Program Overview

The MILES program builds Idaho's capacity to study complex social-ecological processes, especially those associated with water demand and valuation of ecosystem services. This research characterizes patterns and identifies social drivers of urban growth and ecological change, including valuable ecosystem services. Outcomes will include an integrated modeling framework and visualization and virtualization tools.

MILES is an Idaho EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement (RII) program.


  • MILES: Managing Idaho's Landscapes for Ecosystem Services
  • EPSCoR: Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research
  • SES: Social Ecological Systems


To (1) advance understanding of changes in ecosystem services at the interface between urban and rural environments, (2) relate those changes to societal and climate drivers, and (3) provide science-based tools and training to inform policy decisions about the sustainable management of these ecosystem services.


To be widely recognized as a national leader and model state for applying coupled natural-human systems research focused on ecosystem services to inform sustainable development of mid-sized cities.


To create new knowledge about relationships between ecosystem services, landscape change, and associated social ecological systems (SES), and establish the infrastructure to provide science-based decision support needed to sustainability management Idaho's resources.