An overview of the World Conference on Natural Resource Modeling 2020 (WCNRM2020) is prominently featured in the latest Resource Modeling Association (RMA) newsletter. The RMA “is an international association of scientists working at the intersection of mathematical modeling, environmental sciences, and natural resource management”. Here we reproduce the report issued by the organizers, Héctor Ramírez (CMM, Uchile) and Pedro Gajardo (USM).
An overview on WCNRM2020, Valparaiso, Chile
In the summer of the South Hemisphere last January, the World Conference on Natural Resource Modeling 2020 was held in Valparaiso, Chile, for the first time in South America. It was hosted by Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María (UTFSM) and sponsored by the Resource Modeling Association (RMA), the Chilean scientific agency (ANID), the Center for Mathematical Modeling (Universidad de Chile-CNRS) and the Department of Mathematics of the host institution UTFSM.
We insisted in organizing this conference in January, in the middle of our summer, instead of May or June 2020, which were the common dates of previous WCNRM editions. This providential decision made possible to avoid dealing with the COVID19 outbreak that has the world currently on hiatus. Furthermore, since October 2019, there had been several social demonstrations in all Chilean cities, adding an important uncertainty to the organization of the conference. This surely implied the absence of some members of the RMA community. Nevertheless, the conference went successfully, we received 63 attendees (30% women, 22% students) coming from 20 countries (60% from Latin America).
The title of the conference was “Decision support methods for natural systems at risk” and the scientific program included 38 contributed lectures about sustainability, ecology, natural resources management, climate change, epidemiology, among others.
Additionally, it also incorporated 4 outstanding keynote speakers: Prof. Suzanne Lenhart (Mathematics Department, University of Tennessee, US) who spoke about optimal control for management of aquatic population models; Prof. Alejandro Maass (Center for Mathematical Modeling, Universidad of Chile), who delivered a talk about dynamical networks in systems biology, and some important lessons from the Atacama desert; Dr. Eva Plaganyi-Lloyd (CSIRO CMAR, Australia), who presented different methods to model and manage risk in marine natural systems; and Prof. José L. Torero (Department of Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering at University College London, UK) with his insightful talk on modeling fire as a natural resource.
Regarding social activities, the first day we visited the Palacio Rioja, a beautiful palace-museum in Viña del Mar, where the second plenary talk by A. Maass took place. This day ended with a cocktail in its garden, where we enjoyed local music and Chilean wine.
The Gala dinner was organized the second day at the restaurant “Café Turri”, a traditional place in Valparaiso facing the bay. During the dinner Hélène Gomes (IFREMER, France) and Luiza Tyminska-Czabanska (University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland) received the prize for the best PhD student presentation.
On the third day, we enjoyed a Chilean barbecue in the gardens of UTFSM, facing the Pacific Ocean. The final activity was the field trip to bay of Quintay, which is a representative landscape of the central zone of Chile. We visited the old whale slaughtering plant, we did some trekking and discussed with local artisan fishermen. Then we end up in Casablanca valley, located on the coastal plain between Santiago and Valparaiso, and one of the most famous wine regions in Chile, where we lunched and visited a vineyard.
This event would not have been possible without the support, before and during the conference, of the RMA board, in particular from Frank van Langevelde, Luc Doyen and Steve McKelvey. Thank you for your commitment in this annual meeting. We would like to remind that a special issue of the journal Natural Resource Modeling will be edited in relation with this conference (deadline: October 1, 2020).
To end this overview, we would like to thank also to all attendees for their participation. The months before the conference were full of uncertainties in Chile, but your confidence allowed us to organize this WCNRM edition without any major disturbance.
We hope you have enjoyed the conference as much as we do. We hope to meet you again in Chile and at the next WCNRM in Leipzig!!
Source: RMA Newsletter – Spring 2020