The social, economic and environmental benefits of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in Michigan.

DISCLAIMER: I’m an applied decision researcher and professor for energy systems at Michigan State University.  My research focuses principally on helping people to identify their values, concerns and objectives and then engage the trade-offs between those values, concerns and objectives and the many options available. The trade-offs between purchasing and operating a conventional gasoline vehicleContinue reading “The social, economic and environmental benefits of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in Michigan.”

Interested in studying energy sustainability? Join me in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.

The Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS) at Michigan State University is an interdisciplinary department addressing contemporary issues of sustainability in agriculture, recreation, natural resources, and the environment. Recently the department expanded that focus to include energy!  Specifically, the department hired an assistant professor of sustainable energy systems.  This person–hint, it’s me!–is tasked with researching sustainableContinue reading “Interested in studying energy sustainability? Join me in the Department of Community Sustainability at Michigan State University.”

Ohio Deer Management Plan Stakeholder Engagement Process

The ODNR Division of Wildlife is working with a diverse group of stakeholders to develop a Deer Management Plan that will provide a 10-year framework for managing huntable deer populations based on historical perspectives, stakeholder interests and science-based management. Using a process known as Structured Decision Making (SDM), representatives from stakeholder organizations are helping theContinue reading “Ohio Deer Management Plan Stakeholder Engagement Process”

Preferences and perceptions of green infrastructure: Blueprint Columbus

In 2015, Columbus, Ohio submitted a Wet Weather Management Plan to the Ohio EPA entitled “Blueprint Columbus,” which would eliminate 28 miles of sanitary sewer overflow tunnels in favor of green infrastructure (GI) improvements including rain gardens. The mayor of Columbus has argued Blueprint Columbus would not only bring the city into EPA compliance, butContinue reading “Preferences and perceptions of green infrastructure: Blueprint Columbus”

Assessing non-market loss and damage in the context of climate change

This spring a group of twenty-four scientists from Australia, New Zealand, Ghana, United Kingdom, United States, and South Africa (Table 1) came together across disciplines to explore how loss and damage (L&D) is understood and experienced by particular groups of people in various geographic settings. We conducted a workshop in Perth, Australia, between 18th andContinue reading “Assessing non-market loss and damage in the context of climate change”

There will be blood: Communicating climate change risk honestly in 2017 and beyond.

Each December my colleagues and I travel to DC or somewhere far warmer like San Francisco or San Diego to meet and discuss the state of risk communication research.  One of the enduring foci of these meetings is climate change, and more specifically how we should go about communicating the risks of climate change andContinue reading “There will be blood: Communicating climate change risk honestly in 2017 and beyond.”

Structured decision support for organic farmers in the Midwest

This December Robyn Wilson, Christian Beaudrie and I traveled to San Diego to report on a decision support framework we’re building to help organic farmers make ecological weed management decisions. This tool uses as its foundation mental models research done by Sarah Zwickle and the SDM principles that my colleagues and I rely on toContinue reading “Structured decision support for organic farmers in the Midwest”

Building a “values-informed” mental model for New Orleans climate risk management

Last spring, I traveled to New Orleans to meet with decision-makers and discuss efforts to manage the city’s sea-level rise and storm surge risks.  This followed a trip to interview residents and build a “values-informed” mental model, ViMM, which depicts their values as a function of specific climate risk factors and management strategies.  Our paperContinue reading “Building a “values-informed” mental model for New Orleans climate risk management”

Facilitating ecological weed management decisions by assessing risk-benefit tradeoffs

We used the mental models research method to generate a conceptual map of how Midwest farmers use knowledge, experience, and individual perceptions of weed-related risk to make weed management decisions. We discovered that Midwest farmer knowledge of ecological weed management practices is robust, and that the difficult trade-offs farmers make regarding cultivation, cover crops, andContinue reading “Facilitating ecological weed management decisions by assessing risk-benefit tradeoffs”

Decision support for developing energy strategies

Policymakers and the public need a mechanism for making a series of difficult and interrelated choices over time, and research in decision science offers a promising way forward. The United States clearly needs a new energy strategy. In fact, many industrialized nations are in the same position. But this raises an obvious question: What isContinue reading “Decision support for developing energy strategies”