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Environmental risk assessment and decision-making strategies over the last several decades have become increasingly more sophisticated, information-intensive, and complex, including such approaches as expert judgment, cost-benefit analysis, and toxicological risk assessment. One tool that has been used to support environmental decision-making is comparative risk assessment (CRA), but CRA lacks a structured method for arriving at an optimal project alternative. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) provides better-supported techniques for the comparison of project alternatives based on decision matrices, and it also provides structured methods for the incorporation of project stakeholders' opinions in the ranking...
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Introduction and spread of the parasite Myxobolus cerebralis, the causative agent of whirling disease, has contributed to the collapse of wild trout populations throughout the intermountain west. Of concern is the risk the disease may have on conservation and recovery of native cutthroat trout. We employed a Bayesian belief network to assess probability of whirling disease in Colorado River and Rio Grande cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii pleuriticus and Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis, respectively) within their current ranges in the southwest United States. Available habitat (as defined by gradient and elevation) for intermediate oligochaete worm host, Tubifex tubifex, exerted the greatest influence on the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Risk Analysis
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Ensemble species distribution models combine the strengths of several species environmental matching models, while minimizing the weakness of any one model. Ensemble models may be particularly useful in risk analysis of recently arrived, harmful invasive species because species may not yet have spread to all suitable habitats, leaving species-environment relationships difficult to determine. We tested five individual models (logistic regression, boosted regression trees, random forest, multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), and maximum entropy model or Maxent) and ensemble modeling for selected nonnative plant species in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, Wyoming; Sequoia and Kings Canyon National...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Risk Analysis
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Bayes nets are used increasingly to characterize environmental systems and formalize probabilistic reasoning to support decision making. These networks treat probabilities as exact quantities. Sensitivity analysis can be used to evaluate the importance of assumptions and parameter estimates. Here, we outline an application of info-gap theory to Bayes nets that evaluates the sensitivity of decisions to possibly large errors in the underlying probability estimates and utilities. We apply it to an example of management and eradication of Red Imported Fire Ants in Southern Queensland, Australia and show how changes in management decisions can be justified when uncertainty is considered. ?? 2009 Society for Risk Analysis.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Risk Analysis
This report presents an overview and assessment of the three research projects carried out under NRP funding that concern risk-related topics: (1) The risks of nonlinear climate changes, (2) Socio-economic and policy aspects of changes in incidence and intensity of extreme (weather) events, and (3) Characterizing the risks: a comparative analysis of the risks of global warming and of relevant policy strategies.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Assessment, Risk analysis, report
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Federal and state drinking‐water standards and guidelines do not exist for many contaminants analyzed by the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water‐Quality Assessment Program, limiting the ability to evaluate the potential human‐health relevance of water‐quality findings. Health‐based screening levels (HBSLs) were developed collaboratively to supplement existing drinking‐water standards and guidelines as part of a six‐year, multi‐agency pilot study. The pilot study focused on ground water samples collected prior to treatment or blending in areas of New Jersey where groundwater is the principal source of drinking water. This article describes how HBSLs were developed and demonstrates the use of HBSLs as a tool for...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Risk Analysis
Environmental risk assessment and decision-making strategies over the last several decades have become increasingly more sophisticated, information-intensive, and complex, including such approaches as expert judgment, cost-benefit analysis, and toxicological risk assessment. One tool that has been used to support environmental decision-making is comparative risk assessment (CRA), but CRA lacks a structured method for arriving at an optimal project alternative. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) provides better-supported techniques for the comparison of project alternatives based on decision matrices, and it also provides structured methods for the incorporation of project stakeholders' opinions in the ranking...
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Risk analysis for biological invasions is similar to other types of natural and human hazards. For example, risk analysis for chemical spills requires the evaluation of basic information on where a spill occurs; exposure level and toxicity of the chemical agent; knowledge of the physical processes involved in its rate and direction of spread; and potential impacts to the environment, economy, and human health relative to containment costs. Unlike typical chemical spills, biological invasions can have long lag times from introduction and establishment to successful invasion, they reproduce, and they can spread rapidly by physical and biological processes. We use a risk analysis framework to suggest a general strategy...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Risk Analysis
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Performance Assessment (PA) is the use of mathematical models to simulate the long-term behavior of engineered and geologic barriers in a nuclear waste repository; methods of uncertainty analysis are used to assess effects of parametric and conceptual uncertainties associated with the model system upon the uncertainty in outcomes of the simulation. PA is required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as part of its certification process for geologic repositories for nuclear waste. This paper is a dialogue to explore the value and limitations of PA. Two “skeptics” acknowledge the utility of PA in organizing the scientific investigations that are necessary for confident siting and licensing of a repository;...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Risk Analysis
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Criteria to protect aquatic life are intended to protect diverse ecosystems, but in practice are usually developed from compilations of single-species toxicity tests using standard test organisms that were tested in laboratory environments. Species sensitivity distributions (SSDs) developed from these compilations are extrapolated to set aquatic ecosystem criteria. The protectiveness of the approach was critically reviewed with a chronic SSD for cadmium comprising 27 species within 21 genera. Within the data set, one genus had lower cadmium effects concentrations than the SSD fifth percentile-based criterion, so in theory this genus, the amphipod Hyalella, could be lost or at least allowed some level of harm by...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Risk Analysis