I've been attending the 10th INTECOL Congress in Brisbane Australia this week. Thanks to the close proximity of the conference to AEDA at UQ, there were some great sessions on adaptive management, modeling, and later this week on expert elicitation of priors. A few quotes:
If you don't know what a differential equation is, then you're not a scientist – Prof Hugh Possingham
All models are beautiful, and some are even useful – Dr. Brendan Wintle
And then there was the definition of AM given by Richard Kingsford and attributed to Norm Myers.
Adaptive Management is like teen sex. Lots of people say they are doing it, only a few actually are, and they are doing it badly.
My own talk ended up in a session on Landscape Ecology – mostly reflections on why some structured decision making workshops work, and some don't. I probably should go back to school and get some proper training before doing any reflecting on social processes, but who's got time to do that? My colleague Rodrigo Bustamante from CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Science made probably the best point – that the participants have to have "bought into" the workshop idea, and at least the general idea of using the workshop to analyze a decision before coming along. This is where pre-workshop conference calls are essential to discuss what the workshop is meant to achieve.