Scott J Chiavacci, Ph.D.


Scott is an ecologist with the Science and Decisions Center (SDC;  He works on a range of interdisciplinary projects focused on conservation and natural resources management issues and strives to develop these projects around the needs of decision makers and stakeholders.

Ongoing projects:

  • Measuring the economic impacts of chronic wasting disease in the U.S.
  • Creation of a how-to guide to help practitioners develop quantification tools for market-based conservation
  • Establishing an online database of quantification tools used in U.S. market-based conservation
  • Assessing the ecosystem services provided by freshwater mussels

Previous projects:

  • Analyzing trends among quantification tools used for market-based conservation
  • Creation of a database of quantification tools used in U.S. biodiversity and habitat markets
  • Estimating the economic value of health benefits from using geologic data to communicate radon risk
  • Assisting the National Geospatial Program with project tracking and budget scenario modeling

Prior to joining the USGS, Scott was a researcher with the Illinois Natural History Survey and University of Illinois where he studied factors impacting freshwater mussels of conservation concern.  He has also studied the reproductive ecology, behavior, and predators of early successional birds and raptors and emergence patterns of insects.  



2016, Ph.D., Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2010, M.S., Biology, Arkansas State University

2007, B.S., Wildlife & Fisheries Science, The Pennsylvania State University