February 2019 Newsletter


Welcome to the Newsletter for the Participatory Modeling Community of Practice!

We hope that this newsletter will foster connections and inspiration within our community as we work together toward developing trust and commitment to participatory modeling throughout the world.


We will be sharing community-wide announcements, working group and individual member achievements, a bulletin board for announcements from members (e.g. new journals, funding opportunities, etc.), opinion pieces, fun polls, and highlights of new PM papers. It is our goal to issue quarterly.


We encourage contributions from you, so please email the editors at pm_cop_news@gmail.com

with anything you would like to share with the community!


Join the new website

We have a new and improved website at participatorymodeling.org! It will advertise everyone’s work and house news and events. Unfortunately we could not transition all the users from the previous web site and will have to ask you to please register and continue to contribute to the new portal. You can add your past and present case studies to the “Resources” page along with a pin of your location to the Map of Activity. You can share news, stories and experience. You can tell about yourself, your skills and expertise. This will increase the accessibility of our work to communities and researchers looking to collaborate.

Our achievements

Working groups

Our working groups have achieved a lot since the iEMSs conference. They have…

  • Outlined a paper on best practices and formed a team in collaboration with a group of participatory modeling SESYNC members. Working group: Research Paper II; Lead(s): Alex Killion and Emily Bondank
  • Drafted an outline of the handbook. Working group: Handbook; Lead(s): Maria Manez Costa and Alexey Voinov
  • Developed a new website to allow for easy user input. Working Group: Website; Lead(s): Alex Killion
  • Identified a Research Coordinated Network grant that we aim to apply for in November 2019. Working Group: Funding; Lead(s): Deana Pennington
  • Started organizing a workshop on using Quantum GIS (P-GIS) and System Dynamics (PM) for school children and NGO field staff in India. Working Group: Training; Lead(s): Nagesh Kolgani
  • Started making a list of potential NGO’s/groups/persons to reach out to. Working Group: Outreach; Lead(s): Laura Basco-Carrera and Maaike Maarse

As a reminder, please join any of the working groups at any time if you are interested by putting your name and email on  the sign up sheet. Please also email the working group leads to make sure they know they have a new member.


PhD graduates

Congratulations to Drs. Kelley Sterle and Laura Basco Carrera for recently graduating from their doctoral programs! Kelley graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno’s (UNR) interdisciplinary Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences in May 2018. Her dissertation is titled “Collaborative Modeling to Assess Climate Adaptation and Science Information Needs in Snow-fed River Systems”. Her dissertation committee comprised: Drs. Greg Pohll (Desert Research Institute (DRI), advisor), Loretta Singletary (UNR), Seshadri Rajagopal (DRI), Sudeep Chandra (UNR) & Dr. Eric Morway (U.S. Geological Survey).


Laura graduated from the University of Twente in the Water Engineering and Management (WEM) research group in Fall 2018. Her dissertation is titled “Participatory and Collaborative Modelling; Key to Sustainable and Inclusive Development: Strengthening Stakeholder Ownership for Informed and Participatory Water Resources Management” and her committee comprised: Eelco van Beek and Andreja Jonoski. A special congratulations to Laura also for recently having a baby!


Featured research:

Are you currently choosing which PM tools and methods to use? Don’t rely on your prior experience and skills! Look to the newly published paper titled “Tools and methods in participatory modeling: Selecting the right tool for the job” for an extensive overview, assessment, and categorization of tools and methods that can be used in each stage of the PM process (Fig 1).

Congratulations to  25 (!) members of our community for publishing this paper in August 2018 — right after the iEMSs conference.

Author list:
Alexey Voinov, Karen Jenni, Steven Gray, Nagesh Kolagani, Pierre D. Glynn, Pierre Bommel, Christina Prell, Moira Zellner, Michael Paolisso, Rebecca Jordan, Eleanor Sterling, Laura Schmitt Olabisi, Philippe J. Giabbanelli, ZHanli Sun, Christophe Le Page, Sondoss Elsawah, Todd K. BenDor, Klaus Hubacek, Bethany K. Laursen, Antonie Jetter, Laura Basco-Carrera, Alison Singer, Laura Young, Jessica Brunacini, Alex Smajgl


The PM Pulse

What are your New Year’s resolutions and participatory modeling goals for the year? Share anonymously and see the responses from the community: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3BFZJ6S


Bulletin Board


Introducing ‘Socio-environmental Systems Modeling’ – a new open-access journal  

A new Journal is ready to publish its first inaugural issue shortly. The aims and scope of the journal are very much in line with our CoP:


“To progress our understanding, learning and decision making on major socio-environmental issues using advances in model-grounded processes that engage with institutional and governance contexts, cross-sectoral and scale challenges, and stakeholder perspectives.”


Editor in Chief is Tony Jakeman, Australian National University, Australia


Marjolijn Haasnoot, Deltares, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

Marco Janssen, Arizona State University, USA

Alexey Voinov, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Managing Editor:

Ioannis N. Athanasiadis, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands


The Journal is supported by  

iEMSs, with additional support from SESYNC, TIAS, MSSANZ, IFIP WG 5.11, DMDU, and WUR Library


Please visit http://www.sesmo.org and contact the editors if you have any questions or suggestions.


Regional IEMSS Conference

If you enjoyed IEMSS in Colorado, please consider attending the first Regional Conference on Environmental Modeling and Software(Asian Region) (May 18-20, 2019) in Nanjing, China. See http://geomodeling.njnu.edu.cn/iEMSsRegion/  or http://iemss2019.com/.

PM in China and in other countries around the world may have its specifics. Perhaps an interesting topic to explore.

–Deadline for submission of full papers – 5 March 2019

Thank you from the editors


Emily Bondank is a PhD candidate in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University. As a civil engineer, she works in interdisciplinary teams to develop systems dynamics, network, and regression models of water, power, and transportation infrastructure services with the goal of facilitating adaptation to climate change.To incorporate stakeholder perspectives, she has led a workshop with industry professionals where they developed and played a board game exploring their system structures and effective adaptation strategies. Her training at the Employing Model-Based Reasoning in Socio-Environmental Synthesis (EMBeRS) workshop inspired her to work toward contributing to the field of participatory modeling. Email: ebondank@asu.edu

Alexey Voinov is a Distinguished Professor at the School of Information, Systems and Modeling at Faculty of Engineering and IT University of Technology Sydney. He is leading the faculty Centre on Persuasive Systems for Wise Adaptive Living (PERSWADE).  Before joining UTS, Alexey was professor at ITC, University of Twente; he coordinated the Chesapeake Research Consortium Community Modeling Program, and spent one year with the AAAS Science and Technology Fellowship program working with the Army Corps of Engineers. For over ten years he was with the Institute for Ecological Economics, Univ. of Maryland and Vermont. He has his MSc and PhD from Moscow State University, Russia. He wrote a book on “Systems Science and Modeling for Ecological Economics” (Academic Press/Elsevier). Email: aavoinov@gmail.com

Dr. Kelley Sterle is an Assistant Research Professor and Water Resources Outreach Specialist affiliated with the Global Water Center and Cooperative Extension at the University of Nevada, Reno. As an interdisciplinary hydrologist, Kelley utilizes qualitative and quantitative research methods, and participatory research approaches to investigate complex water resource issues. Kelley collaborates across disciplines with physical scientists, social scientists, and engineers, as well as with stakeholders comprising diverse local water use communities. She contributes to interdisciplinary research teams and pursues integrated research questions that explore climate change impacts in mountain regions, adaptive water management, and coupled human-water systems modeling. Email: ksterle@unr.edu

Pierre Glynn heads the Water Cycle Branch at the U.S. Geological Survey. The Branch conducts research to advance qualitative and quantitative understanding of the water cycle, its dynamics, and its interactions with societal needs. Pierre’s current research includes studies on (1) the role of human biases, beliefs, heuristics and values in the conduct of science, (2) public participation in science, (3) integrated modeling and the study of complex systems. His earlier research efforts focused on geochemical modeling, groundwater contamination, nuclear waste disposal, and groundwater dating.  Pierre is associated with the USGS Science and Decisions Center and with the Interagency Collaborative for Environmental Modeling and Monitoring (cf. 2018 EOS article). Email: pierre.glynn@gmail.com

Dr. Philippe J. Giabbanelli joined Furman University after working at Northern Illinois University and the University of Cambridge. As an assistant professor in the computer science department, he leads the DACHB lab (www.dachb.com). He teaches data science courses such as Modeling & Simulation, Artificial Intelligence, and Network Science. He has published over 60 articles and was most recently the lead editor for the volume “Advanced Data Analytics in Health”. He has won several prizes for his models, including the best paper award at the 2018 Spring Simulation conference and a nomination at the 2015 ACM SIGSIM conference on Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation (PADS).
  Email: giabba@furman.edu