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 Science and Decisions Center highlights and activities.


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SDC Seminar Series

SDC Seminar Series

The Science and Decisions Center seminars highlights topics from guest speakers who share their work associated with SDC's four science themes. 

SDC Seminars


Date published: September 15, 2020

Floodplain Ecosystem Service Mapper Released

The Floodplain Ecosystem Service Mapper is a web application that displays field site data and lidar-derived floodplain and stream channel geomorphic metrics in the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay watersheds.

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.


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Year Published: 2020

Supporting natural resource-management decisions—The role of economics at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)—2018 DOI Economics Training Workshop

The second U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Economics Training Workshop (hereafter “Workshop”) was held during September 25–27, 2018, in Washington, D.C., to identify, highlight, and better understand needs and opportunities for economic analysis to support DOI’s mission. Building on the first workshop in 2017, the second Workshop, jointly...

Alhassan, Mustapha; Pindilli, Emily J.; Crowley, Christian S.L.; Shapiro, Carl D.; Simon, Benjamin M.
Alhassan, M., Pindilli, E.J., Crowley, C.S.L., Shapiro, C.D., and Simon, B.M., 2020, Supporting natural resource-management decisions—The role of economics at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)—2018 DOI Economics Training Workshop: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1044, 26 p.,

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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.