Karen E Jenni, Ph.D.

I am a Decision Scientist with the USGS Science and Decisions Center. I have spent my career as a professional decision consultant, and was excited to bring those skills into the USGS when I arrived in spring of 2016. My focus is on using decision science tools to help increase both the value and the use of USGS science in decision-making.


A key theme in my work is working collaboratively with experts, stakeholders, and decisions makers across multiple disciplines and multiple organizations to bring structure and sound science information to bear on challenging resource management problems. Today’s resource managers need management tools, expertise and sound science to make decisions that will not be second-guessed, inherently flawed, or result in catastrophic outcomes. Today’s scientists want to develop information that will be useful to, and used by, those managers as they address critical decisions affecting our nations natural resources and societal well-being.  My research focus, and my passion, lies in connecting these two groups: in helping other scientists identify, develop, and deliver state-of-the-art, decision-relevant information, and in helping decision-makers make effective and efficient use of that information. Working together and using the tools of decision analysis and adaptive management, scientists and managers can maximize the likelihood of achieving desired management outcomes while simultaneously adding to scientific knowledge that will be useful for future decisions. 


I have B.S in Mathematical and Computational Sciences from Stanford University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University.  Prior to joining the USGS, I was the founder of Insight Decisions, LCC, a Principal at Geomatrix Consultants, and a Senior Manager at Applied Decision Analysis.  I currently serve as the President-Elect of the Decision Analyis Society (DAS) for INFORMS (the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science)