
  • 90 USD for theprint version plus access to the online issue (it was 87 in 2012)

To take advantage of this offer you must fill in this form (well, it needs a bit of editing, since we haven’t received yet the form for 2013 from Elsevier…)

Minutes of the 4th biennial general meeting

The minutes of the 4th biennial general meeting of the iEMSs have been published in the “Document Archives” section of the website. The minutes also report the outcome of the elections of the new board and office for the 2008-2010 biennum and the selection of the next iEMSs conference venue: Ottawa, Canada, in 2010.

A discussion on iEMSs conferences in 2008, and before … and after

Dear iEMSs members,

In our on-going efforts to improve the quality of the iEMSs conferences, we would like to hear some comments and suggestion from participants of all our past meetings. What was good, what should be done again, what needs improvement? Any ideas on how to make the sessions and workshops even better? Are you happy with the conference format? Do you want more plenaries, or more discussion, or more talks? Do you think we make the right awards? How can we improve the quality of presentations?

We’d like to learn whatever your impressions are.

Your opinion is important and essential. To contribute to this discussion, please log in as member. Then, click on the “iEMSs 2008 discussion blog” link. Click on “Read more” to access all comments and to post your buy viagra italia opinion.

Proceedings of the iEMSs 2008 Conference

The Proceedings of the International Congress on International Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2008) are available here:

The proceedings are also available as three separate volumes, with page numbers:

How to cite

Miquel Sànchez-Marrè, Javier Béjar, Joaquim Comas, Andrea E. Rizzoli, Giorgio Guariso (Eds.)
Proceedings of the iEMSs Fourth Biennial Meeting: International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2008).
International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, Barcelona, Catalonia, July 2008.

ISBN: 978-84-7653-074-0

New book: Environmental Modelling, Software and Decision Support

The book “Environmental Modelling, Software and Decision Support:  state of the art and new perspective” can be preorered. Edited by Anthony J. Jakeman, Alexey A. Voinov, Andrea E. Rizzoli, Serena H. Chen it collects the outcomes of many workshops which were held at iEMSs 2006.

The book deals with the integrated approach to the complex and multi-disciplinary nature of environmental problems. In fact, modelling and software have become key instruments used to promote sustainability and improve environmental decision processes, especially through systematic integration of various knowledge and data and their ability to foster learning and help make predictions. This book presents the current state-of-the-art in environmental modelling and software and identifies the future challenges in the field.