Faculty Candidate Seminar - Melissa Kenney

01/11/2016 - 12:30pm


DATE:    January 11th

LOCATION:  12:30pm Dean’s Conference Room, Robinson Complex - main campus
(2nd seminar - 1/12 at 10:30am in Hubbs Hall 4500 at SIO)
SPEAKER: Melissa Kenney, Ph.D.
University of Maryland, College Park

TITLE:  Climate decision support: Bridging the gap between scientifically interesting results and outputs needed for decisions

Decisions are a combination of scientific facts or predictions and decision-makers’ or society’s values. There are a few cases where the scientifically assessed consequences of different options lead to a clear solution, but more often there are multiple, competing objectives, incompatible stakeholders’ values and objective weights, and uncertainty about quantifying the consequences (positive and negative) of different choices. As a result, it is important to both understand the problems and develop methods that can help to make difficult decisions less complex. In this talk, I will discuss several efforts where I have co-designed decision support systems, and indicators in particular, that incorporate multiple disciplinary insights and quantify the decision-relevant consequences. Inspired by current environmental problems, my team’s work has focused on identifying optimal restoration options, setting environmental standards, assessing the ecosystem services of environmental improvements, and developing indicator information systems to support a range of diverse climate adaptation decisions. Building on these insights, over the next several years my research program is funded or is proposing to assess the fundamental features of useful climate decision support systems with coastal resilience use cases in the Northeast U.S. and Caribbean nations, to quantify the benefits of water quality improvements in urbanizing watersheds in North Carolina, and to explore opportunities for using regional climate impact forecasts to operationalize adaptive environmental management. Through this work, I seek to support evidenced-based decision-making by bridging the gap between scientific results and outputs needed for adaptation decisions

Faculty Host:    Junjie Zhang (junjiezhang@ucsd.edu)
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Dean's Conference Room, Robinson Complex