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The InVEST Water Model Course

The InVEST Water Model Course

The InVEST Water Model Course is a 12.5-hour, live-online course. The course is designed for modelers, economists, and scientists. Familiarity with InVEST models is desirable, but not required. You will learn model theory, how to run the models, real case studies of model applications informing decisions, monetary valuation, and information about connecting to policy and finance mechanisms.

The course will focus on two of the most popular InVEST models: Sediment Retention (SDR) & Nutrient Delivery Ratio (NDR). The InVEST water models are essential to understanding how changes in policy, management, and climate might lead to changes in the delivery of hydrological services. The InVEST Sediment and Nutrient Retention models map sediment and nutrient sources in watersheds, explore their transport to streams, and thus shed light on how changes in the landscape lead to changes in water quality. These models are of particular interest for surface water quality issues. Model outputs can be valued in monetary terms or in social terms, such as avoided reservoir sedimentation or avoided treatment costs to improve water security through access to clean drinking water. Other benefits of hydrological services that can be valued include recreation, fisheries, and biodiversity.

The deadline to register is September 2, 2022 . The course link and prerequisite materials will be sent following confirmation of payment.
Participants will receive a certificate of participation upon completion .

Dates: September 13, 15, 20, 22, 29, 2022
Fee: $1,000 (USD)
Class size: Course cap at 30

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Discuss the types of research questions and decision-making contexts the models apply to, the theory and limitations of the models, and the application of the model results in the real world. 
  2. Build skills to model, map, and value ecosystem services.
  3. Gain knowledge to apply ecosystem services in spatial planning and prioritization of management options.
  4. Develop ecosystem service trade-off assessment in terms of biophysical and economic metrics to recommend policy options that benefit nature and people.

Course Schedule: 

  • Week 1: Nutrient Delivery Ratio & Sediment Delivery Ratio model theory
    • Tuesday, September 13, 2022, from 12:00 - 2:30 pm (Pacific Time)
      • 2.5 hour lecture
    • Thursday, September 15, 2022, from 12:00 pm - 2:30 pm (Pacific Time)
      • 1 hour lecture & 1.5 hour lab
  • Week 2: NDR & SDR economic valuation & tradeoffs
    • Tuesday, September 20, 2022, from 12:00 - 2:30 pm (Pacific Time)
      • 2.5 hour lecture
    • Thursday, September 22, 2022, from 12:00 - 2:30 pm (Pacific Time)
      • 2.5 hour lab
  • Week 3: Final class project
    • Thursday, September 29, 2022, from 12:00 pm -2:30 pm (Pacific Time)

In Week 1, we’ll dive into the theory of the SDR & NDR models, learn about the calibration and validation methods, and discuss policy decisions. We will have a guest lecturer that discusses the links between GTAP & InVEST at global and local spatial scales. We will kick off our 3-week long ‘real life’ team project with the application of both models using data provided by our team during the lab hour.

In Week 2, the lecture portion will include a discussion about scenarios, valuation, and synthesizing and communicating results to highlight trade offs–all linked to a case study. During the lab hour, we will share and discuss various methods and data sources to link a social or economic valuation of ecosystem services related to water quality results from SDR and NDR, such as avoided costs from sedimentation and water treatment, or recreation and fisheries values.

In Week 3, the teams will complete the ‘real life’ team project by applying SDR and NDR with climate change and management scenarios and summarizing the tradeoffs to inform decision making. We close our course with a guest speaker on emerging research frontiers on linking water and economic valuation.


Please contact with any questions.