Bob Pressey Computational science in conservation planning: potential and limitations Professor Bob Pressey Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Australia

Abstract: The field of systematic conservation planning began, without computers, in 1983 but quickly developed a dependence on machines for rapid processing of large data sets. Since then the conceptual and technical expectations of computer analyses have grown exponentially, and algorithms have been developed for many, though not all problems. Dimensionality presents challenges, if not for analysis then for data elicitation. The leading edges of computation in conservation concern visualization and dynamic interaction. Perhaps the greatest limitations of computing in the field relate to interactions with people. People are affected by conservation decisions and increasingly expecting a role in decisions. This requires optimality to be redefined to refer to socially, as well as environmentally optimal outcomes.