Making Better Decisions: Decision Science Approaches for Informing Natural Resource Management
Jennifer Price Tack and Christine Anhalt-Depies
State natural resource agencies are tasked with managing resources to support healthy ecosystems, while considering interests of diverse stakeholder groups. The field of decision science provides a suite of tools to support transparent and robust decisions that make the best use of available data, while explicitly accounting for the fact that all decisions are ultimately driven by values. We provide a background on some of the tools, i.e. structured decision making, used to inform wildlife management decisions, and provide examples from our own work.
Jennifer Price Tack is the large carnivore and elk research scientist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) in the Office of Applied Science. She has a Ph.D. in Wildlife Sciences from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University, a Master of Environmental Sciences and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), and a B.S. in Zoology from UCSB. She completed a postdoctoral position at Cornell University before joining the WDNR in November 2019. Jennifer has expertise in population modeling and decision analytics. Her research focuses on applied science for informing management decisions of wolves, bear, and elk in Wisconsin. Additionally, she lends her expertise in decision analytics to a variety of natural resources problems within the agency.
Christine Anhalt-Depies is a research scientist at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Office of Applied Science, where she coordinates the Snapshot Wisconsin project. Christine has a Ph.D. in the human dimensions of wildlife from the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has a Master of Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development, also from UW, and a B.S. in Biology and Psychology from Ripon College. Christine has expertise in engaging the public in natural resource science and management, and her research uses social science data collection and analysis methodologies to answer applied questions. She also supports decision science efforts in the agency as an assistant decision analyst.
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