Human health, ecosystem services, and their economic value as part of sustainability assessment for the Sacramento region

EPA Grant Number: RD836938
Title: Human health, ecosystem services, and their economic value as part of sustainability assessment for the Sacramento region
Investigators: Huber, Patrick , Baker, Matthew , Hollander, Allan , Lange, Matthew , Miller, Daphne , Quinn, Jim , Riggle, Courtney , Srivastava, Lorie
Institution: University of California - Davis
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: August 1, 2017 through July 31, 2019
Project Amount: $593,348
RFA: Integrating Human Health and Well-Being with Ecosystem Services (2016) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Human Health


Systematic land use planning for sustainability does not typically include human health and well-being as explicit inputs. We propose to use an existing land use planning process in the Sacramento region of California to test the effects of including issues related to human health, ecosystem services, and community needs on the outputs in such a process.


We will convene a new group of stakeholders that will augment the current group and provide input on which issues and metrics are of greatest salience given the regional context. Ontologies will be developed that link these issues and metrics to existing ontologies describing links between agricultural and land use data types. Data will be gathered to support these metrics where available and gaps in data availability tracked. These data will be used to undertake spatially-explicit land use optimization assessments using Marxan software under multiple future land use scenarios. Outputs from these assessments will be compared to those currently being developed as well as to existing general land use plans. Valuations of appropriate ecosystem services will be used to quantify these comparisons. A workflow will be developed to not only track the proposed project but to make the methods available outside not only the region but California as well. Stakeholders will be provided the results of the analyses and will work in conjunction with the project team to identify local use cases that in the post-project future could use the information generated here to develop sustainability strategies that link environmental and human well-being.

Expected Results:

The proposed project will result in a regional stakeholder group that includes human health and well-being practitioners and advocates. The team will collaborate with the stakeholders to produce health-agriculture-environmental ontologies. A comparison between optimized land use patterns will be enabled across future land use scenarios and sets of sustainability issues analyzed. Ecosystem service valuations will be assessed for the region under the land use modeling outputs. A generalizable workflow will be created enabling use of the methods developed here in other regions and states. Post-project use cases will also be identified for future funding opportunities.

Supplemental Keywords:

sustainability, indicators, ontology, ecosystem services, Marxan, land use, health, human well-being