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 New & Highlights

SDC New & Highlights

Latest SDC highlights, activities, and presentations. 

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Website Update

We are still making updates and adjustments to our site.  Take a look around and please excuse the mess. 


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

Date published: October 25, 2017

USGS Releases Selenium Modeling Framework for Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa

Resource managers, regulators, and stakeholders of Montana and British Columbia’s Lake Koocanusa now have a new approach for understanding the implications of different levels of selenium, and to explore alternative selenium criteria for waters in the Lake.


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Year Published: 2019

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

Demonstrating the value of Earth observations—methods, practical applications, and solutions—group on Earth observations side event proceedings

Executive SummaryThe U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the European Association for Remote Sensing Companies, and the European Space Agency in coordination with the GEOValue Community hosted a side event to the Group on Earth Observations Plenary on October 23–24, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The workshop,...

Pearlman, Francoise; Lawrence, Collin B.; Pindilli, Emily J.; Geppi, Denna; Shapiro, Carl D.; Grasso, Monica; Pearlman, Jay; Adkins, Jeffery; Sawyer, Geoff; Tassa, Alessandra
Pearlman, F., Lawrence, C.B., Pindilli, E.J., Geppi, D., Shapiro, C.D., Grasso, M., Pearlman, J., Adkins, J., Sawyer, G., and Tassa, A., 2019, Demonstrating the value of Earth observations—Methods, practical applications, and solutions—Group on Earth Observations side event proceedings: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2019–1033, 33 p.,

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Year Published: 2019

The Mississippi Alluvial Plain aquifers—An engine for economic activity

U.S. Geological Survey science supports groundwater resource management in the Mississippi Alluvial Plain region. The USGS Science and Decisions Center is working with the Water Availability and Use Science Program to integrate economics into a sophisticated model of groundwater in the region. The model will quantify the status of the groundwater...

Alhassan, Mustapha; Lawrence, Collin B.; Richardson, Steven; Pindilli, Emily J.
Alhassan, M., Lawrence, C., Richardson, S., and Pindilli, E., 2019, The Mississippi Alluvial Plain aquifers—An engine for economic activity: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2019–3003, 4 p.,