The need for better integration of science and decision making in environmental management is widely documented. In light of anticipated climate change and associated changes in demographics, land use, and water management practices, decision makers are confronted with the need to make major decisions in the face of high system complexity and uncertainty. The integration of useful and relevant scientific information is necessary and critical to enable informed decision-making. Effective consideration of desired environmental conditions in river management decisions is difficult due to the myriad of physical, hydrological, and biological factors affecting these ecosystems; the complexity of interactions; the volume of relevant information, and substantial levels of uncertainty. Computer-based Decision Support Systems (DSS) can help integrate and communicate the scientific information and analyses supporting informed decision-making.
Water / Stormwater Management
Health, Safety and Welfare
1. Understand what decision support systems are and how they can inform designs
2. Learn how the myriad of physical, hydrological, and biological factors affecting these ecosystems
3. Comprehend the complexities of the interactions of the elements of a river and how DSS clarify the information
Chris Holmquist-Johnson, Research Hydrologist, USGS-Fort Collins Science Center; Leanne Hanson, Biologist, USGS-Fort Collins Science Center.