Decisions To Be Determined:

Current and Ongoing Projects

You will find the latest information about my current and ongoing projects, as well as links to their associated applications here.

My long-term, ongoing project is to develop an application that enables crowdsourcing public policy making.  This would integrate apps where users submit and select public policy problems to address, provide objectives the solutions should achieve, suggest alternatives to solve the problem, display studies that predict the consequences for those problems, and select the alternative that best achieves the objectives submitted.  To find out more check out the blog.

Bringing Structured Decision Making to Policy Making

Management strategy evaluation (MSE), has been described as being, "widely considered to be the most appropriate way to evaluate the trade‐offs achieved by alternative management strategies and to assess the consequences of uncertainty for achieving management goals." by Punt et. al. (2014).  A well known way to assist decision making over time is to apply adaptive management, that is, to monitor decisions and their outcomes to learn and improve future decisions.  Does the scientific literature documenting past MSEs support adaptive management, or is there room for improvement?

See our shiny application to find out.
Our shiny application also contains a searchable and downloadable repository of information about past MSE efforts to help aid learning and support improvements to fisheries management.

No Replication Without Process Documentation:

Assessing Management Strategy Evaluations

Tax Impacts

Are you interested in calculating your expected property taxes in real time? The Town Meeting Tax App helps you determine your assessed property value and uses that information to calculate your expected property taxes. Track you expected property taxes by updating these calculations as articles like road maintenance, fire truck maintenance, and operating budget are passed or rejected. Nottingham, NH tax application link

The MSE process. Credit: Beth Fulton/CSIRO

Supporting the Future of the New England Groundfish Fishery.
Bringing Stakeholder Engagement to the Management Strategy Evaluation of New England Groundfish in a Changing Ocean

Once a driving economic force supporting coastal communities, many consider the multi-species groundfish fishery in New England to be at a crossroad. Several species of the groundfish complex are at or near historically low abundance while others are at or near historical highs. Evidence suggests changing ecosystem conditions will continue to put pressure on these stocks into the future. The trade-offs between conservation, yield, economic, and social objectives in this fishery presents a challenging backdrop upon which to plan for a resilient future for the fishery.
Participants will co-develop management objectives and management procedures to help identify long-term strategies to support the fishery. These objectives and management procedures will be evaluated using a simulation of the New England groundfish fishery, including simulated data collection, management, fishing behavior, and stock response. Trade-off evaluation will be supported by an interactive web application displaying the simulation results and management procedure performance.

Overlooked steps: bringing additional decision analysis practices to Management Strategy Evaluation

Management strategy evaluation processes seem to omit steps that are often practiced in other decision making practices, such as explicit problem definition, a structured approach to objective elicitation, and an analytical approach to trade-off evaluation. Increased participation by stakeholders, decision makers, facilitators, and decision analysts may benefit management strategy evaluation processes as well. I describe the implementation of these steps and a joint framework that combines management strategy evaluation with the structured decision making framework. Due to limited time, budgets, or participant availability the ideal management strategy evaluation process may be impractical. To aid the development of management strategy evaluation processes I discuss the likely objectives of these decision processes, the trade-offs between those objectives, and what management strategy evaluation practitioners might consider to aid development of effective and efficient management strategy evaluation processes. This publication is in preparation.