Organization: National Science Foundation (NSF)

Research Title: Methods and Models for Integrated Assessment

Funding Level (millions of dollars):

FY94 0.0
FY95 3.4
FY96 3.4

Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR) Component:
(a) Subcommittee: Global Change Research Subcommittee (100%) Social and Economic Sciences Research Subcommittee, Risk Assessment Group NSTC Committee on Fundamental Science
(b) Environmental Issue: Other- Integrated Modeling and Prediction (70%); Large-Scale Changes in Land-Use (10%); Climate Change (10%) Large-Scale Changes in Ocean Ecosystems (10%)
(c) Research Activity: Assessments: Integrated (100%)

Organizational Component:
NSF-wide activity coordinated through the
Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research Division
Directorate for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
NSF. Decision, Risk, and Management Science Program
NSF/SBER Room 995
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230

Point of Contact:
Robin Cantor
Phone: 703-306-1757

Research Goals:
To improve methods for integrated assessment frameworks, models and tools by supporting research projects which are (1) disciplinary efforts enhancing methodology and process understanding with significant implications for integrated assessment modeling; or (2) larger scale and interdisciplinary efforts enhancing methodology to link multiple human and natural systems with reference to high priority policy issues.

Research Description:
The methods for integrated assessment program supports research that enhances science for comprehensive approaches analyzing decision and policy problems where the studies of impacts and consequences require a broader set of information than does a standard research activity. Key features of integrated assessment problems that are addressed by the program are explicit and important influences of multiple physical and human systems, highly interdependent consequences, and a fundamental need for interdisciplinary perspectives on the analytical components of the modeled systems.

Program Interfaces:
The program emerged from an interagency process that recognized the challenging science needs of integrated assessment approaches. As a result, program planning calls for interagency coordination explicitly in the review and award recommendation processes.

Program Milestones:
- Completion of research projects that advance methods for integrated assessments from 1995 to 1999.
- Completion of research projects that address critical issues in model integration or model components from 1995 to 1999.
- Periodically promote activities that foster agency and research community interactions and communication about scientific enhancements in integrated assessment approaches.

Policy Payoffs:
Improved methods for integrated assessment approaches are fundamental to refining our understanding of complex, multi-system policy problems. Examples include decision and policy analysis in global environmental change, large-scale technological change, and international socio-political evolution. The benefits of better methods will accrue to policy analysts and decision makers at all levels by increasing our understanding of system interdependencies and feedback in complex policy problems. Improved methods for comprehensive analysis of integrated systems will provide sounder scientific bases for assessing the likely impact and efficacy of various types of policies and response strategies.