Participatory modeling is a valuable research approach that incorporates policy and values into ecological models to solve complex and challenging ecological resource questions. The approach has been successful in resolving challenges in watershed management, resource extraction, and ecosystem protection. Modeling tools implemented with the approach vary with application and range from simple statistical models to spatially explicit dynamic models. Participation from stakeholders and decision makers may range from model development to data integration and development of policy scenarios. The primary benefit of participatory modeling is that the models developed are often more useful in informing decision makers, though the approach is also widely recognized for its educational benefits and achievements in building consensus among diverse stakeholders.

See also: Adaptive Management and Integrative assessments.

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