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The use of computer models in scientific research has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade. One of the primary reasons for this growth is the increased realization that computers and more specifically computer models, can be useful tools in synthe¬sizing large amounts of information and providing insight into problem areas of research and management.
Numerous books and papers have been written on the justification for modeling, the philosophy of modeling, and model development and utilization. Recent reviews of small mammal population models are given by Conley and Nichols (1978) and Stenseth (1977). This paper will not address modeling in general, nor try to rehash old arguments about the value of models to science. Rather, it will try to outline what role a model can and hopefully will play in the major research program currently being conducted for pine vole control.