Science Inventory

Evaluating the sustainability of a regional system using Fisher information in the San Luis Basin, Colorado

Citation:

EASON, T. AND H. CABEZAS. Evaluating the sustainability of a regional system using Fisher information in the San Luis Basin, Colorado. JOURNAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. Elsevier Science Ltd, New York, NY, 94(1):41-49, (2012).

Impact/Purpose:

To inform the public

Description:

This paper describes the theory, data, and methodology necessary for using Fisher information to assess the sustainability of the San Luis Basin (SLB) regional system over time. Fisher information was originally developed as a measure of the information content in data and is an important method in information theory. Our adaptation of Fisher information provides a means of monitoring the variables of a system to characterize dynamic order, and, therefore, its regimes and regime shifts. This work is part of the SLB Sustainability Metrics Project, which aimed to evaluate movement over time towards or away from regional sustainability. One of the key goals of this project was to use readily available data to assess the sustainability of the system including its environmental, social and economic aspects. For this study, Fisher information was calculated for fifty-three variables, which characterize the consumption of food and energy, agricultural production, environmental characteristics, demographic properties and changes in land use for the SLB system from 1980 to 2005. Our analysis revealed that while the system displayed small changes in dynamic order over time with a slight decreasing trend near the end of the period, there is no indication of a regime shift. Therefore, the SLB system is stable with very slight movement away from sustainability in more recent years.

URLs/Downloads:

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 02/01/2012
Record Last Revised: 03/09/2012
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 239648

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

SYSTEMS ANALYSIS BRANCH