Vista Support Services

We have endeavored to make NatureServe Vista easy to learn and easy to use with a detailed user manual and online resources. However, Vista is designed to address broad complex processes and is, therefore, an extensive and sometimes complicated tool. NatureServe is dedicated to providing full support services for Vista users.

Because of Vista's wide variety of users and applications, we encourage custom tailoring of services to your needs, but we do offer a basic services package for a set fee if desired (which can then be customized thereafter). Our services fall into the following categories and we have relationships with a variety of partners to offer services in other disciplines as well (e.g., land-use planning, civic engagement, ecosystem services valuation, etc.). We also offer training in toolkits containing Vista including Vista with Marxan. Contact us to request a quote.

Technical Support

This service addresses problems and questions in the technical application of the tool. 


Includes a complete training program for Vista with a variety of options to suit your needs and budget. We offer standard or custom interactive web-delivered modules or custom onsite training for users anywhere in the world. Our “on-demand” online service means that you can get the training at the point in the process you are ready to apply it—meaning more effective training for you.

Data/GIS Services

Includes services to obtain and format data for use in Vista and may include more advanced remote sensing and species distribution modeling work. This service can also include building initial Vista projects and analyses followed by technical/knowledge transfer via custom training.

Ecological Services

Includes ecological/biological services such as selecting conservation elements and developing Vista input parameters for them. May be combined with data/GIS services in areas such as ecosystem mapping/cross walking and species distribution modeling. This service can be provided by NatureServe regional ecologists and many NatureServe network member programs.

Planning Application Services

This broad set of consulting services can range from simple upstream activities such as delivering “getting started” workshops, to full planning services integrating other disciplines. Examples include cumulative impact assessments, conservation/green-infrastructure planning, integrated conservation planning with land-use planning, infrastructure and energy planning, hazard/resiliency planning, marine conservation planning, etc. Learn more about our Conservation Planning services.

Custom IT/Software Services

Includes a variety of services from building custom ancillary tools that work with Vista to biological database design, web services, etc. 

Service types and availability, fees, and terms subject to change without notice, your services contract will establish the rates and terms

Basic Services Package

We can assemble a custom services package from the above list of services, but we offer this starter package that may meet the basic needs of most customers. Or start with this package and add additional services to suit your needs. See the Training and services modules table at the bottom for prices. The package includes:

  • Four live and interactive training modules delivered via web meeting that cover all primary functionality of Vista
  • Live technical support up to 8 hours (billed in 15-minute increments)

Technical Support Services

Services cover:

  • Installation assistance
  • Help debugging errors and generating work-around solutions, if possible
  • Clarification of input requirements and Vista functions

This service will be provided via:

  • Access to all guides, tutorials, etc
  • Email support with Vista support staff
  • Telephone support for items not resolved by email
  • Web meeting support when live visual interaction is required (user must be able to connect to web meeting services used by NatureServe and may need to provide control of your computer)

Limitations and exclusions will apply


NatureServe can provide web-based standard or customized trainings and custom onsite training. From our experience, our on-demand standard trainings are suitable for most users and offer the most cost-effective training. However, we understand that every situation is unique so we are happy to customize trainings to suit your needs.

Our standard training program offers individually priced modules for all of the essential Vista functions, provided as live, interactive, web-based sessions. These allow you to follow the trainers instruction and the trainer can see your desktop to assist you as you practice functions in real time. The on-demand nature of the training means that you can get the training when you are ready to apply it and you can build your project as you progress with the training.

Additionally we offer, on a limited basis, custom onsite training for individuals or groups anywhere in the world. This provides knowledge transfer and capacity training in conjunction with Planning Application Services. You can also bundle any two or more trainings and receive a substantial discount on each added module (within the same services contract).

Training will cover the following modules (see the table below for more detail):

  • Vista Overview and How to Start Your Project (Organizational/process oriented)
  • How to Start Your Project (Technical) and Troubleshooting for Common Problems*
  • Element Input and Processing & CVS*
  • Condition Modeling and Condition-Based Assessments
  • Scenario Definition and Evaluation (2 sessions)*
  • Site Exploration, Mitigation, and Alternative Scenario Generation with Marxan (2 sessions with training in Marxan as optional second training)*
  • Incorporating Aquatic Condition Modeling and Assessment with N-SPECT (2 sessions if N-SPECT training is requested)

* Indicates module is part of Basic Services Package

This service will be provided via:

  • PDF and or PPT guides emailed to the user(s)
  • Live, interactive, web-based instruction (user must be able to connect to web-meeting services used by NatureServe and may need to provide control of their computer; broadband Internet required). These sessions are “on demand,” meaning that they will be delivered at that point in the process at which the user is ready to apply that Vista functionality. They can be scheduled with one week notice depending on trainer availability.
  • Optional custom onsite training for individuals or groups. This service requires reimbursement of all trainer travel costs and requires at least 30 days advance notice.

Training & Support Modules Descriptions

This table identifies the modules, the delivery mechanisms that are applicable, and the fee. All fees are per “active” participant; others may log in and listen but may not interact. (Modules included in the basic starter package are indicated in bold.) Participants may use either a NatureServe-provided sample dataset or build and use their own project dataset through the training program. NatureServe can also create customized training modules/packages.






Starter Package Basic package of training modules, 
plus 8 hours of technical support
4 sessions (7.5 hours) 
+ 8 hrs technical support
$2250 $2750
Vista Overview / How to Start Your Project (Organizational)

Covers the science and planning concepts supported by Vista, the type of project structure (e.g., work groups) recommended to develop the project inputs, and concepts or maintaining a dynamic database and adaptive planning process

1 session - 
90 minutes
$275 $350
How to Start Your Project (Technical) Provides a complete overview of the Vista software and covers the basic technical GIS and database tasks of setting up and starting your Vista project. Includes troubleshooting for common problems, mistakes, and workarounds for functionality gaps 1 session - 
90 minutes
$275 $350
Element Input and Processing & CVS Reviews types of elements supported in Vista, the basic element data model and inpur requirements, the companion expert knowledge-gathering tool and process, information input process and documentation, processing an element conservation layer, element reports, running a multi-element conservation value summary, reporting, and exploring sites in a value summary 1 session -
2 hours
$325 $400
Condition Modeling & Condition-Based Assessments Covers the concepts of condition modeling, data inputs for condition models, building and running condition models, and how to do condition-based evaluation (Element Input & Scenario Definition and Evaluation training or experience required) 1 session - 
90 minutes
$275 $350
Scenario Definition and Evaluation Covers concepts of scenarios and evaluations, types of scenarios and inputs, building scenarios from scratch and from existing scenarios, evaluating scenarios, generating and interpreting reports and maps 2 sessions - 
2.5 hours
$375 $450
Site Exploration, Mitigation, and Alternative Scenario Generation (optional use of Marxan with extra session and cost) Covers exploration of scenario evaluations by sites, running site reports, specifying alternative land uses and policy types for sites, creating mitigations and alternative scenarios using Site Explorer. (Scenario Definition and Evaluation training/experience required.) Optionally learn how to generate input files for Marxan software through Vista and how to import and apply Marxan results to build implementation plans 1 session -
90 minutes
(for Marxan training, add one 90-minute session)
(add $275 for Marxan training)
(add $350for Marxan training)

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