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Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2009

Risk Analysis: The Evolution of a Science

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Application of Spatial Decision Support Tools, and Systems for Multi-Criteria Environmental Problems Sponsored by DARSG

Room: Kent   10:30 AM-NOON

Chair(s): Terry Sullivan

T2-H.1  10:30  Overview of Decision Support Systems for Land Use Planning. Sullivan T*, Yatsalo B, Grebenkov A, Linkov I; Brookhaven National Laboratory

Abstract: Environmental remediation and land-use problems are characterized by complexity, multiple technical disciplines, and multiple stakeholders with different values. Arriving at a decision that balances risk management, cost and benefit of various options, and values (e.g. value of biodiversity, protection of endangered species, etc) is a difficult and often contentious process. Without a structured framework, the decision can be driven by a single issue and sub-optimal decisions can be reached. Spatial decision support systems that integrate analysis tools from many disciplines (e.g., Geographic Information System (GIS) tools for mapping and data analysis, ecological and human health risk models, economic analysis tools for evaluating costs, and tools for incorporating social choices) and provide Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) techniques for analysis have been developed to address complex environmental land use problems. The presentation will provide an overview of decision support tools that are useful for large scale, complex environmental problems. The overview will discuss environmental problems and the factors that make them complex which include conflicting value systems and therefore beliefs on the best approach to solving the problem. A brief introduction to MCDA approaches will be presented and their relevance and integration into environmental problem solving will be discussed. A survey of decision support tools that are useful for land use planning analysis will be provided. A computer software tool (Decision Evaluation in Complex Risk Network Systems-DECERNS) has been developed and allows the application of several decision analysis techniques on the same problem. Examples of application of DECERNS-SDSS for site suitability selection for housing and cell tower placement will be provided.

T2-H.2  10:50  Risk-based Land Management with the Use of Spatial Decision Support System DECERNS WebSDSS. Yatsalo B*, Didenko V, Gritsyuk S, Tkachuk A, Mirzeabasov O, Sullivan T, Linkov I; IATE

Abstract: Land use management problems require implementation of both spatial data analysis and multicriteria decision analysis. Contaminated site remediation, land suitability analysis, habitat site selection, and many other problems involve consideration not only various risk and cost criteria and constraints, but also different ecological, technological, socioeconomic and other objectives and stakeholders interests along with alternatives appropriate for land use management and revitalization of contaminated or abandoned sites. Multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) is at the core of approaches and site-specific decision support systems (DSS) for investigation of indicated problems. Up-to-date approaches to spatial data processing, analysis and presentation within investigation of environmental problems are based on implementation of GIS-technologies along with math models for examination of different scenarios and assessment of corresponding risk values and other criteria. Approaches on implementation of all the main MCDA methods along with the basic GIS functions and math models within an original Web-based Spatial DSS DECERNS will be presented. The case studies on multicriteria analysis of spatial alternatives (location problems, remediation of contaminated territories, and others) will be discussed. This work is carried out within the DECERNS project (IPP/ISTC #3549, ).

T2-H.3  11:10  Application of DECERNS SDSS to wildlife sanctuaries: Eutrophic bog case study. Grebenkov AJ*, Yatsalo BI, Lukashevich AG, Pluta SV, Balyka DA, Tkachuk AN, Gritsuk SV, Shipilov DE, Mirzeabasov OA; UNDP Belarus Country Office

Abstract: Integration of GIS-technologies along with multicriteria framework and environmental risk assessment models into one decision support tool in the field of land use is one of the key tasks of DECERNS project. In the field of environmental modeling, there are many commercial software tools applicable to risk analysis, animal behavior simulation, habitat suitability assessment, etc. Most of them are capable to represent spatial and temporal features and are used under GIS applications. The objective of the present study is to integrate some of such models into DECERNS Web-SDSS software, thus providing for them an attribute of multicriteria decision analysis capability. This would improve functionality of the DECERNS tools and extend landuse options towards environmental objects. Three environmental risk assessment models, namely Fish_Rand, Trophic_Trace and Risk_Trace, have been converted into XML Web-services using a special DMWS bridged technique developed by the project team and will be incorporated into DECRNS Web-SDSS. In order to test functionality of the DECERNS Web-SDSS prototype, the case study under an environmental protection project in wetland ecosystem of Polesie lowland has been elaborated and carried out. It is believed that the specified set of countermeasures will result in sustainability of the aquatic warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola) populations nested in the Zvanets Eutrophic Bog Wildlife Sanctuary. The minimal HSI value associated with successful reproduction of the warbler population was one of the main criteria for further SDSS solutions to support a decision-making process. The result of the case study is an action plan to provide controlled hydrological regimes for this area.

T2-H.4  11:30  TrophicTrace Bioaccumulation Model Enhancements. Tkachuk A*, Fredette T, Guza-Pabst O, Foran C, Huang I, Moberg E, Jacques T, Linkov E, Bridges T, Linkov I; US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Carnegie Mellon University, MIT

Abstract: Bioaccumulation and ecological population modeling of contaminants through sediment-driven food-webs is being applied on an increasing number of environmental assessments by EPA and USACE Districts. Evaluating the potential for sediment chronic toxicity as a result of bioaccumulation and determining the suitability of dredged materials for open-water disposal is one area where modeling is required. Risk assessment for Superfund and other sites is another area that benefits from an integrated bioaccumulation and risk model. EPA has been utilizing different approaches for trophic food chain risk assessments that vary across EPA regions and application areas. This presentation reports further development of the TrophicTrace model which was initially created by the USACE to calculate the potential human and ecological impacts of bioaccumulation from sediment-associated contaminants. TrophicTrace estimates the expected concentrations in fish and aquatic receptors using a sediment-based food web. TrophicTrace incorporates an uncertainty analysis algorithm (i.e., fuzzy number parameters) to provide perspective on input and output calculations. Even though TrophicTrace has been applied at a number of sites, its applicability has been limited because the current version does not include: (i) a library of benchmarks and default model parameters for multiple chemicals commonly measured at contaminated sediment sites; and (ii) automated exposure point concentration (EPC) calculations from lab reports. Model improvements include new calculation modules tailored specifically to the US EPA/USACE needs. The updated version of TrophicTrace will allow seamless progression from screening-level risk calculations to baseline risk assessments with detailed uncertainty analysis in a web-based computational platform.

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