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National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

Project Description

Ecosystems services—the benefits that natural ecosystems provide to society—are increasingly the focus of public and private land management decisions. Markets and other payment schemes for ecosystem services are emerging organically in a variety of governmental and nongovernmental organizations in many regions—but with little coordination. There is a growing demand for standardization of assessment tools (measures, metrics and standards) that can be applied in a consistent manner across ecoregions and by practitioners from agencies with differing programmatic mandates. This task will require agreement across ecologists, economists, social scientists, and practitioners from academia, state and federal agencies, nonprofits, and the private sector. This NCEAS working group will focus on the ecological and biodiversity characteristics related to the production of ecosystem services, especially, the development of robust, consistent methods and metrics for measuring the quantity and relative ecological value of these services in a multi-criteria decision framework. This effort will be coordinated with parallel activities, focused on social valuation, conducted through the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), and with a larger stakeholder audience represented by the National Ecosystems Services Partnership (NESP). NCEAS activities will include a series of workshops within interim tasks that will evolve as a national program on ecosystem services is refined and codified.
Working Group Participants

Principal Investigator(s)

Dean Urban, Patrick Comer, Lydia P. Olander

Project Dates

Start: January 1, 2013

End: September 30, 2013



Stewart D. Allen
US Department of the Interior
Kenneth Bagstad
US Geological Survey (USGS)
Frank Casey
US Geological Survey (USGS)
Patrick Comer
Janet Cushing
US Army Corps of Engineers
Frank W. Davis
University of California, Santa Barbara
Robert Deal
USDA Forest Service
Micah Effron
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
John Fay
Duke University
Anne D. Guerry
Stanford University
Kenna Halsey
EcoMetrix Solutions Group
Kevin Halsey
Dylan Harrison-Atlas
Colorado State University
Sarah Howell
Bureau of Land Management
Christy M. Ihlo
Duke University
Bruce Jones
Desert Research Institute
Jimmy Kagan
Portland State University
Lynn A. Maguire
Duke University
Edward J. Maillett
US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)
Rebecca Moore
US Department of the Interior
Anne Neale
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Lydia P. Olander
Duke University
Trista Patterson
USDA Forest Service
Mark L. Plummer
NOAA, Northwest Fisheries Science Center
Paul Ringold
Environmental Protection Agency
David Saah
University of San Francisco
Paul Sandifer
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Emily Schieffer
Duke University
Samantha Sifleet
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
David M. Theobald
National Park Service
Howard Townsend
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Dean Urban
Duke University
Sara Vickerman
Defenders of Wildlife
Lisa A. Wainger
University of Maryland


  1. Report or White Paper / 2016

    Data and modeling infrastructure for national integration of ecosystem services into decision making: Expert summaries

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