Decision Making in Natural Resources WIS 6934 Spring 2015 3 Credits

Watch lecture recordings from 2012 here

 

UF Instructors:                      Dr. Christina Romagosa

                        Dept. Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, 307-A Newins Ziegler Hall

                        Phone: 352-273-3996        Email: cmromagosa@ufl.edu

 

                        Dr. Bill Pine

                        Dept. Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, Wetlands & Riverine Ecology, Building 87

                        Phone: 352-273-3650        Email: billpine@ufl.edu

 

 

USGS Guest Lecturers:        Dr. Fred Johnson

                        U.S.G.S. Southeast Ecological Science Center, Building 810 (Coop. Unit)

                        Email: fjohnson@usgs.gov

 

                        Dr. Julien Martin

                        U.S.G.S. Southeast Ecological Science Center, Building 810 (Coop. Unit)

                        Email: julienmartin@usgs.gov

 

Time and place:  Tuesdays and Thursdays, periods 2-3 (8:30 10:25 am), Rogers Hall 110

 

Course description:  An understanding of animal ecology, no matter how thorough, is insufficient in itself to prescribe appropriate conservation actions.  The goal of this course is to provide students with the background, training, and tools necessary to correctly frame decision problems in natural resource management.  We will use a decision-analytic approach, which involves assessments and integration of resource values, management consequences, uncertainty, and risk.  This course is modeled after the courses in structured decision making and adaptive management offered to resource professionals at the National Conservation Training Center (http://nctc.fws.gov).  Topics to be covered include:

 

 

Required textHammond, J. S., R. L. Keeney, and H. Raiffa. 1999. Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Life Decisions. Broadway Books, New York, N.Y.  (about $10 from Amazon)Other materials will be available electronically via SAKAI and will include required weekly readings, lectures, and lab information.

 Grading Grading will be based on a combination of weekly lab exercises (50%), leading two class discussions on weekly readings (30%), and participation in the weekly discussion sections (20%).

 

 

CLASS ATTENDANCE AND DEMEANOR POLICY

All students are expected to attend every class and lab and are responsible for the materials and information presented.  Students who miss class for a UF approved reason (documented illness, trip, emergency, etc.) will be able to make-up exams and quizzes from that day.  Unexcused late assignments will have 10% of the point total for that assignment deducted for each day late.  Late assignments will not be accepted beyond 3 days post-due date.  A professional attitude is expected in all lectures and labs.  Please do not disturb your fellow students by talking during class.  Please minimize electronic distractions by silencing cell phones and eliminating electronic distractions during class and lab.  While we will actively use computer resources in class and lab, it is strongly recommended that students focus on course material and minimize distractions from e-mail and social networking sites.

MAKE-UP EXAM POLICY

Make-up exams or assignment/homework problems will not be given for unexcused absences. An acceptable excuse (meeting guidelines from the UF handbook) must be submitted to be eligible for a make-up exam.

IMPORTANT GENERAL NOTICE TO STUDENTS

Academic Honesty:

As a result of completing the registration form at the University of Florida, every student has signed the following statement:  I understand that the University of Florida expects its students to be honest in all their academic work.  I agree to this commitment to academic honesty and understand that my failure to comply with this commitment may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion from the University.

UF Counseling Services:

The University of Florida provides excellent resources on campus for students having personal problems or seeking additional career and academic assistance to help them realize their full potential.  The University cares about you and your well-being and being a successful student requires mental and physical health.  We want you to be successful. These resources include:

1.     University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career counseling; http://www.counseling.ufl.edu/cwc/ The Counseling Center also provides extensive help with anxiety stress management through a variety of innovative and free programs.  Take advantage of these resources sooner rather than later!  http://www.counseling.ufl.edu/cwc/tao

2.     Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1575, personal counseling;

3.     Sexual Assault Recovery Services (SARS), Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, sexual counseling;

4.     Career Resources Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling; http://www.crc.ufl.edu/

5. Students working with the Office of Disability Resources should provide their accommodation letters within the first 10 days of class.  If you are unsure what resources Office of Disability Resources can provide then visit their web page to find out more. http://www.dso.ufl.edu.  Accommodations include extended test taking time, alternate format exams, and other types of accommodations developed cooperatively with the Office of Disability Resources, the student, and faculty. 

Unsure where to turn for help? Come see us. We want you to do well in this course and want to see you succeed as a student, a professional, and in life.

Software Use:

All faculty, staff and students of the University are required to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use.  Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator.  Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

UF Guidelines

The official UF computing guidelines, which relate to all aspects of hardware, software, and network information at UF are available here

http://training.helpdesk.ufl.edu/computing.shtml

The following is the official UF policy on the student computer requirement:

Access to and on-going use of a computer is required for all students to complete their degree programs successfully. The University of Florida expects each student entering the junior year, as well as each student new to the university, to acquire computer hardware and software appropriate to his or her degree program. Competency in the basic use of a computer is a requirement for graduation. Class assignments may require use of a computer, academic advising and registration can be done by computer, and official university correspondence is often sent via e-mail.


 

Draft schedule as of 11/18/14

Draft Agenda 18 November 2014:

Week

Date

Period

Topic

Weekly Reading/Lab Activity

1

6-Jan

2

Lec: Introduction to decision analysis

 

 

3

Lec: Introduction cont'd

 

8-Jan

2

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Possingham 2001

 

3

Lab: Framing a decision problem

Rolling Thunder NWR Vegetation Management Problem Statement

         

2

13-Jan

2

Lec: Psychology of decision making

 

 

3

Lec: Problem framing

 

15-Jan

2

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Shea et al. 1998, Ludwig 2001

 

3

Lab: Problem framing

Mosquito Control - Key Deer NWR Problem Statement

         

3

20-Jan

2

Lec: Setting objectives

 

 

3

Lec: Specifying alternatives

 

22-Jan

2

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Starfield 1997

 

3

Lab: Problem framing cont'd

Mosquito Control - Key Deer NWR; Objectives Hierarchy and Consequence Table

         

4

27-Jan

2

Lec: Facilitation

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Innes & Booher 1999, Koontz & Thomas 2006

29-Jan

2

Lec: Intro to Ecological Modeling

Lec: Intro to Ecological Modeling

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

TBA

         

5

3-Feb

2

Lec: Ecological modeling cont'd

Lec: Ecological modeling cont'd

 

3

Lec: Ecological modeling cont'd

Lec: Ecological modeling cont'd

5-Feb

2

Lab: Influence diagrams & BBNs

Pronghorn Antelope Management on Arizona National Wildlife Refuge

 

3

Lab: Influence diagrams & BBNs contd

 

         

6

10-Feb

2

Lec: Solving single-objective problems

 

 

3

Lec: Maximum Sustainable Yield theory

 

12-Jan

2

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Runge et al. 2009

 

3

Lab: Resource allocation cont'd

FTE funding vs. project funding

 

 

 

     

Week

Date

Period

Topic

Weekly Reading/Lab Activity

7

17-Feb

2

Lec: Solving multiple-objective problems

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Kiker et al. 2005

19-Feb

2

Lab: SMART analysis

Rolling Thunder Prairie Management; Multiple Objectives Tradeoffs

 

3

Lab: SMART con't

 

         

8

24-Feb

2

Lec: Uncertainty

 

 

3

Lab: Controlling invasives

 

26-Feb

2

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Harwood & Stokes 2003, Ludwig et al. 1993

 

3

Lab: Controlling invasives, cont'd

 

         

9

10-Mar

2

Lec: Dynamic decision problems

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Tenhumberg et al. 2004

12-Mar

2

Lec: Dynamic programming

 

 

3

Lab: Dynamic programming

 

         

10

17-Mar

2

Lec: SDM & climate change

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Martin et al. 2011

19-Mar

2

Lab: TBA

 

 

3

Lab: TBA

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

24-Mar

2

Lec: Adaptive resource management & DOI

 

 

3

Lec: ARM cont'd

 

26-Mar

2

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Gregory et al. 2006, Johnson & Williams 2012

 

3

Lab: Expected value of perfect information

 Expected value of perfect information for population restoration of  Whooping cranes

         

12

31-Mar

2

Lec: Monitoring & learning in ARM

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Nichols & Williams 2006

2-Apr

2

Lec: Grand Canyon adaptive management

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Coggins et al. 2011, Melis et al. 2006

         

Week

Date

Period

Topic

Weekly Reading/Lab Activity

13

7-Apr

2

Lec: Resilience thinking & decision analysis

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

TBA

9-Apr

2

Lec: Resilience thinking & decision analysis

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

TBA

         

14

14-Apr

2

Lec: Institutional dynamics

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Pahl-Wostl 2009

16-Apr

2

 

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

 

         

15

21-Apr

2

Lec: Course recap

 

 

3

Dis: Weekly reading discussion

Baskerville 1997