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Decision Support and Web-based Implementation of Algorithms for the Ecological Assessment of Pesticides
Purucker, Tom, T. Hong, J. Flaishans, M. Snyder, AND C. Pascale. Decision Support and Web-based Implementation of Algorithms for the Ecological Assessment of Pesticides. Presented at 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs), San Diego, CA, June 15 - 19, 2014.
The EPA registers pesticides for use in the US and approves imported pesticides under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Before a pesticide can be registered, the EPA must assess whether the pesticide can be used without being harmful to humans or posing environmental risks, particularly to endangered species. To assess environmental exposures, mathematical models are used to predict pesticide concentrations in different media and ultimately predict effects to non-target species. The suite of models that the EPA uses has been in development since the 1980s, with a wide range of algorithmic complexity and technical implementation from Fortran executables to Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. We have overhauled these models to create a web service implementation. This integration combines relevant spatial information, chemical properties, ecological exposure parameters, pesticide use properties, and effects data into a decision support “dashboard.” This dashboard more efficiently conducts assessments and harmonizes parameterization across the many models that are currently used to estimate ecological pesticide risk in the US. To accomplish this, we have developed a script-based python library that reproduces algorithms underlying the original spreadsheet models and that can also interface with Fortran programs through RESTful services. The system is a platform-as-a-service implementation and is available to users through the use of modern web technologies that allow cloud-based ecological pesticide models to be run over the web. We present the ecological framework used by the EPA to assess ecological risks from pesticides and illustrate the interface that allows the models to be run via a browser.
Presentation for 8th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs, June 2014)
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LAB
ECOSYSTEMS RESEARCH DIVISION