The ecosystem provides important benefits to sustain human health and well-being. However, too often these benefits are not considered in the decision making process because their value (monetary and non-monetary) is not readily available. For this reason, the Harte Research Institute’s Socio-Economics Group created GecoServ, Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Service Valuation Database. GecoServ is an inventory of ecosystem services (ES) valuation studies relevant to the Gulf of Mexico region. The two main goals of the GecoServ database are to: (1) allow for the distribution and sharing of information about ES valuation studies relevant to Gulf of Mexico habitats and, (2) to identify current gaps in the ES literature.  Access to GecoServ 2 and all of its new features can be found at: www.gecoserv.org.  [Disclaimer: Availability for mobile devices other than iPads coming soon.]

Features of the database include “REFERENCES” tab to provide users the bibliographic information for each study in the database; a “DEFINITIONS” tab to provide explanations for concepts mentioned in the website; and an “ES VISUALIZED” tab to provide users with a visual representation of each ES. This is especially useful for outreach and educational opportunities.

Now the newest version of GecoServ is available. GOMA’s Ecosystem Integration and Assessment Priority Issue Team is proud to announce the release of GecoServ 2. This new version has many exciting features while maintaining its user friendliness. New components include: (1) 1174 valuation estimates, (2) additional habitats, (3) ecosystem services visualized, and (4) easier navigation.

“We are excited about the new features of GecoServ 2, especially the additional habitats and studies,” said Team Coordinator Cristina Carollo. “We believe this will pave the way for more informed decision making that will take into account not only the biophysical (ecosystem structure and function) but also the socio-economic (ecosystem services and their values) component.”