Branch Chief: Rudolph Schuster
FORT scientists in the Policy Analysis and Science Assistance Branch conduct and integrate biological, social, economic, and institutional analyses of conservation policies and management practices to help land and resource managers make informed decisions and resolve resource management conflicts.
USGS economists Leslie Richardson, Lynne Koontz, and Chris Huber, in collaboration with the University of Florida and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), are conducting an assessment of the value of ecosystem services that will be affected by restoration activities in Florida's central Everglades. The team will monetize the value of select ecosystem services using benefit transfer methods, and provide a qualitative description of those services that cannot be valued monetarily due to a lack of existing data. This assessment will highlight gaps in the existing literature to efficiently guide future ecosystem service valuation research in the central Everglades, and will have significance for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and its stakeholders, the general public, and USACE. This research effort is underway and was presented at the conference, "A Community on Ecosystem Services and Ecosystem Markets," held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 10-14 December 2012.