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®: CRE Regulatory Action of the Week

Researchers Say Data Quality Act is Incentive for Award Winning Risk Analysis Paper
The Society for Risk Analysis recently awarded its 2009 Best Paper Awards to a paper titled, Evaluating Critical Uncertainty Thresholds in a Spatial Model of Forest Pest Invasion Risk. This paper is a collaborative effort among USDA Forest Service, North Carolina State University, and Canadian Forest Service scientists. This paper explores the role of increased uncertainties in pest risk mapping. It was coauthored by Frank H. Koch (North Carolina State University), Denys Yemshanov (Canadian Forest Service), Daniel W. McKenney (Canadian Forest Service), and William D. Smith (Forest Service, Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center).

Using a nonnative woodwasp recently detected in the United States and Canada, the authors analyzed how uncertainty in risk models could change a risk map's outcome and, consequently, its reliability as a decision support tool. Risk maps are used by forest land managers, decision makers, and regulators to address quarantining, monitoring, and controlling invasive species.

One author, Bill Smith of the Forest Service, explains that "the most important aspect of this research is to facilitate the Agency's compliance with the Data Quality Act that ensures the quality of statistical information disseminated by USDA agencies."

CRE commends the authors for their excellent research and for their efforts to ensure Federal Government compliance with the Data Quality Act.

  • Click here a news release about the award
  • Click here for additional information about risk mapping, or to download the paper