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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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The purpose of this grant was to provide research opportunities to students and staff working with the Southeast Climate Science Center (SE CSC) with a focus on decision analysis and science communication. Research activities occured primarily within the framework of existing SE CSC-funded projects. Student research supported project activities associated with the development and use of science-based information to make climate adaptation management decisions. Student abilities to participate in these research activities were enhanced by participation in a course entitled “Introduction to Structured Decision Making” taught at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) in Shepherdstown, WV. In addition to participation...
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These datasets were compiled during the development and application of an adaptive management framework for the conservation and recovery of Eastern Black Rails in the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Region. The study is conducted in cooperation with the Eastern Black Rail Working Group of the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture. U.S. Geological Survey and the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture are working with partners to test alternative methods of manipulating coastal marsh and other wetland habitats to make them suitable for Black Rails with the long-term goal of stabilizing or reversing population declines. The objectives of this project are to develop an adaptive management framework that allows wetland managers to reduce...
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...
U.S. Geological Survey and partners are testing the effects of prescribed fire on Black Rails, Yellow Rails, and Mottled Ducks in the high marsh habitats of the northern Gulf of Mexico region. The study is conducted in cooperation with Mississippi State University, Illinois Natural History Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state agencies, universities, and non-governmental organizations. The objectives of this project are to develop an adaptive management framework that allows land managers to reduce our uncertainty about the effects of prescribed fire on these species and the habitats on which they depend, and give managers tools and information that will help them determine the best management actions to...
This code was used in a simulated decision analysis project designed to evaluate the value of different kinds of information with regard to making optimal investments in invasive plant control programs. The code was developed in the R programming environment. The file "sim_code.R" contains the initialization of the parameters and analysis; the file "pop_sim.ccp" is a C++ program that executes the actual simulation and returns the results to R. We developed a hypothetical scenario in which a manager is tasked with control of invasive plants on 100 management units each 100 ha in size. 90 of these units were assumed to be under private management and 10 were assumed to be conservation units (i.e. under public management)....
The wind erosion of mine tailings is an air pollution concern that has not been investigated thoroughly. Indeed, there is no accurate method to predict fugitive dust emission strength of tailings dumps. This paper reports on the development of a wind erosion model based on the principles of physics. Unlike most wind erosion models developed for agricultural lands or sand dunes, this model takes into account the fluctuations in wind velocity. The model was designed to predict hourly dust emission rate of flat tailings dumps prone to wind erosion for air quality modelling purposes. The model was evaluated using wind tunnel data and field experiments which confirmed the validity of the model for crushed industrial...
The concept of managing the environment and any associated human health impacts by means of such science-based tools as toxicological evaluation, risk assessment, and economic appraisal has become widely accepted in professional circles. These increasingly complex methodologies have not won universal support, however, even among the technically minded, and the wider public has in many cases remained sceptical. The public’s seeming lack of enthusiasm has frequently been assigned to ignorance of science, irrationality even, and some attempts have been made to ameliorate the situation by means of education, though with little evidence of success. However, this review advances an alternative explanation, namely, that...
A more sustainable energy system will alter the current patterns of electricity demand and generation. This means technical, commercial and regulatory change for electricity network systems such as distribution networks. This paper traces the links in Great Britain between changes in energy policy since privatisation, changes in the objectives of the electricity regulator and changes in the objectives of the distribution networks and their owners, the distribution network operators (DNOs). The paper identifies tensions in regulatory policy and suggests reforms to the regulatory framework to support a lower-carbon future. DNOs are licensed regional infrastructure providers. In addition to their network services,...
This project provided broader training for graduate students, university faculty and staff, and some partners on how decision analysis can be used to support natural and cultural resource management decisions. NC State graduate students and SE CSC staff were supported for travel to engage with natural resource managers on on-the-ground adaptation issues. Broader training in science communication was developed for students, staff, and CSC leadership. Graduate students and staff were supported for science communication training, and three regional CSCs were engaged to develop center communication plans.
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Migratory birds are responding to changes in climate in complex and sometimes unpredictable ways. The timing of breeding and migration typically coincide with the periods of peak food availability; however, these peaks are shifting as temperatures and precipitation patterns change, resulting in a mismatch in the timing of key events. The degree to which this mismatch is impacting migratory birds varies among species and regions, creating a major source of uncertainty for managers. The goal of this project is to develop tools to support migratory bird management decision-making in the face of uncertain future climate and land use conditions. In order to identify and implement the most effective management strategies,...


    map background search result map search result map Supporting Students and Early Career Researchers in the Development of Science to Inform Adaptation Management Decisions Decision-Support for Migratory Bird Management in the Face of Uncertainty Datasets for Adaptive Management of Eastern Black Rail in the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Region Fire Effects in Gulf of Mexico Marshes: Adaptive Management for Black Rails, Yellow Rails, and Mottled Ducks Fire Effects in Gulf of Mexico Marshes: Adaptive Management for Black Rails, Yellow Rails, and Mottled Ducks Datasets for Adaptive Management of Eastern Black Rail in the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture Region Supporting Students and Early Career Researchers in the Development of Science to Inform Adaptation Management Decisions Decision-Support for Migratory Bird Management in the Face of Uncertainty