September 1, 2023

ForSys in the classroom

As part of Cal Forestry’s re-emphasis on workforce development, UC Berkeley’s 2023capstone class in Forest Ecosystem Management and Planning (ESPM183) featured the application of the ForSys Scenario Planning Model. The primary learning outcome of the class was to have student teams develop Regional Priority Treatment Plans that met the goals set by California’s Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force. This real-world planning exercise required students to wrestle with the necessary trade-offs involved in prioritizing treatments across the landscape.  With the help of the ForSys development team, the class learned how to implement the latest Windows version of the ForSys module.

The ability of the software to optimize treatment goals and project spatially explicit treatment plans enabled student groups to evaluate the efficacy of multiple scenarios. The ensuring debates helped students work through the difficult task of balancing competing goals to produce plans that delivered a mix of ecosystem services that best met local needs. UC Berkeley plans to continue its educational partnership with the ForSys team as part of its efforts to provide the next generation of forest planners with tools able to inform landscape scale treatment plans.

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