Decision-Making in the Face of Uncertainty: Practitioner Views on Environmental Resource Management Challenges
PbAf 598H
A seminar on risk-based decision-making in public sector environmental management
Spring 2003
Tuesdays, April 1, 15, 29 and May 13, 27
12:00-2:00 pm
Mary Gates Hall, Room 258

Seminar Description

Decision makers in all settings and all specialties are required to make decisions on a daily basis with incomplete information. This type of decision-making is particularly challenging in the public sector, where there is often little reward for being right but potentially significant costs for being wrong.

This seminar focuses on the challenge of making resource management decisions in the face of uncertainty. The seminar brings invited speakers from different natural resource sectors to the classroom to discuss how their agencies approach decisions affected by uncertainty. The over-riding question to be addressed through the seminar is the following:

How can we effectively manage uncertainties in the public sector, wisely incorporating them into policy formulation and other decision-making responsibilities?

Seminar Requirements

The seminar is offered as a 1 credit seminar graded on a credit/no credit (C/NC) basis.
To get the credit, students are expected to attend the presentations and submit a 2 page, 1.5 spaced paper addressing the over-riding question of the seminar. The paper should tie together notes, thoughts, and observations made during the course of the seminar while drawing on examples presented by the speakers.

Due date: The paper must be submitted by noon on Friday, June 6. Papers can be submitted via email to Lara Whitely Binder or dropped off on campus to Prof. Cullen. If you would like the paper returned at the end of the quarter, please included a self addressed stamped envelope with your paper.


Syllabus and Speaker Schedule
Directions to Mary Gates Hall


Dr. Alison Cullen
Evans School of Public Affairs
Rm 209B Parrington Hall
Phone: 206-616-1654
Office hours by appointment

Dr. Amy Snover
UW Climate Impacts Group
216A King Building (off campus)
Phone: 206-221-2997
Office hours by appointment

General contact for course information (including any problems with the course website):

Lara Whitely Binder
UW Climate Impacts Group
216B King Building (off campus)
Phone: 206-616-5349