1st Edition

Environmental Decision-Making in Context
A Toolbox

ISBN 9781439885758
Published April 25, 2012 by Routledge
218 Pages 24 B/W Illustrations

USD $87.95

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Book Description

Because of the complexity involved in understanding the environment, the choices made about environmental issues are often incomplete. In a perfect world, those who make environmental decisions would be armed with a foundation about the broad range of issues at stake when making such decisions. Offering a simple but comprehensive understanding of the critical roles science, economics, and values play in making informed environmental decisions, Environmental Decision-Making in Context: A Toolbox provides that foundation.

The author highlights a primary set of intellectual tools from different disciplines and places them into an environmental context through the use of case study examples. The case studies are designed to stimulate the analytical reasoning required to employ environmental decision-making and ultimately, help in establishing a framework for pursuing and solving environmental questions, issues, and problems. They create a framework individuals from various backgrounds can use to both identify and analyze environmental issues in the context of everyday environmental problems.

The book strikes a balance between being a tightly bound academic text and a loosely defined set of principles. It takes you beyond the traditional pillars of academic discipline to supply an understanding of the fundamental aspects of what is actually involved in making environmental decisions and building a set of skills for making those decisions.

Table of Contents


Science of Environmental Decision-Making
Natural Systems
Systems Thinking

Economics of Environmental Decision-Making
Categories of Economics Relevant to Environmental Decision-Making
Defining Value: Linking Environment and Human Interactions
Total Valuation Technique (Tv=Dv+Iv+Nuv)
Benefit–Cost Analysis

Values of Environmental Decision-Making
Objective Values
Subjective Values
Scaling Value Decisions

Case Problems
Introduction to Case Problems
Case Problem 1: Watershed Management: Linking Terrestrial and Aquatic Environmental Problems
Case Problem 2: Fisheries Management:.Managing Public Resources through a Mix of Private Incentives
Case Problem 3: Sustainability: Setting Priorities between Today and Tomorrow, A Total Valuation Application
Case Problem 4: Climate Change: Making Environmental Decisions in the Face of Uncertainty


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Chad J. McGuire is a professor of environmental policy within the Department of Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He background is in environmental law and environmental science. Chad writes extensively in the fields of environmental law, policy, sustainability and dispute resolution. He has worked on policy issues related to fisheries management, climate change, globalization and land use patterns. His expertise has been sought in both private and public forums, and he has served on public committees for both non-profit and government entities. He has over 15 years of experience in the environmental management field. 


"The book’s main goal is to introduce the reader to theories, methods, and tools used in environmental decision making. … the author has kept this promise … a great introductory handbook"
—Agnieszka D Hunka, University of Twente, the Netherlands

"The book is a short beginner’s user manual to make sense of the complexity of sustainability assessments conclusions."
—Ricardo Teixeira, Marie‐Curie Post‐Doctoral Researcher, University of Antwerp, Belgium