Private sector, government, or non-governmental organizations interested in identifying and assessing ecosystem services on a given site quickly and inexpensively.
RELEASE YEAR & UPDATES
2016, Initial Release.
The public version of this release is free for the individual user and comes with a limited amount of free data storage. Private hosting, expanded data storage, training, and customization of the tool are available for a fee.
PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVE
Designed for decision makers and non-experts to rapidly assess ecosystem services and functions at the site level.
Can support multiple activities including assessing site designs and alternatives; assisting with restoration projects; creating an inventory of natural assets; scoping impact assessments; comparing green vs. gray infrastructure; and supporting dialogue and engagement with local communities.
SOFTWARE AND DATA INPUT REQUIRE
Software: web browser and iPad running iOS 9.2 or later (paper version available as an alternative if iPad is not available for data collection).
Data inputs: location-specific regional data (sources noted in training materials) and field-collected data on soil, vegetation, slope, water, and other land characteristics.
13 ecosystem services and sub-services (erosion control and mass wasting, water quality control for nitrogen and sediment removal, water quantity control, water provisioning, air quality control for nitrogen and particulates, climate regulation, carbon uptake, flood mitigation, aesthetics for visual screening and sound reduction) measured in percent performance, functional acres, and engineering units (e.g. water provisioning in gallons, air nitrogen removal in pounds/year).
Outputs available as tables, bar charts, and heat maps.
EXPERTISE & TIME INVESTMENT REQUIRED
Expertise requirement is low, but training is recommended. User proficiency is expected to improve over time and the tool takes this into account – users select their level of expertise and the tool adds uncertainty into results based on this selection. The selection can be adjusted as expertise improves.
Time involved in data collection varies with level of details required by the customer and desired use of results.
Reference materials and User Guide provide step-by-step guidance that is available at esiitool.com.