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Structured Decision Making

Case Studies in Natural Resource Management

When faced with complicated, potentially controversial decisions that affect our environment, many resource management agencies have come to realize the value of structured decision making (SDM)—the systematic use of principles and tools of decision analysis. Few professionals, however, have extensive experience implementing SDM. Structured Decision Making provides key information to both current adopters of the method and those who are deploying it for the first time by demonstrating the formal use of decision analysis to support difficult, real-world natural resource management decisions. Drawing on case studies from multiple public agencies in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Mauritius, the editors present an overview of decision analysis, a classification of decision types, and a catalog of decision analysis methods. Dozens of detailed charts and maps help contextualize the material.

These case studies examine a rich variety of topics, including

• keeping forest birds free from disease
• conserving imperiled freshwater mussels
• managing water for oil sands mining
• dealing with coastal wetlands in the face of sea-level rise
• designing networks for prairie-dependent taxa
• combatting invasive alpine shrubs
• managing vernal pool habitats for obligate amphibian species
• and much more

Aimed at decision makers tackling natural resource challenges in government agencies around the world, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate students preparing to work in natural resource management, Structured Decision Making shows how SDM can be implemented to achieve optimal outcomes that integrate social values and scientific understanding.

Contributors: Taber D. Allison, Larissa L. Bailey, Ellen A. Bean, Clint W. Boal, Gregory Breese, Stefano Canessa, Jean Fitts Cochrane, Sarah J. Converse, Cami S. Dixon, John G. Ewen, Christelle Ferrière, Jill J. Gannon, Beth Gardner, Adam W. Green, Justin A. Gude, Victoria M. Hunt, Kevin S. Kalasz, Melinda G. Knutson, Jim Kraus, Graham Long, Eric V. Lonsdorf, James E. Lyons, Conor P. McGowan, Sarah E. McRae, Michael S. Mitchell, Clinton T. Moore, Joslin L. Moore, Steven Morey, Dan W. Ohlson, Charlie Pascoe, Andrew Paul, Eben H. Paxton, Lori B. Pruitt, Michael C. Runge, Sarah N. Sells, Terry L. Shaffer, Stephanie Slade, David R. Smith, Jennifer A. Szymanski, Terry Walshe, Nicolas Zuël

About the Authors

Michael C. Runge is a research ecologist at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. Sarah J. Converse is the unit leader of the USGS Washington Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and an associate professor at the University of Washington. James E. Lyons is a research ecologist at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. David R. Smith is a research statistician at the USGS Leetown Science Center.

Johns Hopkins University Press
Wildlife Management and Conservation
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