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Optimization and resilience in natural resources management

January 1, 2015

We consider the putative tradeoff between optimization and resilience in the management of natural resources, using a framework that incorporates different sources of uncertainty that are common in natural resources management. We address one-time decisions, and then expand the decision context to the more complex problem of iterative decision making. For both cases we focus on two key sources of uncertainty: partial observability of system state and uncertainty as to system dynamics. Optimal management strategies will vary considerably depending on the timeframe being considered and the amount and quality of information that is available to characterize system features and project the consequences of potential decisions. But in all cases an optimal decision making framework, if properly identified and focused, can be useful in recognizing sound decisions. We argue that under the conditions of deep uncertainty that characterize many resource systems, an optimal decision process that focuses on robustness does not automatically induce a loss of resilience.

Publication Year 2015
Title Optimization and resilience in natural resources management
DOI 10.1007/978-94-017-9682-8_12
Authors Byron K. Williams, Fred A. Johnson
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70155170
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Leetown