Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2013

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

Global Scale Risks: Models & Processes of Risk Analysis

Room: Key Ballroom 6   10:30 AM- 12:10 PM

Chair(s): Mark Stillman, Gregory Kiker

M2-F.2  10:30  An integration of multiple paradigms for integrated assessment of climate policy. Gerst MD, Wang P, Ding P, Borsuk ME*; Dartmouth College

Abstract: Most models used to analyze international climate policy treat the problem as if it operates on only a single level. This is the result of a reliance on integrated assessment models (IAMs) that, for reasons of analytical tractability, typically employ assumptions that allow the economy to be modeled as if it is managed by a single, utility-maximizing central planner without regard to the influence of either lower-level actors or international pressures. While game theoretic models have been used to study international negotiations, they generally do not consider feedback from domestic actors who have heterogeneous beliefs and vulnerability to climate change. We provide an overview of a policy modeling framework, called ENGAGE, styled after the Putnam two-level game in which interactions among negotiators at the international level are linked with the preferences of constituents at the domestic level. Domestic constituents in our model include firms and households who function as agents within an evolutionary representation of economic growth, energy technology, and climate change, resulting in a two-way dynamic feedback between international agreements and domestic policy outcomes.

M2-F.3  10:50  Florida, sea level rise and decision analysis: choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. Kiker GA*, Linhoss A, Munoz-Carpena R, Frank K, Fischer R, Linkov I; University of Florida, Mississippi State University, US Army Corps of Engineers

Abstract: Climate change (through sea-level rise and altered weather patterns) is expected to significantly alter low-lying coastal and intertidal areas. The State of Florida has significant coastal lands that serve as an economic engine for growth as well as a refuge for ecological communities. Decisions concerning sea level rise present significant challenges at both regional and local scales for adapting to potentially adverse effects. This research effort presents two examples of multi-criteria decision analysis applied to coastal Florida areas at regional and local scales using the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) to simulate potential land cover changes under a variety of scenarios. At a Florida Gulf Coast scale, we link SLAMM simulations with a habitat suitability model (Maxent) and a metapopulation model (RAMAS-GIS) to simulate decision alternatives to diminish adverse effects of sea-level rise on Snowy Plover populations. At a more local planning scale, we use SLAMM and decision analysis to explore trade-offs and risk among several sea-level rise scenarios in the Matanzas River Watershed on the northeastern Florida Atlantic coast. In each of these examples, selecting a coastal adaptation strategy under sea-level rise is a complex task that entails the consideration of multiple streams of information, stakeholder preferences, value judgments, and uncertainty.

M2-F.4  11:10  Project Fox: Taming Asteroid Risks. Reinhardt JC*, Chen X, Liu W, Manchev P, Paté-Cornell ME; Stanford University

Abstract: Understanding and mitigating the risks posed by asteroids is important to the scientific and policy-making communities, as near earth objects threaten human lives and may threaten the very existence of human civilization. Qualitative and quantitative studies have been done to assess such risks, and some reasonable point estimates have been proposed. However, due to the low probability/high consequence nature of asteroid risks, these measures provide limited actionable insights and may even lead to false confidence when interpreted inappropriately. Project Fox aims to provide a probabilistic model that evaluates the collective threat from asteroids events. We implement a modularized simulation architecture that takes probabilistic inputs to construct the probability distribution of rare events efficiently. The model suggests that although the point estimates of annual death rates due to asteroid events have small numerical values, the probability of incurring a catastrophic loss of human lives and property damages is significant. Furthermore, the probability of a cataclysm scenario (an impact event with globally reaching consequences) due to asteroid impacts is far from negligible, and the current understanding of impactors that could trigger global consequences underestimates the actual risk by leaving a large fraction of cataclysmic risk scenarios unaccounted for. Specifically, we find that the majority of global consequence risk is attributable to asteroids between 300 and 1000 meters in diameter, signaling the importance of missions to observe and track asteroids in this range. Finally, “civil-defense” counter-measures mitigate the risk of human casualties from asteroid impacts to some small level, but they are certainly not a panacea. Because of the potentially poor performance of civil defense methods, further analysis on the effectiveness and feasibility of space missions to interdict asteroids are warranted.

M2-F.5  11:30  Risk-based Need Assessments to Enhance Enterprise Program Management Offices. Stillman M*; Consultant

Abstract: In many industries team leaders and organizations are under constant pressure to deliver a portfolio of projects on time and within budget. Project Management Offices (PMO) are set up to address this challenge through the development of standard Project Management processes, and act as a central repository for Project Management knowledge, best practices and lessons learned. The best return on the PMO investment is realized by performing Need Assessments which result in the development of Project Management plans that decrease work flow complexity and increase project savings. Need Assessments are customarily conducted with key functional groups within an organization for the purpose of improving processes by identifying gaps between existing and desired conditions. The fundamental value is derived by gaining deeper insights into project risks from multiple perspectives that lead to improved clarity on the priority and sequence for task implementation. Key stages of the Need Assessment process to be described are: (1) goal setting with PMO Director, (2) data gathering to document existing conditions, (3) open-ended interviews that identify gaps and encourage “out of the box” brainstorming of solutions, (4) risk ranking of issues, (5) initial de-brief with organizational leaders, and (6) findings report to document risk findings and recommendations. Consistency of this process with the risk management framework in ISO 31000 will be highlighted. The collaborative risk assessment stage will be described in detail as it provides the core technical basis for sequencing of response strategies.

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