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Norman, L.M., Villarreal, M.L., Lara-Valencia, F., Yuan, Y., Nie, W., Wilson, S., Amaya, G., Sleeter, R. 2012. Mapping socio-environmentally vulnerable populations access and exposure to ecosystem services at the U.S.—Mexico borderlands. Applied Geography, 34(0), 413-424. doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.01.006

Norman, L.M., Caldeira, F., Callegary, J., Gray, F., O’ Rourke, M. K., Meranza, V., & Rijn, S. 2012. Socio-Environmental Health Analysis in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. Water Quality, Exposure and Health. doi:10.1007/s12403-012-0067-x

Norman, L.M., Feller, M., & Villarreal, M.L. 2012. Developing spatially explicit footprints of plausible land-use scenarios in the Santa Cruz Watershed, Arizona and Sonora. Landscape and Urban Planning, 107(3), 225-235. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.06.015

Villarreal, M.L., Norman, L.M., and Labiosa, W.B. 2012. Assessing the vulnerability of human and biological communities to changing ecosystem services using a GIS-based multi-criteria decision support tool. pp. 427-434 in R. Seppelt, A.A. Voinov, S. Lange, D. Bankamp (Eds.) (2012): International Environmental Modelling and Software Society (iEMSs) 2012 International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software. Managing Resources of a Limited Planet: Pathways and Visions under Uncertainty, Sixth Biennial Meeting, Leipzig, Germany. ISBN: 978-88-9035-742-8

Predicting Change on the US-Mexico Border

Conceptual diagram of the Santa Cruz Watershed Ecosystem Portfolio Model, showing how ultimate land value is derived using submodels that incorporate the value of ecosystem services, human well-being, and market values for land.
Conceptual diagram of the Santa Cruz Watershed Ecosystem Portfolio Model, showing
how ultimate land value is derived using submodels that incorporate the value of
ecosystem services, human well-being, and market values for land.
The broad objective of this study is to develop a reliable and useful online model-based scenarios evaluation framework for the binational Santa Cruz Watershed, located on the Arizona-Sonora portion of the US-Mexico border. At the beginning of Fiscal year 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Ecosystem Services Research Program (ESRP) joined forces with the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) U.S.- Mexico Border Environmental Health Initiative (BEHI) and Land Change Science (LCS) Program, to develop an ecosystem-services-based online-decision-support tool, called the Santa Cruz watershed Ecosystem Portfolio Model (SCWEPM). The SCWEPM is designed to structure and visualize various scenarios of the regional impacts on ecosystem services from future land use change, climate change and potential changes to engineered discharge from wastewater treatment plants. The models being coupled and applied within the SCWEPM are being used to evaluate relative change, subject to the assumptions and limitations of its component models and its users. Results demonstrate the effect of land-use and climate changes on the water quality and quantity, flood prevention and habitat provisioning, and the riparian ecosystem for human well-being and health that can be used to support binational policy makers. The SCWEPM addresses each jurisdiction of land equally and can be used to visualize shared watersheds with a diverse group of stakeholders and provide a basis for adaptive management of water resources. In 2012, we have applied the SCWEPM to demonstrate ecosystem service valuation and model potential losses or gains related to the management of binational effluent in the Santa Cruz River. We are documenting and improving model results, identifying trade-offs and thresholds, and provide examples of environmental benefits transfers using the tool. Future goals are to incorporate more management decisions into model projections and application for policy analysis, and to improve the user-side web tool. The SCWEPM can help decision-makers visualize when ecosystem services and their distribution should be regulated across the US-Mexico border in order to enhance quality of life in a sustainable and equitable fashion.

Principal Investigator: Laura Norman, lnorman@usgs.gov, Western Geographic Science Center, Menlo Park, CA

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