Decision analysis and support

Science Center Objects

Natural resource decision makers face numerous challenges in terms of making choices to solve complex management problems. Many of these challenges stem from being overwhelmed by too many choices, uncertain or delayed outcomes, and multiple stakeholders with conflicting desires. Decision analysis (a.k.a. structured decision making) is set of qualitative and quantitative tools for structuring an analyzing the impediments to decision-making with an eye toward overcoming those impediments. At Northern Prairie, we use the principles of decision analysis, coupled with our expertise in ecological analysis and numerical optimization, to help our partners make more transparent and defensible management decisions. Projects our center has supported have ranged from finding optimal climate adaptation strategies for historical resources in the National Parks, helping the Fish and Wildlife Service find solutions to specific Refuge management problems, as well as helping our partners evaluate which scientific information is most important in their decisions. Our staff also participates in training and mentorship programs associated with National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV.