Computational models are essential tools to support resilience planning for Jamaica Bay, or indeed anywhere (Hawes and Reed, 2006; Pickett et al., 2004; Walker et al., 2002; Gallopin, 2002). Models are simplifications of reality, constructed to highlight the interactions among physical, ecological, and social components of a system. Models connect observations with hypotheses and theories about how physical and social systems work, allowing scientists to articulate and test system understanding against data. Although there are physical and conceptual models, in the early twenty-first century, most models are deployed on computers and are increasingly used in distributed computing environments accessible through the Internet.
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