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Collaboratively managing sudden oak death in California and Oregon using tangible landscape models

David Rizzo: University of California

<div>Geospatial models allow users to explore the dynamics of complex socio-ecological processes occurring over large spatial and temporal scales, making them uniquely suited for disease management applications in forests. In many cases, however, models are developed without consideration of local stakeholder motivations or compelling user-friendly interfaces, fueling a knowledge-practice gap where better science has not necessarily lead to better management. Tangible Landscape, an open-source participatory modeling tool, has been designed to address this challenge by coupling a physical model of the landscape with a geographic information system. Tangible Landscape allows stakeholders to alter the landscape and instantly visualize management effects. We are using this modeling platform to engage stakeholders involved in sudden oak death (SOD) management in northern California and southwest Oregon. SOD is an extremely destructive, introduced disease which has killed millions of oak and tanoak trees in California and Oregon. We will discuss how to use Tangible Landscape as platform for fostering collaborative discussions and co-learning among diverse stakeholder groups who must consider different policies and intervention strategies, along with multiple dynamic trade offs, in order to manage SOD in their local environment.</div>

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