An Introduction to Structured Decision Making for Natural Resources Management

American Fisheries Society Continuing Education Course
AFS Annual Meeting
Seattle WA
September 4, 2011

 Course instructors

James T. Peterson is the Assistant Unit Leader and Associate Professor in the Oregon Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Reserach Unit, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University.

Krishna Pacifici is a research associate with the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Reserach Unit, North Carolina State University.

In this course, we provide an overview of structured decision-making with an emphasis on fisheries and aquatic resource applications. We also introduce adaptive resource management (ARM) as a special case of SDM that involves sequential dynamic decision-making.  Our primary aim is to provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of SDM process and techniques in a format that  that does not require extensive quantitative understanding and skills.
 Participants are encouraged to review three articles: Peterson and Evans (2003)Conroy et al. (2008),and Conroy and Peterson (2009) prior to the workshop. Participants also are encouraged to bring laptops (not a requirement) and download Netica software (link below) to allow them to manipulate the create graphical models during the course. Please be sure to download the example models (link below).

Course schedule


    8:00-8:15  Welcome and introductions


   8:15- 9:00  Basic principles of structured decision making and adaptive management


  9:00-10:00  Review of concepts in ecological modeling, probability, and statistics


10:30-12:00  Identifying and structuring management objectives

       - Example hands on (student participation)


12:00-13:00  Lunch


13:00-14:30  Modeling decisions: influence diagrams and probabilistic networks

                         - Continue with example hands on (student participation)


15:00-16:00  Incorporating multiple models and feedback


16:00-17:00  Evaluating model performance and sensitivity


17:00            Ajourn

Example models


Useful links

Download Netica Software for course




Links to other courses