ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING FOR DEVELOPMENT DECISIONS

EST 496 SECTION 3 FALL 1997 

 

T/TH 2:30-3:50 110 MARSHALL PROF.JOHN FELLEMAN

COMPUTER LABS 14 MOON 108 Marshall

felleman@mailbox.syr.edu

Class is limited to Environmental Studies seniors

 

Background

Land development decisions represent the intersection of: private sector market forces to maximize profits; governmental regulations to protect human health, safety, welfare, and the environment; and the interests of potentially affected publics. Increasingly, these decisions are based on the expected construction and operation impacts. Municipal zoning, site plan and subdivision controls, as well as most state and federal environmental permits commonly require performance predictions. Typically, the proposed development's performance must fall into a specified range,(either above a minimum such as available parking spaces, or below a maximum such as noise level),for approval to be granted.

Environmental modeling provides the analytical framework for generating and assessing these predictions. Development decisions are controversial and frequently result in negotiation and/or litigation. Therefore it is the responsibility of the modelers to provide a clearly articulated documentation of the logic, process, and analysis quality, as well as the prediction results. An important new trend is "open modeling", wherein the predictive model is made available to all interested parties in order to increase environmental understanding, facilitate "what if" analyses, and improve consensus building.

Objectives

1. Introduce the governmental role of performance regulation in development decisions;

2. Develop a working knowledge of a generalized performance modeling process;

3. Provide Hands-on experience in creating models at two scales: site and community;

4. Introduce the role of quality and error analysis in modeling; and

5. Provide experience in use of modeling vocabulary and reporting.

Methods

Lectures will be used to introduce concepts and methods. Two EXCEL spreadsheet models will be developed by students working in small groups using data gathered in the field and from secondary sources. Model design and predictions will be documented in technical reports. Two exams will test the synthesis of concepts and applications.

 

SCHEDULE

# Date Topic Readings

Aug

1 T 26 Intro: Course; Regulations; Models Karplus

2 Th28 Scales; Significant Figures ASCE;Burtt *Bring calculators, engineer's scales to class

Sept

3 T 2 Solar Access Regulation;Problem 1 Buttii; Thayer;Knowles; Lasser;Taylor

4 Th 4 EXCEL 1 Lab- 14 Moon Systems;Data;Calulations T 9 Field Mapping

6 Th11 EXCEL 2 Lab- 14 Moon Layout; Graphs T 16 Physical Performance Modeling

8 Th18 Solar Physics, Geometry, Cross Sections Kreider

9 T 23 Spatial and Temporal Samples

10 Th25 Technical Reports

11 T30 EXCEL 3 Lab 303 Baker Date Math, Named Variables

EXCEL MNL pp109-112, 142-150

Oct

12 Th 2 Error Concepts

13 T 7 @RISK Lab-14 Moon @RISK

14 Th 9 Work Session; Q/A

15 T 14 EXAM

16 Th 16 Hydrology Review; Watershed Delineation (review hydrologic cycle and watersheds from For 340/341) *Report 1 Due

17 T 21 Problem 2; TR55 DEC, Pittsford, Colonie, McCuen

 

18 Th23 Spatial Distributions; Raster Grid

*Bring Engineers Scale to Class

19 T 28 Soils McCuen

20 Th30 EXCEL Lab- 14 Moon Database, Lookup, Index, Match

Nov EXCEL Mnl pp.378-80

21 T 4 Slope McCuen

22 Th 6 Landuse/Land Cover McCuen

23 T 11 Work Session

24 Th13 Error; Sensitivity

25 T 18 Hydrographs (review from For 340/341)

26 T 20 Scenarios

27 T 25 Work Session

Dec

28 T 2 Monitoring

29 Th 4 Wrapup; *Report 2 Due

*Exam 2 in Finals week- Covers second Half of Course

 

 

READINGS

There is a required class reader. It can be purchased at the Syracuse Copy Center next to the Post Office, Reader #___. Students will also need to review hydrology concepts. Readings should be done before class, and be available in the classroom to facilitate discussion. Questions regarding the readings will be on each exam.

MATERIALS

Each student should have a triangular plastic engineer's scale and a couple of 3 1/2" computer disks. At times, teams will need some tracing paper.

 

MATH

Studentsare expected to have a basic working knowledge of algebra, trig functions, and logs.

 

 

GRADING

2 Exams @ 20% 40

2 Reports @ 30% 60

100

TEAMWORK

Virtually all professional work is done collaboratively, with individual accountability. Educational studies have also shown that small groups constitute a good learning environment. In this course reports will be done in small teams. A single report per team will be submitted and a single grade given. Each section of the report will have an individual author's name as principle writer. In those rare instances where one team member has not participated fully separate grades will be given. Although discussions may occur between teams, a "class" solution is not allowed. The College policy on copying will be strictly adhered to.