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Project Work Plan

Department of Interior USGS GE PES and ENP CESI

Fiscal Year 2008 Study Work Plan

Study Title: A GIS-Based Decision-Support Tool to Evaluate Land Management Policies in South Florida
Study Start Date: October 1, 2005   Study End Date: September 30, 2009
Web Sites:
Location (Subregions, Counties, Park or Refuge): Miami-Dade County, "land bridge" between Biscayne and Everglades National Parks
Funding Source: USGS Greater Everglades Priority Ecosystems Science (GE PES) and ENP Critical Ecosystems Studies Initiative (CESI)
Other Complementary Funding Source(s): USGS Geographic Analysis and Mapping (GAM)
Funding History: Same funding structure as FY06 and FY07.
Principal Investigator(s): William Labiosa, Richard Bernknopf, Paul Hearn
Study Personnel: Dianna Hogan (USGS), David Strong (USGS), Anne Wein (USGS), Amy Mathie (USGS), Leonard Pearlstine (NPS), Susan Wachter (UPenn), Paul Amos (UPenn), David Brookshire (UNM), Kevin Gillen (UPenn), Ann-Margaret Esnard (FAU), and Jaap Vos (FAU)
Supporting Organizations: University of Pennsylvania Electrical and Systems Engineering Department and Wharton School of Business, Florida Atlantic University Dept of Urban and Regional Planning, University of New Mexico Economics Department
Associated / Linked Studies:

Overview & Objective(s): The primary objective of the project is to develop an integrated ecological and socioeconomic land use evaluation model (the ecosystem portfolio model, EPM) for DOI resource managers to use to reconcile the need to maintain the ecological health of South Florida parks and refuges with increasing pressures for higher density development in the agricultural lands outside of the Urban Development Boundary in Miami-Dade County. The EPM, a web-enabled Geographic Information System based decision support tool, will integrate natural science, economic, and social information with user preferences to support the Park Service's participation in local land use planning, Park-related land acquisition strategies, and related regulatory decisions in Southeast Florida. In particular, this project makes use of contributions from conservation ecology, landscape ecology, decision science, real estate economics, ecological economics, urban planning, GIS analysis, and web technologies. The web-based EPM will contribute to improved public understanding and awareness of the importance of protecting South Florida habitats and ecosystem functions, as well as the possible externalities associated with upcoming land use decisions.

Specific Relevance to Major Unanswered Questions and Information Needs Identified:

The project is designed to address the following questions and needs in the DOI Science Plan (2005):

  • What are the socioeconomic consequences of development and preservation/restoration decisions associated with critical components of the South Florida ecosystem?
  • Are there ways to increase sustainable compatibility of the built environment with natural system needs of national parks and refuges - especially, relevant to water-related challenges?
  • Conduct studies to estimate the economic value of key environmental and ecological resources affected by development and preservation/restoration decisions;
  • Aggregate and quantify the large uncertainties associated with these decisions;
  • Develop a GIS-based decision framework in a decision support system (DSS) that will provide land managers and local officials with a clearer idea of the economic consequences of various courses of action.

Status: On-going project.

Recent Products: 2007 Progress Report and Appendices; 2007 EPM webpage prototype; 2007 draft ecological model results; 2007 land value model results; 2007 list of socioeconomic indicators to be developed in FY08.

Products: The Ecosystem Portfolio Modeler (EPM) has three major components: (1) an ecological value model based on ecological criteria relevant to National Park Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service resource management and species protection mandates; (2) a real estate market-based land value model sensitive to relevant land use/cover attributes indicative of conservation and development decisions; and (3) a set of socioeconomic indicators sensitive to land use/cover changes relevant to regional environmental and ecological planning. The current version is implemented for Miami-Dade County, with the protection of ecological values in the lands between the Everglades and Biscayne National Parks as the focus. The first two components have been implemented in the GIS web-enabled prototype interface and the third component is being developed in draft form in FY08 in consultation with the Florida Atlantic University Dept of Urban and Regional Planning.

WORK PLAN

Title of Task 1: Development of the decision framework.
Task Funding:
Task Leaders: William Labiosa, Richard Bernknopf
Phone: 650-329-4279 (William), 703-329-4951 (Richard)
FAX: 650-329-4710
Email: blabiosa@usgs.gov, rbern@usgs.gov
Task Status (on-going):
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 1: FY06-FY08
Task Personnel: William Labiosa, Richard Bernknopf, Anne Wein, David Brookshire

Task Summary and Objectives: This task is about collaboratively designing the conceptual decision framework that defines the need and scope for each of the components of the Ecological Portfolio Model web tool.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: This component captures the important relationships between conservation/ development actions and the ecological/environmental and socioeconomic endpoints of interest to decision-makers and stakeholders. This framework will be developed in terms of an ecological value model, a market (hedonic) land price model, and a system of socioeconomic indicators within an interactive web-based GIS environment.

  1. Collaborative development of an Ecosystem Portfolio Model - This sub-task will develop the conceptual framework and working model for use in ecological conservation and preservation decisions and other land use decisions, in collaboration with Everglades and Biscayne National Parks, the Miami-Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning, and various land use decision stakeholders. Based on work to date, the current version of the EPM has three primary objectives: (1) screen future land use/cover patterns in terms of ecological values that are important to supporting Department of the Interior mandates in Southeast Florida (Task 2); (2) screen future impacts on land price (and hence development pressure) in Southeast Florida for possible future land use/cover patterns (Task 4); and (3) screen social and economic impacts for possible future land use/cover patterns of communities in Southeast Florida using appropriate indicators (Task 3). This task seeks to design a conceptual decision framework that integrates these three capabilities within a GIS-based web interface. This task builds on user and stakeholder meetings held in FY06 and FY07 and will continue with user and stakeholder meetings to be held this fiscal year in Miami-Dade County.
  2. Integration of EPM model components into a coherent decision support web tool - This sub-task involves using decision science principles, good web design practices, and user/stakeholder feedback to refine and improve the components and over-all design of the web interface. The model inputs and outputs should be understandable, the relationships between components should be clear, the tool should be useful as well as user-friendly, and the uses and limitations of the tool and components should be clear to targeted users.
  3. Development of multi-attribute utility models for each criterion of the ecological value model - This sub-task involves using multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT) to define a set of utility models over the ecological value model criteria. The utility models will be assessed from Park Service users and assumptions about utility model structure and parameterizations will be tested (using accepted techniques). Aggregated utilities come from weighting the individual utility functions and aggregating them with an appropriate over-all utility function. For the current web prototype, ecological value criterion weights are user inputs. The web interface will be modified (under Task 5) so that sensitivity analysis can be performed on utility function parameters for individual criteria (in addition weights).

Specific Task Product(s): [List and include expected delivery date(s).]

Draft final decision EPM framework will be presented to Park Service managers in January 2008. This draft final design will be refined and integrated into the web-enabled EPM GIS environment during the rest of the fiscal year.

Title of Task 2: Develop, refine and implement the EPM ecological value model
Task Funding:

Task Leaders: Dianna Hogan, William Labiosa
Phone: 703-648-7240 (Dianna), 650-329-4279 (William)
FAX: 650-329-4710 (William)
Email: dhogan@usgs.gov, blabiosa@usgs.gov
Task Status (on-going):
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 2: FY06-FY09
Task Personnel: David Strong, Dianna Hogan, Amy Mathie, Leonard Pearlstine, William Labiosa

Task Summary and Objectives: This task is about refining and implementing models for the individual ecological criteria for the ecological value model elicited in consultation with the National Park Service and the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS).

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: The principal components of Task 2 include our efforts to:

  1. Continue consultations with Everglades and Biscayne National Parks and US Fish & Wildlife Service to refine the ecological value model. The purpose of consultations is to get feedback on our implementation of models for the ecological criteria elicited from the Park Service and Fish & Wildlife Service.
  2. Implement and refine models for each criterion of the "ecological value model" - The biodiversity and habitat criteria are being implemented using refined versions of the Florida GAP, the US FWS Multi-Species Recovery Plan, and the Florida Natural Areas Inventory models. All land use/cover classifications are being unified (crosswalked) using the Florida Land Use and Cover Classification System (FLUCCS). The landscape pattern and fragmentation criterion is being implemented using the FRAGSTATS landscape metrics package (http://www.umass.edu/landeco/research/fragstats/fragstats.html). Suitable models for the water quality buffer and restoration potential models will be identified and implemented this year. All of the models are being implemented in a GIS environment under Task 5, allowing users to modify the land use/cover inputs to evaluate against the ecological value model. This work was begun in FY07 and draft final models will be completed in FY08.
  3. Develop a scoring system based on multi-attribute utility theory (designed under Task 1) to aggregate the scores for the individual ecological criteria to yield an aggregate "ecological value" on a parcel (cell) basis in the GIS-web tool. This scoring system and the under-lying utility models will be developed collaboratively with the Park Service.

Title of Task 3: Develop suite of socioeconomic indicators for impacts of Miami-Dade land use/cover changes
Task Funding: See above
Task Leaders: William Labiosa, Richard Bernknopf
Phone: 650-329-4279 (William), 650-329-4951 (Richard)
FAX: 650-329-4710
Task Status (proposed):
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 3:
Task Personnel: William Labiosa, Richard Bernknopf, Anne Wein, Jaap Vos (FAU), and Ann-Margaret Esnard (FAU), student (TBA)

Task Summary and Objectives: This task focuses on the development of a system of socioeconomic indicators sensitive to land use/cover changes, and that are important to consider in land use decision-making.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: The system of indicators will be developed this fiscal year in consultation with researchers at Florida Atlantic University and in collaboration with representative regional land use stakeholders. The system of indicators will be partially implemented this year using available data and models and will be implemented in the GIS web tool next fiscal year.

Specific Task Product(s): [List and include expected delivery date(s).]

Draft set of socioeconomic indicators and plan for implementation will be presented to Ronnie Best and others in a January 2008 workshop.

Title of Task 4: Evaluate and refine hedonic land price model for Miami-Dade County and develop related model to evaluate land development pressure
Task Funding: See above
Task Leaders: Richard Bernknopf
Phone: 650-329-4951
FAX: 650-329-4710
Task Status (proposed):
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 3:
Task Personnel: Kevin Gillen, Tony Smith, Susan Wachter, Richard Bernknopf, and Anne Wein

Task Summary and Objectives: This task focuses on finalizing the hedonic land price model for Miami-Dade County, which will be implemented in the GIS-based web tool under Task 5. The hedonic land price model will be used to inform a development pressure model that uses future land use/cover patterns to predict future development pressures.

Work to be undertaken during the proposal year and a description of the methods and procedures: An economic value model for land parcels is composed of several factors that comprise total economic value of a particular parcel. One of the factors that included in a ranking of the economic value of a parcel is the estimated market value of that land. Various economic analyses regarding southeast Florida were reviewed in FY07 and it was noted that the economic metrics in use, including non-market economic arguments (community character, infrastructure costs, and flood protection), could be problematic for incorporation into the total economic value component of the EPM. Further evaluation and testing of the non-market impacts is underway and will continue in FY08. The hedonic land price model developed in FY07 will be refined based on these considerations in FY08. This land price model will be used to inform a development pressure model that uses future land use/cover patterns to predict future development pressures. In FY08, we will develop a draft development pressure model for future implementation into the GIS-web tool. This model will enable users to explore different land use change policies and their probable effects on future development pressures.

Title of Task 5: Evaluate, implement changes to, and manage the EPM GIS Database, implement Ecological Portfolio Model components in web interface, and evaluate and refine web interface usability and usefulness
Task Funding:
See above
Task Leaders: Paul Hearn
Phone: 703-648-6287
FAX: 703-648-4603
Task Status (on-going):
Task priority: High
Time Frame for Task 5:
Task Personnel: David Strong, Paul Amos

Task Summary and Objectives:

The principal components of Task 5 include:

  1. Continued collection, organization, and refinement of relevant GIS data:
    1. Land use and land cover
    2. Future land use, proposed land bridge development information
    3. Parcel data and property values
    4. Parcel data and property values
    5. Roads/streets
    6. Municipal, park, development, protected area boundaries
    7. Orthoimagery
    8. Population - current and future projections
    9. Elevation
    10. Estimates of land bridge mitigation costs
    11. Other data as needed

  2. Refinement of EPM GIS software including user interface(s) for calculating results, observing model inputs and results, and exploring conservation/development spatially-distributed compatibilities and externalities for possible future scenarios. Methods include approaches from economics and decision science. A prototype of the web interface is currently available within the USGS LAN (please contact William Labiosa, Richard Bernknopf, or Paul Hearn for more information).
  3. Setup and maintenance of central repository of GIS data and software for remote access by project contributors and users.

Specific Task Product(s): [List and include expected delivery date(s).]

GIS includes data and user interface(s) to EPM procedures and reports for ecological and economic analysis in South Florida. Delivery Date: Refined prototype, with the updated ecological value model and hedonic land price model implemented, will be presented to the Park Service in January 2008 and the GIS implementation and web interface will be updated based on feedback from this exchange.

Appendix 1: Map of Study Area

map of study area
[larger image]



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