Stamen has had a fruitful four-year relationship with MPG, a 15,000 acre ranch in Montana that specializes in habitat restoration and ecological research. For this collaboration, MPG and Stamen collaborated with Dean Pearson, an ecologist and professor at University of Montana, who had been working with researchers on a model that qualitatively predicts the networked impacts of change on an ecosystem. Stamen was brought in to create an interface for this model, with the goal of predicting the second-order impacts of conservation efforts. For example, if you remove one organism from an ecosystem, what impact will it have on other organisms?
What we made
The core of the project is a multi-relationship technique for understanding complex relationships called fuzzy cognitive mapping. Originally a tool for social science research, Professor Pearson has been exploring its applicability to relationships in ecological systems. We were able to create a working prototype of this model, which in July, 2020 evolved into the MPG Matrix website.