Our Training Program

We have learned that to truly build capacity within our community of practice, multiple engagements that gradually grow the skills of our learners is required.  We offer a wide range of courses to help you learn to use our approaches and tools. Starting with basic concepts and building to project-specific, in-depth support, we hope to help you find what you need to use ecosystem services to inform decisions.

Our 100-level offerings focus on foundations and include our on-line course, webinars, regional workshops, and big-picture components of the natural capital approach. Our 200-level offerings build on those foundations to include hands-on practice applying our approach and tools in remote courses and seminars, customized workshops, and in the “training track” at our Natural Capital Symposium. Finally, our 300-level offerings represent tailored, project-specific support in which NatCap experts work with you in an on-site seminar or small-group session to generate results using your own data.

The Natural Capital Symposium

We know that it is through building a community of practice that we will have the impact we seek. Our training program is committed not only to sharing our tools and approaches, but also to learning from and collaborating with others. The Natural Capital Symposium is an open opportunity to join our community of practice.

Please join us for the 2019 Natural Capital Symposium at Stanford University from March 18-21, 2019. This event is a major convening of leaders advancing the science and practice of incorporating nature’s diverse values into decisions. Interactive sessions throughout the symposium will focus on five central themes: sustainable development planning, securing freshwater, fostering resilient coastal communities, developing sustainable cities, and creating standards for the private sector.

Last year’s symposium drew over 300 people from 31 countries, representing universities, NGOs, businesses, governments, and other institutions. We heard from 100 presenters about advances in the science, the development of tools, and how natural capital understanding is being used to inform decisions around the world. Please come join us—we love this event because it is a chance to exchange ideas, swap stories, advance science, and spend time with thought-leaders and practitioners accounting for nature’s contributions to society to make smarter decisions for a more sustainable future.

The next Natural Capital Symposium will be at Stanford University from March 18-21, 2019. Please check out the Symposium section of this website to learn more about the speakers and sessions at this year’s event!

Tradeoff! Training Game Series


Tradeoff! is a series of mapping games developed by the Natural Capital Project that simply introduce concepts related to nature’s benefits to people, while mirroring our analytical approach with InVEST. The process of preparing spatial data, running software tools, and appropriately interpreting results can be challenging; Tradeoff! represents a more effective means to convey our approach to a broader audience, especially those who are not computer saavy or experience scientific modelers. Currently, we offer four versions of Tradeoff!: 1) Best Coast Belize (coastal zone management), 2) Tradeoff! Agriculture Edition (terrestrial/freshwater services), 3) Northland: Arctic Choices (arctic development), and 4) Roads to a Resilient Future (linear infrastructure development).

Best Coast Belize!

Roads to a Resilient Future
Ranchland: Farm or Fallow

Northland: Arctic Choices

If you are interested in playing Tradeoff!, we are happy to help! Please complete the short form below to submit a request for more information. You can also read more about the development of Tradeoff! in the following paper:


  • Verutes, Gregory M., and Amy Rosenthal. “Using simulation games to teach ecosystem service synergies and trade-offs.” Environmental Practice 16.03 (2014): 194-204. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1466046614000222

Contact us to learn more about Tradeoff!

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Online Courses


The best starting place for learning more about the Natural Capital Project’s approach and tools, is through our free, open, self-guided online course, offered through Stanford Online: NCP101: An Introduction to the Natural Capital Approach.

NCP101 is divided into four modules, each of which may be done in sequence or as a standalone unit. The course starts with introductions to the concepts of natural capital and ecosystem services, and progresses through hands-on introductions to our primary software stool, InVEST.

Marine Spatial Planning Short Course

Developed by the Natural Capital Project with support from Duke University and Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, our Marine Planning Short Course introduces learners to marine planning, and in particular, integrating natural capital and ecosystem services into marine planning.

The Marine Planning Short Course is provided for free via this website, and serves as a companion to our Marine Planning Concierge.

*Questions or comments about our online training courses can be posted in the relevant sections of our Online Forums.

Scheduled Courses

We offer a number of courses in locations throughout the world each year. See below for upcoming learning opportunities open to the public.

March 18-21, 2019: Natural Capital Symposium
The 2019 Natural Capital Symposium will include several workshops on the Natural Capital Approach, Scenarios, and our primary software tool, InVEST. Read more about the 2019 Natural Capital Symposium here.

Contact us to learn more about our Training Program

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