Optimization for Natural Resources Management


Paul L. Fackler, NCSU
Ken Williams
James D. Nichols

June 20 – 24, 2011
David Clark Labs, NCSU
Raleigh, North Carolina

Objectives of the workshop:

This workshop applies structured decision making and adaptive management to natural resource management problems. The workshop will introduce analysts to a new software package, MDPSOLVE (written by Paul Fackler in the MATLAB programming language) that is a state-of-the-art optimization tool. To learn more, please click here.


A block of rooms has been reserved for workshop participants at the Holiday Inn Brownstone Hotel, 1707 Hillsborough Street, Raleigh, NC, a nearby hotel within walking distance of the workshop location on the NCSU campus. Reservations must be made by May 31, 2011 to get the block rate. The registration fee is $100, and it is charged to cover workshop expenses. Opportunities to network with other participants in the evenings will be available.

Material Covered:

1) Theory of dynamic optimization.
2) MATLAB programming and MDPSOLVE.
3) Constructing meaningful objective functions.
4) Optimization techniques for dynamic programming.
5) Accounting for uncertainty: environmental stochasticity, partial controllability, partial observability and structural uncertainty (passive and active adaptive management).
6) Additional features covered: postoptimality analyses and simulations; using stages in MDPSOLVE; dealing with non-stationary dynamics.
7) Example problems will depend on participant interests. Registered participants will be surveyed about a month before the workshop to access their interests. Participants will also be provided a set of solved problems drawn from the literature.


The workshop will be limited to 30 participants. To reserve a place at the workshop please send an email to Paul Fackler at paul_fackler@ncsu.edu.