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

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.

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Year Published: 2020

Trends in biodiversity and habitat quantification tools used for market‐based conservation in the United States

Market-based conservation mechanisms are designed to facilitate conservation and mitigation actions for habitat and biodiversity. Their potential is partly hindered, however, by issues surrounding the quantification tools used to assess habitat quality and functionality. Specifically, a lack of transparency and standardization in tool...

Chiavacci, Scott J.; Pindilli, Emily J.

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Year Published: 2019

Multi-resource analysis: A proof of concept study of natural resource tradeoffs in the Piceance Basin, Colorado, using the net resources assessment (NetRA) decision support tool

Executive SummaryThe U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is developing a multi-resource analysis (MRA) line of products to inform land-use decision makers. Specifically, MRA products will integrate scientific information, include considerations for natural resource interrelations, and quantify the effects of resource management decisions in biophysical...

Bernknopf, Richard; Broadbent, Craig; Adhikari, Dadhi; Mamun, Saleh; Tidwell, Vince; Babis, Christopher; Pindilli, Emily J.
Bernknopf, R., Broadbent, C., Adhikari, D., Mamun, S., Tidwell, V., Babis, C., and Pindilli, E., 2019, Multi-resource analysis—A proof of concept study of natural resource tradeoffs in the Piceance Basin, Colorado, using the net resources assessment (NetRA) decision support tool: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2019–5086, 40 p.,