Building Models in Ecology and Natural Resources Management. Online Course with Vensim

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Course of Building Models in Ecology
and Natural Resources Management
Online Course with Vensim


More and more, industry and corporations are required to comply with stringent environmental regulations. They rely on the knowledge of engineers and scientists educated in environmental impact studies to meet these regulatory requirements. All of a company's activities, products, and services impact the environment in some way, and to a certain degree, they are in turn influenced by the environment. Therefore, each company's environmental management system must be able to face this complexity.

This course allows the student to acquire, in a time-efficient and uncomplicated manner, knowledge in the formation and construction of dynamic models that serve as the basis for the analysis of environmental impacts and the management of natural resources.

Many times, these analyses are performed with minimal current data and very few historical data. The simulation models that the student will design in this course accommodate these analyses, with the construction of realistic hypotheses and elaborate behavior models.

That's done with the help of software that facilitates the construction of the models as well as performing model simulations. (Software is available for Windows and Mac computers.)

At the end of the course, the student is able to:

1. Describe the components of a complex system.
2. Diagnose the natural evolution of the system under analysis.
3. Create a model of the system and present it using the simulation software.
4. Carry out simulations with the model, in order to predict the behavior of the system."


ATC-Innova has a solid reputation in model simulation research, and is a dynamic company in constant evolution. As such, the company offers internet-based courses to serve English-speaking students who are interested in taking courses.

Courses via the Internet are an excellent opportunity to access postgraduate education, as the student may access the course on the student's own time, at his own pace, and minimizing the loss of work hours.

Additionally, it has been noted that this course, in its internet mode, gives excellent results because the student is very closely monitored in his learning process by the course instructor.

The student receives the documentation of the course and the simulation software Vensim PLE at home. Throughout his progress in the course, he receives by e-mail instruction with study cases and exercises to complete. The student then submits the models he creates to the instructor by e-mail. The instructor is available to the student in this capacity for any help the student needs during his studies.

Because of this very close relationship between the instructor and the student his evaluation is continuously monitored through the completion of the different exercises and study cases.


First, the basic structures of the systems and more common dynamics are presented. Next, the phases in the construction of a model are studied. Last, using study cases, the student is taught how to model with the software and simulate different alternatives.

    1. Causal diagrams.
    2. Stable, unstable and oscillate systems.
    3. Medium term dynamics.

    1. Flow Diagrams.
    2. Phases in the construction of a model.
    3. Computer simulations.

    1. INTRODUCTION: Dynamics of a population.
      Using the software.
      Possible and impossible behaviors.
    2. SIMPLE SYSTEM: Dynamics of a tank.
      Foreseen behavior and behavior in the model.
    3. STABLE SYSTEM: Ecology of a Natural Reservation.
      From the text description to the model. To extract the data.
      Building a model in phases.
      Simulating different management styles.
    4. UNSTABLE SYSTEM: Effects of the intensive agriculture.
      Importance of the horizon of the simulation.
      The measurement units help us.
      Rupture points without alarm signs.
    5. OSCILLATE SYSTEM: Commodity cycle
      To integrate several submodels in a bigger one.
      The cause of the oscillations.
      Explanation of the results.


Juan Martin Garcia , Ph. D. Industrial Engineer, diploma in the Sloan School of Management of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT ). He has given classes of building models during the last 20 years in several universities. His specialization on Ecology, Environment, and Natural Resource Management allows him to offer a double vision: theoretical and practical.


The total cost of the course is 150 euros


Four weeks from the start date. Some pauses are possible if the student justifies it for professional reasons.


This course is intended for undergraduate and graduate students with or without professional experience.
Only basic computer skills are needed. No statistical or specific mathematical education is required.


The content of this course can be applied in many areas. In the business world, these topics are mainly used to address issues related to the ecology and biology, natural resources administration, environmental impact studies and, in general, in any work related to the interaction of man and nature, as in regional and urban planning. In the academic world, these topics may be used to develop Final Projects or Doctorate, theses on diverse subjects.


The certificate is issued by ATC Innova, Official Distributor of Vensim. Students need to complete the 50% of the exercises to obtain the certificate.


1. Please download the registration form and fill in your personal data,

2. Pay with credit card here,
3. Email the registration form with a copy an official document of identity.
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