Science Inventory

Creating Ecosystem Services Indices with EnviroAtlas Metrics

Citation:

Cochran, F., L. Jackson, M. Mehaffey, A. Neale, Betsy Smith, AND L. Tran. Creating Ecosystem Services Indices with EnviroAtlas Metrics. Association of American Geographers, New Orleans, LA, April 10 - 14, 2018.

Impact/Purpose:

To present and discuss with geographers the development of a statistically-based index to simplify complex information about the ecosystem services potential of local environments.

Description:

To support the well-being of future generations, ecosystem services (ES) need to be fully understood and evaluated by decision-makers. Geospatial tools, such as the EnviroAtlas, allow decision-makers, urban planners, public health professionals, and other stakeholders to view and assess information from multiple ES metrics. To facilitate and possibly expedite ES decision-making, ES indices can be created at both community and regional levels. In this presentation, we will discuss a hierarchical framework for aggregating ES metrics to generate maps of ES indices for targeted landscape planning outcomes. At the community level, our framework includes health promotion and hazard buffering ES metrics. After statistically evaluating each metric for each EnviroAtlas community, we selected appropriate methods for aggregation. The first level of aggregation involves a weighted distance measure, where we computed objective weights by accounting for correlations and multiple coefficients of determination for metrics. Before calculating the objective weights, we set directionality and identified upper and lower bounds based on ideal values, percentiles, or expert knowledge, and then we normalized metrics based on min-max. In the second level of aggregation, decision-makers and users can subjectively weight composite indicators, which are summed to get the final index. Multiple ES indices can be made publicly available in EnviroAtlas and updated with each Census to inform landscape planning and promote community and regional well-being. This abstract has been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Its contents do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Agency.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PRESENTATION/SLIDE)
Product Published Date: 04/12/2018
Record Last Revised: 04/19/2018
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 340483

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

ENVIRONMENTAL PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION

EPIDEMIOLOGY BRANCH