How does the program work?

The MINOE tool is part database, part search engine and part graphing software. The application works by collecting keywords and terms from the user to query a collection of over 75,000 sections of laws and regulations with a powerful search engine. The results are formatted into a table and presented to the user for further analysis. The collection of laws and regulations is provided with the software so users can study how the documents relate to their analysis.

This first version of the MINOE tool contains the coastal and marine-related laws and regulations for the year 2006 from the following geopolitical jurisdictions:

The user begins by inputting his/her own ecosystem into the program and choosing the jurisdictions for his/her analysis. The program will then analyze the ecosystem model and output the sections of law and/or regulation in which the ecosystem's linked elements co-occur. Those modeled relationships are marked red (by default) for which no section or regulation exists.

How do you make an ecosystem model?

First, a user must define the ecosystem of interest. The format for entering the ecosystem model is a symmetrical matrix, for which the same elements are headers for the rows and columns. This can be entered manually into the program (like a spreadsheet), or by importing a comma delimited (*.csv) file. Each element of the ecosystem is represented by a single or multiple terms, such as "fish" or "fish fishing fishery".

Visit the Help Topics section for more detailed information.

Please refer to this paper for more information on the document collection: Ekstrom, J. 2009. California Current Large Marine Ecosystem: publicly available database of state and federal laws and regulations. Marine Policy 33:528-53.

For more information on the theoretical basis of MINOE, please see: Ekstrom, Julia A. and Oran R. Young 2009. Evaluating Functional Fit between a Set of Institutions and an Ecosystem. Ecology & Society 14(2): 16 [online:].