Marxan for Managers

‘Marxan for Managers’ workshops provide a high-level background on marine and terrestrial systematic conservation and land/sea use planning, and cover the questions of when, where, and why to use Marxan and other decision support tools. The interactive and discussion-based workshop also covers key approaches and tools, stakeholder considerations, and planning with uncertainty. We highlight and explain essential elements of successful planning processes, provide case studies of initiatives around the world, and lead a discussion on approaches and good practices as well as managerial-level experience for systematic conservation and land/marine use planning. Note that this is NOT a hands-on technical course.

The following topics are discussed in a Marxan for Managers workshop, although each offering will be tailored to the specific interests, mandates, and problems of the group:

  • Key concepts in systematic conservation planning
  • Setting targets
  • Stakeholder interactions
  • Determining which costs to consider
  • Understanding and using Marxan results

Workshops can also be combined with 2-3 day hands-on Introduction to Marxan courses, or one-day less technical explorations of the software.

Click here for a sample workshop agenda.

Fees and Course Registration Policy

Workshops are usually $325 per person for one-day (including breaks and lunch), depending on trainer travel costs.

PacMARA organizes courses anywhere in the world. If you or your organization is interested in organizing a Marxan course at your location, please contact Norma Serra at nserra(at) and we can provide you with a cost estimate.

Cancellation policy:

  • Up to 3 weeks before a course: full refund less $30 administration fee
  • 1-3 weeks before a course: 50% refund
  • Less than 1 week before a course: no refund unless a replacement participant is found.

PacMARA reserves the right to cancel courses at any time. Generally, courses will be confirmed at least two weeks (and no later than one week) before the start date of a course. If PacMARA must cancel a course due to low attendance or unforeseen circumstances beyond its control, you are entitled to a full refund of the course fee, or your course fee can be credited toward a future course. PacMARA is not responsible for travel fees, or any expenses incurred by you as a result of such cancellation. Every effort will be made to avoid cancelling any planned course, but please understand that as a charitable organization we must cover the costs involved.

About Marxan

Marxan (Ian Ball and Hugh Possingham, 2000) is a software program used to support the design of marine and terrestrial reserves worldwide. It is maintained by the University of Queensland in Australia. Using Marxan, conservation planners can identify an efficient system of conservation sites that include a suite of biodiversity targets at a minimal cost. Marxan provides a unique method for designing reserves that is systematic and repeatable. It is the most utilized conservation planning tool worldwide; over 60 countries, 1100 users, and 600 organizations use Marxan to support the design of terrestrial and marine reserves. For example, it has been used to help zone the Great Barrier Marine Park, design marine reserves in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and set spatial priorities in the Romanian Carpathians to protect large carnivores. Marxan is available at no charge from the UQ Spatial Ecology Lab: Download Marxan Software.

About the Instructors

Jeff Ardron, MSc, is the President of PacMARA’s board of Directors, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies in Potsdam, Germany. Jeff is a specialist in marine spatial planning, systematic conservation design, and international maritime policy. A central theme throughout his work is the bridging of marine science with policy development.

Heather Coleman, PhD, is a member of PacMARA’s board of Directors. Heather has co-developed and co-manages PacMARA’s international technical and managerial Marxan training and workshop programs from their inception in 2010. In British Columbia, Heather leads diverse working groups to further ecosystem-based management understanding and implementation.

Jeff and/or Heather’s presentations in this workshop will be supplemented by local guest presentations and substantial time for discussion.