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Tipping Point Planner

A “tipping point” is a threshold of human-induced ecological stress that can result in changes in how ecosystems function. It is crucial to understand these stresses as well as natural resource conditions to protect natural resources, enhance community resilience, and identify and address tipping points that may trigger rapid and sometimes irreversible shifts in ecosystem functioning if not addressed.

The Tipping Point Planner course helps you examine past and predicted environmental changes, identify environmental threats, and define natural resource assets in need of protection or restoration. With the tool, you will use innovative visualization dashboards, paint tools, and interactive visioning exercises to help your community define its priorities and explore land use strategies and policies that enhance local values. The process results in an action plan that includes an overview of the community’s status, including whether it is nearing or exceeding environmental tipping points. And it provides customized implementation steps to improve current conditions and steer clear of tipping points. The process and resulting plans are tailored for use as part of local planning initiatives such as comprehensive plan updates, land use plans, and watershed planning efforts.

The Tipping Point Planner course is a free self-paced course that will take approximately two hours to complete. Participants will learn how to utilize the Tipping Point Planner decision support system and how to use the information gathered to engage with their community in-person and virtually. After the course, you will have a direct link with the Tipping Point Planner extension team to help advise your community further.

What you will learn:

  • Examine past and predicted land-use changes
  • Identify environmental threats
  • Define natural resource assets that enhance local values and need of protecting
  • Gain the framework to define a community’s priorities through
    • Visualization dashboards
    • Paint tools
    • Interactive community visioning exercises
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Who Can Benefit

  • Community leaders, government officials and their staffs throughout the Great Lakes Basin
  • City, county and regional planners and planning commissioners, including planning coordinators, directors and managers, as well as environmental planners
  • County surveyors
  • Community developers
  • Economic developers
  • Flood, flood control and flood plain engineers and managers
  • Natural resources managers
  • Representatives from nongovernmental organizations
  • Residents who want to participate in decisions on local natural resources
  • Water resources engineers and managers
  • Watershed planning groups

For more information regarding the Tipping Point Planner decision support system, click here.


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