NIMBioS logo banner.

Description Participants Agenda (TBA) Products (TBA)

NIMBioS Tutorial

Adaptive Management


Topic: Adaptive Management

Meeting dates: April 1-3, 2020

Location: NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Instructors and co-organizers:

  • Iadine Chadés, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia
  • Paul L. Fackler, Agricultural & Resource Economics, North Carolina State Univ.
  • David Kling, Applied Economics, Oregon State Univ.
  • Michael Springborn, Environmental Science and Policy, Univ. of California, Davis

Co-organized in cooperation with Suzanne Lenhart (NIMBioS and Mathematics, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Greg Wiggins (NIMBioS)


Adaptive management seeks to determine sound management strategies in the face of uncertainty concerning the behavior of the system being managed. Specifically it attempts to find strategies for managing dynamic systems while learning the behavior of the system. This tutorial introduces participants to methods for modeling adaptive management, with an emphasis on case studies drawn from environmental and natural resource management. The tutorial reviews the key concept of a Markov Decision Process (MDP) and demonstrates how quantitative adaptive management strategies can be developed using MDPs. Additional conceptual, computational and application aspects will be discussed, including: dynamic programming and Bayesian formalization of learning. Case study applications covered in the tutorial will include management of endangered, invasive, and harvested wild populations. The tutorial features hands-on activities designed to help participants incorporate adaptive management approaches into their own research activities. Some prior knowledge of dynamic optimization, population modeling and/or computer programming is desirable.

The tutorial is appropriate for faculty, post-docs, advanced graduate students, and industry professionals in resource economics, applied ecology, conservation biology, applied mathematics and related fields.

Descriptive Flyer

The application process is now closed.

Live-stream icon. Live Stream. The Tutorial will be streamed live. Note that NIMBioS tutorials involve open discussion and not necessarily a succession of talks. In addition, the schedule as posted may change during the Tutorial. To view the live stream, visit

A goal of NIMBioS is to enhance the cadre of researchers capable of interdisciplinary efforts across mathematics and biology. As part of this goal, NIMBioS is committed to promoting diversity in all its activities. Diversity is considered in all its aspects, social and scientific, including gender, ethnicity, scientific field, career stage, geography and type of home institution. Questions regarding diversity issues should be directed to You can read more about our Diversity Plan on our NIMBioS Policies web page. The NIMBioS building is fully handicapped accessible.

1122 Volunteer Blvd., Suite 106
University of Tennessee
Knoxville, TN 37996-3410
PH: (865) 974-9334
FAX: (865) 974-9300
Contact NIMBioS

NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
©2008-2020 National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. All rights reserved.