Welcome to the Energy Forecast Modeling online course.
This online course is going to cover the Appalachian LCC funded research project, Assessing Future Energy Development across the Appalachian LCC, which was completed by The Nature Conservancy. This project will assist policy makers, land management agencies, and industry in assessing potential future energy development and how those areas may overlap with biological and ecological resources. The information and tools from this research is intended to inform planning decisions that can effectively avoid, minimize, or offset impacts from energy development to important natural areas. This research will inform discussions on how to meet immediate and future energy needs while sustaining the health of natural systems by providing vital information to policy makers, land management agencies, industry, and the public to identify potential future energy development and how that development may intersect with biological and ecological values.
Assessing Future Energy Development across the Appalachian LCC, uses models that combine data on energy development trends and identifies where these may intersect with important natural resource and ecosystem services to give a more comprehensive picture of what potential energy development could look like in the Appalachians.
Models of wind, shale gas, and coal development for the entire study area were created to predict potential future energy development and impacts to natural resources within the Appalachians. Models and data from all development projections populate a web-based mapping tool to help inform regional landscape planning decisions. The web-based mapping tool allows policy makers, land management agencies, industries, and others to see where development may likely occur and intersect with important natural values to inform regional landscape planning decisions. Ultimately this information is intended to support dialogue and conservation on how to effectively avoid, minimize, and offset impacts from energy development to important natural areas and the valuable services they provide.
This course will explain the science behind the development of the tool, demonstrate to users how-to use the web map application, provide examples of how this information can be used to make management decisions, and guide users through an interactive exercise using the data in a case study activity.
This course consists of an introduction and 6 additional modules. Participants should complete the modules in sequential order. If, after reviewing the prerequisites for a module, a participant feels that they already have an understanding of the information, they can proceed to the next module. For example, if you already have experience using the Energy Forecast model web application, you could skip Module 2.
In Modules 2-4, two different levels of instruction are provided. The first level is known as the manager level. The focus is to provide an understanding of how to use the tool and to answer questions related to conservation management. Participants will not perform additional analysis; rather they will focus on the thought process behind the analysis. The second level, known as the technical level, focuses on showing participants how-to use the tool and the actual process of completing analysis using additional software and data to strategically plan conservation actions.
Upon completion of this course, users will be able to:
- Identify areas at risk for energy development using the Energy Tool web application.
- Apply information from a case study to develop a strategy for utilizing the tool as part of a decision management process to answer questions regarding priority resources with the organization’s area of responsibility.
- Develop a good understanding of the science behind the tools and their appropriate use.
- Facilitate creative thinking to enhance the utilization of the tools to answer questions for the strategic delivery of conservation activities.
Participants will complete readings, view instructional videos, complete a review quiz at the end of the course, and provide feedback regarding the course.
You will need to use Adobe Reader to view course materials. If you do not already have Adobe Reader on your computer, click on the link below to access Adobe's website and download it for free.
ArcGIS is needed for participants who plan to complete the technical level of Module 4. Alternative GIS software can be used, however, directions are providing using ArcGIS. Manager level users can complete the course using their internet browser of choice.
There are no prerequisites to take this course. However, within the course, participants should complete the Modules in order as they build upon information in the previous modules. Prerequisites are covered at the beginning of each module.