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OpenMI 2.0 released

Dear iEMSs members,

we are pleased to let you know that the OpenMI Association has released  new version of the standard.

The OpenMI standard allows the seamless integration of environmental modelling software, significantly enhancing the ability to simulate the interactions between environmental processes. Its main application lies in facilitating the testing of sustainability and evaluating the wider impacts of proposed environmental policies. On a more practical level, it allows model developers to build complex models from linkable components. These can be easily assembled, swopped in and out to test sensitivity and replaced by better versions as science moves on.”

Further information is available at


Applied Bayesian Statistics School


June, 20 – 24, 2011 – Bolzano/Bozen, Italy
Prof.  Alan Gelfand 
J.B. Duke Professor of Statistics and Decision Sciences
Department of Statistical Science, Duke University
Durham, NC, USA
Programme and registration details are available at
Interested people are invited to contact the ABS11 Secretariat at


Proceedings of the iEMSs 2010 Conference

The Proceedings of the International Congress on International Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2010) are available here:

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

How to cite

David A. Swayne, Wanhong Yang, Alexey A. Voinov,  Andrea Rizzoli, Tatiana Filatova  (Eds.)
Proceedings of the iEMSs Fourth Biennial Meeting: International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs 2010). International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, Ottawa, Canada, July 2010.

ISBN: 978-88-903574-1-1

From the President: the road from Ottawa to Leipzig

Dear IEMSS members,

It was great to see most of you once again in Ottawa. Sorry some of you did not make it. We are now looking forward to our next conference in Leipzig, July 2–7, 2012.

There are several things in order.

1. You will need to update your status with the society. To do that you need to go to the society web site at and login with your username and password. Most likely you will be told that your membership has expired. Click the “renew” button.

If you were at the IEMSS’10 conference choose the “free iEMSs 2010 membership” button.

If you did not make it to the conference, you will need to renew your membership going directly to:

2. Like after Barcelona we are collecting your reflections and opinions about our latest conference in Ottawa. Since the blog on our iemss web site does not seem to perform securely, we are using the “posterous” functionality to collect your opinions.
Please go to
to share your impressions about the conference. You can also do it by simply sending an e-mail to

Looking forward to hear what you liked at the conference and what could be made better.

If you have any suggestions about the Web Conference Management Tool (WCMT) that we use, please go directly to
and then go to Support -> Tracker and choose Bugs or Feature Requests.

All this should very helpful for planning and running our next conference in Leipzig.

3. There is a couple of new IEMSS threads announced:

If you would like to suggest any other threads to keep in touch with your colleagues in between the conferences, please send an e-mail to

4. There are several position papers and Thematic Issues of EMS in the planning as a result of the Ottawa meeting. Please watch our web site for more news and see if you wish to contribute.

5. IEMSS students are starting a student network. If you are a student please get in touch with Francesco <> or Anna <>.

6. Documents from the Ottawa meeting (BGM minutes, student network ideas, etc.) are now available for the Society members. Login and go to Documents. We do have a full Board at the moment: all the Board members who happened to be absent in Ottawa have updated their status with the society and are eager to serve for the next term.

Best wishes and, as always, please let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions for the Society.


EMS Impact Factor is growing

Dear colleagues,

We would like to share very good news with you: the impact factor of the EMS journal has again increased during the last year. Thus, in 2009 the journal’s IF is 3.085.

We hope to receive even more interesting and novel submissions from you!


Best Paper Awards for 2008


Best Paper Awards for 2008

As one of its initiatives, the Editorial Board of EMS instituted annual Best Paper Awards inaugurally in 2005. The aim of the awards is to recognize those authors whose paper epitomizes the aims, scope and high standards of the journal. It is essential that first of all candidate papers display high quality, innovation and rigour such as in the way their model or software testing is performed and reported. But they must also be interdisciplinary in their problem treatment and reasonably generic in their utility. For papers published in 2008 the Editors have decided for a second straight year to make a single award in each of three categories: Integrated Modelling; Generic Modelling and/or Software Methods; and Decision Support.

With support from Board members, we are pleased to report on the selections of the three Editors of EMS. The “Best Paper 2008: Integrated Modelling” category was awarded to Yuqiong Liu, Hoshin Gupta, Everett Springer and Thorsten Wagener for “Linking science with environmental decision making: Experiences from an integrated modelling approach to support sustainable water resources management.” In this paper the challenges involved in bridging science and decision making in water resources management are discussed with reference to lessons drawn from a long term integrated modelling project in the semi-arid southwestern USA. The authors present a generic framework and guidelines for effective decision support using integrated modelling and scenario analysis. The proposed approach aims to produce ‘usable’ scientific information, by improving its credibility, legitimacy and saliency for decision support.

The “Best Paper 2008: Generic Modelling and/or Software” category is “Integrating fuzzy multicriteria analysis and uncertainty evaluation in life cycle assessment” by Enrico Benetto, Christiane Dujet and Patrick Rousseaux. In this paper Life Cycle Assessment is combined with a fuzzy multicriteria evaluation technique to improve interpretation of impact assessment results and incorporate uncertainty analysis. The proposed methodology is demonstrated in an application to the LCA of electricity production scenarios.

The “Best Paper 2008: Decision Support” category was awarded to Rachel Warren, Santiago de la Nava Santos, Nigel Arnell, Michael Bane, Terry Barker, Christopher
Barton, Rupert Ford, Hans-Martin Füssel, Robin Hankin, Jochen Hinkel, Rupert Klein, Ciaron Linstead, Jonathan Kohler, Tim Mitchell, Tim Osborn, Haoran Pan, Sarah Raper, Graham Riley, John Schellnhüber, Sarah Winne and Dennis Anderson for “Development and illustrative outputs of the Community Integrated Assessment System (CIAS), a multi-institutional modular integrated assessment approach for modelling climate change.” This paper presents the development of CIAS, an integrated assessment model for climate change policy analysis, and its supporting software SoftIAM. CIAS combines various component modules to generate and compare avoided damages and mitigation costs of different climate policy scenarios.

Congratulations to all three teams for producing such excellent and valuable papers. These awards and those for 2009 will be presented at the Fifth Biennial meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, with the theme “Modelling for Environment’s Sake” and held in Ottawa, Canada from July 5-8, 2010 (see

We are looking forward to assessing the 2009 Best Paper Awards, and hoping to see you at the iEMSs 2010 Congress in Ottawa next year.

Anthony J Jakeman (Editor-in-Chief ), Andrea E Rizzoli and Alexey A Voinov ( Editors)


Press release: The Environmental Software Directory is Now Free

The Environmental Software Directory is Now Free

Donley Technology’s popular Environmental Software Directory and Safety Software Directory are now available online at no cost.

March 24, 2010, Colonial Beach, VA — Looking for software to reduce your carbon footprint, to gain more control over your OSHA compliance programs, or to manage and analyze your monitoring data? Donley Technology wants to help. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Environmental Software Directory [and the 40th anniversary of Earth Day], they have decided to make their software directories free. 

At — the home of the Environmental Software Directory andSafety Software Directory — you’ll find information on about 3,000 commercial environmental, health and safety (EH&S) software products with links to the developers’ websites. Previously available only by subscription, the Directories are now available without charge.

Browse through 97 different topics, organized by:

  • Sustainability,
  • Safety,
  • Environmental Management,
  • Air,
  • Emergency Planning and Response,
  • Toxics and Chemicals,
  • Environmental Auditing, Tracking & Scheduling,
  • Geography and Geology,
  • Waste,
  • Environmental Impacts, and
  • Water.

Or search by product name, company name, or description.

“We invite you to take advantage of our 22 years of experience tracking and analyzing the industry,” said Elizabeth Donley, president of Donley Technology. “With support from many of the top EH&S software developers in the world, we are now able to provide the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource of its kind, at no cost to the user. and you’re likely to be surprised at the range of products available to meet just about any need you may have.” 

The Environmental Software Directory and Safety Software Directory are available at .

About Donley Technology: Donley Technology ( has been analyzing and reporting on the environmental, health and safety software industries and market since 1988. In addition to the Environmental Software Directory, Donley Technology publishes a series of special reports and an online newsletter designed to help those in need of EH&S software find the right product to meet their needs. These include the EH&S Management Information Systems Report, the MSDS Software Report, and the EH&S Software News, the only newsletter devoted exclusively to the EH&S software industry and market. Donley Technology’s publications and consulting services deliver objective, accurate information to EH&S and IT professionals who use, buy, develop, or market environmental, health, and safety software.

A Note to Editors: Graphics of the web site are available by request. Press release is available on the web at

Elizabeth Donley
Donley Technology
220 Garfield Avenue, PO Box 152
Colonial Beach, VA 22443-0152804-224-9427

New book in Educational Series on Modelling and Software

Computational methods for water resource assessments – an exercise kit

Motivation and intended use

Computational methods for water resource assessments – an exercise kit is an exercise book that attempts to (i) develop skills, and (ii) impart an understanding of, the use of computational methods in water resource assessments. The motivation for this book lies in the firm belief of the value in learning by doing. The exercises are developed in a way that encourages readers to explore what happens ‘behind the scenes’ in environmental simulation models. Hence in many exercises the computational procedures are built almost from scratch before applying the model to a particular problem. It is believed that gaining understanding of how computational methods used in environmental assessments actually work not only promotes readers’ potential to develop their own applications, but also increases their skill to assess critically existing environmental simulation models. Many of the exercises are also built on real data measured in the field. This approach hopefully increases the readers’ interest in the subject as well as their appreciation of uncertainties, and even sheer errors, appearing in measurements.

The intent of the present book is not to provide a detailed coverage of the various methods and topics. Instead, it is presumed that, either before embarking on the exercises or in parallel, readers learn the relevant theory by attending lectures or by studying more comprehensive text books. But as readers attain a sound knowledge of the basic theory, the present book is intended to be self-sufficient in giving a brief, concentrated dose of theory that is necessary for tackling the exercises.



The book contains instructions for the software required in solving the exercises. 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. The Geoinformatica GIS software is used in exercises involving geospatial computations. It is free and open source software and its installation package is bundled with the distribution package for this book. Subsequent chapters provide a concise description of theory on common statistical methods. First readers are introduced to several statistical concepts (such as mean, variance, covariance, bias, efficiency, consistency, confidence intervals). Then follows a discussion on linear and non-linear parameter estimation techniques where linear ordinary and generalised least squares estimation as well as the Gauss-Newton-Levenberg-Marguardt method are presented. In exercises the readers are requested to construct estimation methods in supplied Excel templates and study how they work. Concepts of biasedness, efficiency and consistency are also studied in the exercises, as well as the implications of violating assumptions for ordinary least squares estimates to be of a good quality.

The remaining chapters deal with various topics in water resource assessment. In each chapter a brief discussion of theory is given first, which is then followed by a description of exercises where readers can apply what they just have read. In most of the exercises readers need to construct and apply mathematical simulation models for finding answers to the given questions. For example, in one of the exercises the readers assess how predicted climate change could affect the runoff regime in southern Finland. A table of contents of the book can be found in Appendix 1


Distribution package and availability

A majority of the exercises come as Excel worksheet templates where the solutions can be in-filled according to the instructions given in the book. In addition, Excel worksheets containing technical model solutions are also included in the book distribution package. The term ‘technical’ means here that, while a model solution shows one way of building the computational procedure in question, it does not include answers to questions that address applying the procedure. Technical solutions are provided to help readers deal with situations where progression with the exercise is threatened such as when a certain step in solving the exercise remains unclear. This should diminish frustrations that easily surface when not understanding a single detail prevents from completion of the exercise. The access that is provided to model solutions is also intended to facilitate use of the book for independent learning as readers can compare their solutions to the suggested ones. Hence some confidence in the learning results can be attained without having a teacher available to comment on the solutions.

The distribution package includes the text as a pdf file, Excel templates for the exercises along with the technical solutions, Geoinformatica software installation package, and data needed in the geospatial computation exercises and can be downloaded free of charge from here. The pdf of a book alone can be downloaded from here.


New book: Modelling of Pollutants in Complex Environmental Systems


New book: Modelling of Pollutants in Complex Environmental Systems, Volume I, edited by Dr Grady Hanrahan, California Lutheran University, USA.

Environmental modelling has enjoyed a long tradition, but there is a defined need to continually address both the power and the limitations of such models, as well as their quantitative assessment. This book showcases modern environmental modelling methods, the basic theory behind them and their incorporation into complex environmental investigations. It highlights advanced computing technologies and how they have led to unprecedented and adaptive modelling, simulation and decision-support tools to study complex environmental systems, and how they can be applied to current environmental concerns. This volume is essential reading for researchers in academia, industry and government-related bodies who have a vested interest in all aspects of environmental modelling. Volume II will be published at the end of 2009.

More information about the book can be found here.