In biodiversity science, geodesic grids are a global extension of local discrete grids that are staked out in field studies to ensure appropriate statistical sampling and larger multi-use grids deployed at regional and national levels to develop an aggregated understanding of biodiversity. These grids translate environmental and ecological monitoring data from multiple spatial and temporal scales into assessments of current ecological condition and forecasts of risks to our natural resources. A geodesic grid allows local to global assimilation of ecologically significant information at its own level of granularity. When modeling the weather, ocean circulation, or the climate, partial differential equations are used to describe the evolution of these systems over time. Because computer programs are used to build and work with these complex models, approximations need to be formulated into easily computable forms. Some of these numerical analysis techniques (such as finite differences) require the area of interest to be subdivided into a grid — in this case, over the shape of the Earth.