Keywords

decision-making, regulatory, model evaluation, uncertainty

Start Date

1-7-2006 12:00 AM

Description

Models have emerged as essential tools in environmental management, whether used to further the understanding of complex environmental processes or to inform decisions for environmental planning, remediation, protection or regulation. However, their utility aside, there is also an acknowledgment of their limitations. The question is not whether or not to use models, but rather how best to develop and use models to arrive at credible, defensible and robust decisions and what attributes make a model useful for a given situation. To understand the role of models and decision support tools in environmental management, we must first consider the different types of decisions made, particularly within a regulatory or policy-making context and the different decision-making contexts and processes. This paper will explore the requirements for effective model-based decision support as well as the role that characterizing and communicating uncertainty plays in influencing the utility of the use of models in environmental decision making. The paper will also build upon the recent work of the Council of Regulatory Environmental Modeling of the US Environmental Protection Agency to identify the major guiding principles for effective model development, evaluation and use to inform environmental management decisions and policy.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

A Protocol for the Development, Evaluation and Application of Environmental Models in Decision Making

Models have emerged as essential tools in environmental management, whether used to further the understanding of complex environmental processes or to inform decisions for environmental planning, remediation, protection or regulation. However, their utility aside, there is also an acknowledgment of their limitations. The question is not whether or not to use models, but rather how best to develop and use models to arrive at credible, defensible and robust decisions and what attributes make a model useful for a given situation. To understand the role of models and decision support tools in environmental management, we must first consider the different types of decisions made, particularly within a regulatory or policy-making context and the different decision-making contexts and processes. This paper will explore the requirements for effective model-based decision support as well as the role that characterizing and communicating uncertainty plays in influencing the utility of the use of models in environmental decision making. The paper will also build upon the recent work of the Council of Regulatory Environmental Modeling of the US Environmental Protection Agency to identify the major guiding principles for effective model development, evaluation and use to inform environmental management decisions and policy.