Integrated Multisector Multiscale Modeling
Innovative modeling to explore how human and natural system landscapes in the United States co-evolve in response to short-term shocks and long-term influences

Discovering Our Future

IM3 couples open source, high-resolution, physics- and process-based models to resolve key interactions and feedbacks across human and natural systems.

We are currently studying the interactions between energy, water, land, and urban systems, at scales ranging from local (~1km) to the contiguous United States, and influences such as population change, technology change, heat waves, and drought.

Key science questions include:

  • What key factors and processes govern human-natural system interactions?
  • What levels of spatial, temporal, and process resolution are needed to account for these interactions?
  • What is the regional variability in human-natural systems evolution and what are the drivers of the differences?
  • What are the impacts of uncertainty in our models and data on our projections of future vulnerability and resilience?
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Featured Science

Fresh science publications, modeling, tools and more!

Phase 1: Research Areas

IM3 focuses on three important areas to model future environmental behavior within the United States. The power inside these research conundrums unlocks the secrets to future success.

Energy Water Nexus Figure

Energy-Water Dynamics Research

With the multiscale nature of energy-water interactions, research focuses on understanding how large-scale information (e.g., at the major basin or balancing authority scale) can be effectively used by high-resolution models, and how to better represent local-to-regional scale information.

The largest IM3 research thrust area explores the dynamics and resilience of energy and water systems on scales that range from individual watersheds to the contiguous United States.

Land Use Land Cover Figure

Land Use and Land Cover Change

Strong, complex multiscale linkages between Land Use and Land Cover Change (LULCC) and other sectors make it an important sector to include in multisector modeling frameworks.

This research is designed to systematically study downscaling approaches, the complex multiscale linkages between LULCC and other human and natural systems, such as population dynamics and surface hydrology, and the implications of LULCC for terrestrial hydrology and ecosystem services on local to continental scales.

Population Dynamics Figure

Population Dynamics

Demographic dynamics—changes in total population, age structure, and spatial distribution— are key drivers of energy, water, and land use. Population distribution is also closely tied to infrastructure investments, exposure to extreme weather, and a host of other issues and systems.

In this thrust area, IM3 is developing a new open-source modeling system for U.S. population dynamics that includes state-level demographic projections, a spatial downscaling model, and a representation of the influence of weather and climate on migration within the United States.