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Great Lakes ECOPATH Modeling Workshops
1USGS Great Lakes Science Center Lake Erie Biological Station, 6100 Columbus Avenue, Sandusky, Ohio 44870
2USGS Great Lakes Science Center, 1451 Green Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission granted Science Transfer funds totaling $9600 to support Great Lakes ecosystem modeling workshops with focus on the Ecopath with Ecosim modeling software. Ecopath with Ecosim was chosen because there were either published models or models under development for all Laurentian Great Lakes using this software. We held two workshops during 28 Feb – 1 Mar and 12-13 July, 2011. Primary goals of the workshops were to 1) identify and explore common challenges to ecosystem modeling across the Great Lakes and 2) identify common patterns across the Great Lakes ecosystems. Workshop attendees were affiliated with multiple universities and federal and state agencies from Canada and the U.S. The grant provided funding for attendant lodging and meals during workshops with other travel money available in cases where management agency budgets limited travel. The grant also provided funding for two invited ecosystem modeling experts to demonstrate new capabilities and innovative approaches to ecosystem modeling. Workshop outcomes included the formation of a cooperative group of Great Lakes ecosystem modelers, progress on the development of a robust method for modeling invasive species in time-dynamic ecosystem models, and new knowledge of tools available for making ecosystem models useful to resource management.