Science and Decisions Center


The USGS Science and Decisions Center (SDC) is a unique and small interdisciplinary center which conducts integrated physical, biological, socioeconomic, and information science, advances decision-analytic methods in the USGS, and investigates innovative data collection and analysis methods with a goal of increasing the use and value of USGS science in decision making.

SDC Science Themes

SDC Science Themes

Focus for research and applications in four science themes crosscutting USGS mission areas and regions. 

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SDC News & Highlights

SDC News & Highlights

Latest SDC highlights, activities, and presentations. 

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Date published: November 25, 2019

Employing an Ecosystem Services Framework to Deliver Decision Ready Science

In the November 25th issue of Advances in Ecological and Environmental Research, the Science and Decisions Center has an article entitled "Employing an Ecosystem Services Framework to Deliver Decision Ready Science". Written by Emily Pindilli, Dianna Hogan, and Zhiliang Zhu.

Date published: July 12, 2018

The Right Tool for the Right Job

Land managers, regulators and other participants in market-based conservation wanting to assess the ecological benefits provided by restored, enhanced and preserved land now have a one-stop shop for the quantification tools used to measure these benefits, courtesy of the USGS and the USDA.

Date published: May 24, 2018

Better Together: How Ecosystem Services and Adaptive Decision-Making Can Improve Land Management

An ecosystem services approach combined with adaptive decision-making can aid land and resource managers in administering their regions for the benefit of communities and stakeholders, according to a recent report by the U.S. Geological Survey and Resources for the Future


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Year Published: 2020

Economic valuation of health benefits from using geologic data to communicate radon risk potential

Background: Radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer worldwide and represents a major health concern within and outside the United States. Mitigating exposure to radon is especially critical in places with high rates of tobacco smoking (e.g., Kentucky, USA), as radon-induced lung cancer is markedly greater among people exposed to...

Chiavacci, Scott J.; Shapiro, Carl D.; Pindilli, Emily J.; Casey, Clyde F.; Rayens, Mary Kay; Wiggins, Amanda T.; Andrews, William M.; Hahn, Ellen J.

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Year Published: 2020

Climate dipoles as continental drivers of plant and animal populations

Ecological processes, such as migration and phenology, are strongly influenced by climate variability. Studying these processes often relies on associating observations of animals and plants with climate variability indices, such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. A characteristic of climate indices is the simultaneous emergence of opposite...

Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Strong, Courtenay; LaMontagne, Jalene; St. George, Scott; Betancourt, Julio L.; Koenig, Walter D.

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Year Published: 2020

Sampling and analysis frameworks for inference in ecology

1. Reliable statistical inference is central to ecological research, much of which seeks to estimate population attributes and their interactions. The issue of sampling design and its relationship to inference has become increasingly important due to rapid proliferation of modeling methodology (line transect modeling, capture-recapture, estimation...

Williams, Byron K.; Brown, Eleanor D.