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Ecosystem Services & Hydrologic Modeling

Over the past decade, the concept of ecosystem services has emerged as a way of characterizing the value of natural ecosystems and processes to human society. With respect to fresh water, such services include the value of wetlands in mitigating floods, the value of buffer strips in filtering nutrients, the value of forests in providing steady streamflows throughout the year, and the intrinsic and aesthetic values of lakes, streams and other water bodies.

Drew Guswa and his students are collaborating with the Natural Capital project—a joint venture among the Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, Stanford University and the University of Minnesota—to develop and improve hydrologic models to inform decision-making within the framework of ecosystem services.