Rudy Schuster, Ph.D.
Science and Products
Federal policymakers and land managers are accountable to the public for how they invest public funds and for the outcomes of the policy and management decisions they make. Through a variety of economic analyses and custom modeling, SEA economists evaluate how investments and management decisions affect individuals, local communities, and society as a whole.
Human dimensions in the context of natural resource management refers to the ways humans value natural resources, resource management preferences, and how humans affect or are affected by natural resource management decisions. Natural resource management and policy decisionmaking require incorporation of sound biological, social, and economic science. SEA scientists use tools, research methods, and training to support managers in the creation and revision of Federal land and water management plans.
The mission of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Sustaining Environmental Capital Initiative (SECI) is to develop and enhance science and research on ecosystem services in support of improving natural resource management. This effort is in response to the fourth recommendation of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report: "Federal agencies with responsibilities relating to ecosystems and their services [are] tasked with improving their capabilities to develop valuations for the ecosystem services affected by their decision-making and factoring the results into analyses that inform their major planning and management decisions."
HDgov is an interactive and mobile-responsive online portal to interagency, academic, and non-government resources focused on the human dimensions of natural resource management. The web portal provides easy access to tools, publications, data, and methods that help ensure that the people side of natural resources is considered throughout the entire natural resource management process. The resources throughout the site are submitted by and collected from various government agencies, academic institutions, and non-government entities.
The National Park Service (NPS) manages the Nation’s most iconic destinations that attract millions of visitors from across the Nation and around the world. Trip-related spending by NPS visitors generates and supports a considerable amount of economic activity within park gateway communities. USGS economists collaborate with the National Park Service social science program to estimate NPS visitor spending and associated economic contributions to local and national economies.
The ultimate success of North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) depends on maintaining relevance to stakeholders and society. In order to be relevant, a first step is to better understand what people value in regard to waterfowl and their habitats. Without this information, NAWMP population, habitat, and people objectives may not reflect stakeholder and societal values; and management and policy decisions may lead to actions that could be either irrelevant or counter to stakeholder and societal expectations.
Results of a U.S. General Public Survey to Inform the 2018 North American Waterfowl Management Plan Update (2017)
This contains data from 1,030 surveys returned in 2017 from across the United States. Data were collected via a mail-out survey stratified by the population of each state. The purpose of this survey was to inform the 2018 update of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.
Potential human impacts of overlapping land-use and climate in a sensitive dryland: a case study of the Colorado Plateau, USA
Climate and land-use interactions are likely to affect future environmental and socioeconomic conditions in drylands, which tend to be limited by water resources and prone to land degradation. We characterized the potential for interactions between land-use types and land-use and climate change in a model dryland system, the Colorado Plateau, a...Copeland, Stella; Bradford, John B.; Duniway, Michael C.; Schuster, Rudy
Landowner perceptions of three types of boating in the Saranac Lakes area of New York State׳s Adirondack Park
In order for natural resource managers to better understand conflicting landowner perspectives related to non-motorized, motorized, and personal watercraft use, this study examines the demographic and experiential characteristics, values, attitudes, and beliefs of landowners in the Saranac Lakes area of the Adirondack Park in New York State. A...Kuehn, Diane; Schuster, Rudy; Nordman, Erik
Social and Economic Analysis Branch: integrating policy, social, economic, and natural science
The Fort Collins Science Center's Social and Economic Analysis Branch provides unique capabilities in the U.S. Geological Survey by leading projects that integrate social, behavioral, economic, and natural science in the context of human–natural resource interactions. Our research provides scientific understanding and support for the...Schuster, Rudy; Walters, Katie D.
Climate change collaboration among natural resource management agencies: lessons learned from two US regions
It has been argued that regional collaboration can facilitate adaptation to climate change impacts through integrated planning and management. In an attempt to understand the underlying institutional factors that either support or contest this assumption, this paper explores the institutional factors influencing adaptation to climate change at the...Lemieux, Christopher J.; Thompson, Jessica; Slocombe, D. Scott; Schuster, Rudy
Rancher and farmer quality of life in the midst of energy development in southwest Wyoming
Quality of life (QOL) is usually defined as a person’s general well-being, and may include individual perceptions of a variety of factors such family, work, finances, local community services, community relationships, surrounding environment, and other important aspects of their life, ultimately leading to life satisfaction. Energy development can...Allen, Leslie; Montag, Jessica; Lyon, Katie; Soileau, Suzanna; Schuster, Rudy
A survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees regarding topics for distance education-Summary report to respondents
This report provides a summary of responses to the questions included in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) Distance Education survey conducted from January 26, 2010, to February 8, 2010. The survey included questions for two studies sponsored by the Division of Education Outreach (DEO) at the...Ratz, Joan M.; Shuster, Rudy M.; Marcy, Ann M.
Constraints to connecting children with nature--Survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees sponsored by the National Conservation Training Center, Division of Education Outreach
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) names "connecting people with nature" as one of its top six priorities in the online Service Employee Pocket Guide. The National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) took the initiative to identify issues that impede greater progress in addressing constraints to connecting children with nature. The Division...Ratz, Joan M.; Schuster, Rudy M.
The effect of offering distance education on enrollment in onsite training at the National Conservation Training Center
The objective of this study was to explore the effect that providing distance education courses would have on enrollment in courses offered on the campus of the National Conservation Training Center. This is an exploratory study and the results should be interpreted as preliminary rather than conclusive. The study included two components: analysis...Ratz, Joan M.; Schuster, Rudy M.; Marcy, Ann H.
A study of topics for distance education-A survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees
The purpose of this study was to identify training topics and distance education technologies preferred by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees. This study was conducted on behalf of the National Conservation Training Center to support their distance education strategy planning and implementation. When selecting survey recipients, we focused...Ratz, Joan M.; Schuster, Rudy M.; Marcy, Ann H.
A survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees regarding constraints to connecting children with nature-Summary report to respondents
This report provides a summary of responses to the questions included on a survey of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employees regarding constraints to connecting children with nature. The survey was sponsored by the Division of Education Outreach at the National Conservation Training Center and conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey. The data...Ratz, Joan M.; Schuster, Rudy M.