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Goals of the USGS Changing Arctic Ecosystem Initiative

Capacity Building for Modeling

Polar bear outcome modelThe USGS and resource management agencies are increasingly using Bayesian Networks (BNs), Structured Decision Making (SDM), and other similar knowledge-based modeling approaches. BNs provide a versatile framework for integrating empirical data with expert opinion, which often is required when modeling ecosystems where much is unknown. SDM provides an objective, quantitative means to integrate ecological knowledge with multiple management objectives and constraints, to arrive at an optimal management decision. SDM is an integral component of adaptive management. The CAE Initiative is developing additional USGS capacity in these modeling approaches.

Current projects:

    • Update of the 2008 polar bear Bayesian Network Model:

      Atwood, T. C., B. G. Marcot, D. C. Douglas, S. C. Amstrup, K. D. Rode, G. M. Durner, and J. F. Bromaghin. 2016. Forecasting the relative influence of environmental and anthropogenic stressors on polar bears. Ecosphere 7(6):e01370. doi:10.1002/ecs2.1370 [Details] [Full Publication]

      Atwood, T. C., B. G. Marcot, D. C. Douglas, S. C. Amstrup, K. D. Rode, G. M. Durner, and J. F. Bromaghin. 2015. Evaluating and ranking threats to the long-term persistence of polar bears. USGS Open-File Report 2014-1254, 114 p. doi:10.3133/ofr20141254 [Details] [Full Publication]

      Amstrup, S. C., B. G. Marcot, and D. C. Douglas. 2008. A Bayesian network modeling approach to forecasting the 21st century worldwide status of polar bears. Pages 213-268 in Eric. T. DeWeaver, Cecilia M. Bitz, and L.-Bruno Tremblay (eds.). Arctic Sea Ice Decline: Observations, Projections, Mechanisms, and Implications. Geophysical Monograph Series 180 [Details] [Full Publication] [PDF 2.3 MB]

      blank staff icon Project staff: Todd Atwood (USGS-Alaska Science Center).

    • Current and projected forage conditions for geese and shorebirds under different climate scenarios on Alaska's Arctic Coastal Plain.
    • blank staff icon Project staff: John Pearce (USGS-Alaska Science Center).

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