Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Willamette Valley Pesticide Risk: an Alternative Futures Approach to Integrated Pest Management

EPA Grant Number: R834895
Title: Willamette Valley Pesticide Risk: an Alternative Futures Approach to Integrated Pest Management
Investigators: Vache, K.
Institution: Oregon State University
EPA Project Officer: Pongsiri, Montira J.
Project Period: February 23, 2011 through February 22, 2013
Project Amount: $97,065
RFA: Pesticide Registration Improvement Renewal Act (PRIA 2) Partnership Grants (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Biodiversity



This study focuses on providing nonfederal decision-makers and community stakeholders with additional capacity to evaluate agricultural pesticide risk under uncertain future conditions. The goal of the project is to develop a model-based tool designed to facilitate assessments of IPM strategies under variable future conditions. Our primary question is: How will the broad adoption of IPM strategies influence off target pesticide concentrations and ecological risk? Sub-questions addressed include 1. Does the arrangement of IPM options across watersheds influence off-target movement and risk? 2. What are the potential implications of a changing climate on the relationship between pest management, ecological risk, and ecosystem services? 3. Can an alternative futures approach to IPM contribute to dissemination of the potential benefits to stakeholders?


The approach we employ is based on the development and exploration of alternative future scenarios that capture these linkage between hydrology, management, climate and risk, and allow characterization and extrapolation of spatial and temporal patterns of landscape change. We use a robust alternative futures analysis tool, Envision, to project future change in ways that are spatially and temporally explicit, that integrate multiple models and representations of important landscape processes, and that explicitly represent human decision-making through the use of policy constructs representing choice alternative for landscape management.

The pesticide fate and transport model will be based upon previous watershed-scale pesticide fate and transport modeling (Jenkins et al., 2004), which will be significantly extended during the bulk of the proposed work. The primary extension of the existing model will be to recapture it as a plug-in for an existing multi-agent based alternative futures analysis tool, Envision (Bolte et al., 2007). The combination of a physically-based pesticide fate and transport model along with the agent-based decision algorithms in Envision includes a number of potential benefits. One of the most compelling of these is that model agents (from Envision) can be designed to make pesticide use decisions based upon temporally evolving and spatially distributed climatic information, weighing potential benefits against water quality and non-target risk. Given this functionality, the model may be used to evaluate how decision-making may evolve under changing conditions, and perhaps most importantly, how these spatially and temporally distributed decisions may interact to influence future risk. This type of spatially-distributed modeling paradigm provides a means to compare effects of single crop management against IPM-based systems of production.

Expected Results:

We will focus on connecting the research results with IPM users. To this end, we will coordinate this modeling work with a USDA NIFA-funded E-IPM program running from 2010-2013 to quickly develop a mechanism to present results to a group of interested growers and other stakeholders. These presentations will be developed as part of already planned stakeholder meetings focused on IPM strategies.