Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions

A Community on Ecosystem Services Conference

Date and Time
Monday, December 8, 2014 - 8 a.m. to Friday, December 12 - 12 p.m.
Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel, 1700 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia 22202


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The National Ecosystem Services Partnership, a Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions initiative, will launch the Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services (FRMES) online guidebook for federal resource managers at the A Community on Ecosystem Services Conference (ACES) December 8–12 in Washington, D.C. The guidebook describes how ecosystem services can be integrated into agencies' planning and management processes. Three sessions on the new guidebook will be part of the conference.

December 8: Methods for Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Planning and Decision Making (Lydia Olander, presenter)
8 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom, Salon A
A pre-conference workshop deliving into some of the methods for integrating ecosystem services into planning processes.

December 11: Integrating Ecosytem Services into Federal Resource Management and Planning (Lydia Olander, presenter)
10:15 a.m.-noon, Grand Ballroom, Salon B
A special session discussing data and modeling infrastructure needed to succesfully conduct ecosystem services assessments nationwide. "Integrating Ecosystem Services in Federal Resource Management and Planning" was structured as a panel discussion with five federal agency staff members, who touched on three primary questions:

  1. How are ecosystem services currently incorporated into agency planning processes?
  2. What are next steps for incorporating ecosystem services?
  3. What are the challenges to incorporating ecosystem services?

December 11: Building Data Infrastructure to Support Nationwide Assessment (Lydia Olander, presenter)
3:45-5:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom, Salon D-E
The second session, "Building the Data Infrastructure to Support Nation-Wide Ecosystem Services Assessments," brought together experts to discuss data availability and analytical capabilities and how they could support nation-wide assessments as outlined by the FRMES Guidebook’s framework.

***Nicholas Institute researchers will also present at the following sessions:

December 10: Managing Risks and Liabilities in Environmental Markets in the United States (Lydia Olander, presenter)
10:20 a.m.–10:40 a.m., Grand Ballroom, Salon C
Liability and risk is often stated as a barrier to the development and spread of environmental market mechanisms. This talk will review risks (e.g., extreme events) and uncertainties (scientific and market) in environmental markets like water quality trading, carbon offsets, and compensatory mitigation. It will consider risk management mechanisms and compare liability management approaches.

December 10: Integrating Ecosystem Services into the Implementation of Water Resource Projects (Martin Doyle, panelist)
1:35 p.m.–1:55 p.m., Grand Ballroom, Salon B
A panel discussion.

December 10: Ecosystem Services in Federal Decision Making: Synthesis and Reflection (Lydia Olander, presenter)
7:30 p.m.–8:35 p.m., Arlington Ballroom, Salons 1–3
A post-reception townhall meeting.

December 11: Identifying Modeling Gaps and Building Better Tools through Partnerships (Lydia Olander, presenter)
1:55 p.m.–2:15 p.m., Grand Ballroom, Salon D and E
Environmental markets focus on difficult-to-quantify environmental opportunities, such as addressing non-point pollution or air emissions from extensive activities like farming. Adapting existing models to meet the needs of environmental markets will require partnerships of researchers and modelers (academic and private firms) with state and federal regulators. Two examples will be presented: (1) quantifying the water quality benefits of improved animal management for water quality trading and (2) modeling the nitrous oxide emissions from farming operations for carbon offsets and supply chain initiatives.

Materials and presentations from the pre-conference workshop, "Methods for Incorporating Ecosystem Services into Planning and Decision Making," will soon be available at