Models in support of decision making

Presentation of "Models in support of decision making: deliberative effectiveness, explanatory effectiveness, and policy relevance of models in natural resources management. Case studies in the Laurentian Great Lakes" by Emily Therese Cloyd from the U.S. Climate Change Science Program Office (June 24, 2008).  This study focused on how participants experienced the process of using models to support policy decisions and what their experiences suggest for designing future processes. We analyzed four cases in which computer simulation models served as decision support tools, all drawn from the Laurentian Great Lakes.  For each case, we assessed how models have been used in decision making, their strengths and weaknesses as decision tools, the ways they have enhanced or undermined decision processes, and ways their development and use could be improved. We conducted in-depth interviews with modelers, managers, decision-makers, and stakeholders and drew on scientific and technical literature related to each case in order to understand the "success" of models as decision support tools in three areas: (1) deliberative effectiveness (fostering communication among participants); (2) explanatory effectiveness (achieving a shared understanding of the problem and solutions); and (3) policy relevance (relevant to the actual policy decisions being made).  Download the full report (JP Manno, R Smardon, JV DePinto, ET Cloyd, and SM Del Granado. 2008 The use of models in Great Lakes decision making: an interdisciplinary synthesis. Randolph G. Pack Environmental Institute: Syracuse, NY. Occasional Paper 16. 95 pp.) at

Download the Powerpoint presentation and audio recording.