Creating Ecosystem Services Indices with EnviroAtlas Metrics

Authors: Ferdouz Cochran*, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE); Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Durham, NC, USA, Liem Tran, Department of Geography, The University of Tennessee Knoxville, Knoxville, TN, USA, Laura Jackson, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Durham, NC, USA, Megan Mehaffey, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Durham, NC, USA, Anne Neale, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Durham, NC, USA, Betsy Smith, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Durham, NC, USA
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Urban and Regional Planning, Sustainability Science
Keywords: Ecosystem Services, EnviroAtlas, Geospatial Index
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bacchus, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


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 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. 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, identified upper and lower bounds, and normalized metrics based on min-max. 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.

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