Participating to the ISU was a unique experience. Despite the fact that I had no solid background in ecosystem services modeling, I had the opportunity to explore those “uncharted waters” during the two weeks of intensive training. The interactive courses and team-oriented approach of solving assignments were great ways to get to know with colleagues and collaborate effectively. Not only that I am now “richer” by 20+ friends, but my ISU team and I are still working on our BC3-incubated project, with great potentials. Lecturers seemed to enjoy every minute, and provided happily assistance in every possible aspect, in and out of the class (they even helped us buy football tickets for an Athletic Bilbao match!!). I can’t recall more productive and fun weeks than the ones I had last spring in Bilbao.
The course was a great opportunity to understand how ecosystem services should be modelled. I found that the attention given to the beneficiaries of such ES and to modelling trade-offs between different beneficiaries taking into account sources and sinks of services as well as pathways through which these services reach the final beneficiaries was particularly useful in order to understand the ES concept. I particularly liked the fact that the course was mostly practical and we used the software from the first day which was really helpful to gain an understanding of the potential of ARIES and the vast number of questions that can be addressed. The team provided great support at all times especially by working in small groups to tackle particular questions related to our study fields. Absolutely recommend anyone interested in ES to attend the course!
The spring university on ecosystem services modelling was a great professional experience. We learned state-of-the-art modelling skills as well as a new conceptual framework for ecosystem services evaluation. The course content was challenging with plenty of information, and the programme was stimulating with a mix of lectures and group work for practicing modelling skills and building bayesian networks. The ARIES team is very friendly and offers complementary skills, so that every questions are clearly answered. All of this in the lively Bilbao city surrounded by a beautiful coastline and mountains
The course was a tremendous opportunity to learn and apply ARIES advanced ecosystem services modelling approaches. The underlying concepts are invaluable. Through this experience, I received powerful tools to develop probabilistic and deterministic ES models and enrich my research on dynamics and resilience in social-ecological systems. I found that the problem solving exercises and case studies with small groups fostered active and collaborative learning. I really appreciate how dedicated the ARIES team is to advancing the global ES modelling platform, innovation and collaboration, and providing incredible support. Thank you to the ARIES team and ISU