Exploring New Tools, Inspiring Young Professionals

The ROSS process builds from existing open space conservation work, but we also benefit from and offer a valuable testing ground through our affiliation with the University of Washington.  Students and faculty are integrating ROSS projects in their coursework, such as developing GIS databases through the UW’s Geography Department and contributing research on urban forestry in Puget Sound. Graduate students earning a certificate in Environmental Management are testing powerful modeling instruments, including the Integrated Valuation of Environmental Services and Tradeoffs ecosystem services valuation tool, in concert with our watershed-scale work, to identify how such analytical muscle could be applied to our work in the future. It is also an exciting way to get the open space professionals of the future integrated into the work of the region early.  Next month we will present the ROSS at the first GeoDesign Forum, sponsored by the UW.  We are also fortunate to have the expertise of UW faculty from numerous departments on a number of ROSS Task Forces and on the Ecosystem Services Committee. A big thank you to the extended network of graduate students and professors for their participation in the ROSS work to keep us at the cutting edge of open space mapping, valuation, and conservation.

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