We talk turkey with Matthew Etterson about pesticides and bird reproduction. Etterson and colleague Rick Bennett are co-authors of two companion articles in the October 2013 issue of IEAM that present an innovative model for predicting effects of pesticides on bird reproduction. The model, MCnest can identify species-specific risks by incorporating key life history traits and timing of pesticide application. This approach goes beyond the confines of the traditional avian reproduction test by quantifying the magnitude of a pesticide’s effect on bird reproduction throughout a breeding season.
Death by a thousand cuts—the importance of cumulative effects on watersheds.
Environment damage often results from the collective effects of multiple stressors, be they chemical, biotic, or anthropogenic. But how to capture them all for an environmental impact assessment? Enter cumulative effects assessment (CEA). Monique Dubé discusses how she and colleagues developed and applied a framework for watershed CEA in several Canadian watersheds. Going beyond traditional effects- and stressor-based approaches, the watershed CEA incorporates both the existing condition of a watershed and predictions of its future condition to better inform planning and management efforts. Access the special series “Watershed Cumulative Effects Assessment” in the July 2013 issue of IEAM.
Did you know that scientists practice philosophy in their everyday research? Just as IEAM bridges the gap between scientific research and the application of science in environmental problem-solving, pragmatism bridges scientific theory and practice. In this episode, we hear from Glenn Suter about pragmatism—a philosophy that underlies the scientific approach. He and Susan Cormier are the authors of a commentary entitled “Pragmatism: A practical philosophy for environmental scientists.” Access their article in the April 2013 issue of IEAM.
The environmental community is abuzz with the concept of “ecosystem services.” But what does it really mean? And does this new way of thinking change how scientists approach environmental management? In this episode, Valery Forbes and Peter Calow provide an informal overview of how regulatory agencies can better incorporate the ecosystem services concept into ecological risk assessments (ERAs). Although agencies in Europe and the US have begun to integrate ecosystem services into ERAs, Forbes and Calow point out major challenges that must be overcome in order to substantially improve current ERA processes. Their article “Use of the ecosystem services concept in ecological risk assessment of chemicals” is part of the special series “Ecosystem Services: From Policy to Practice.” Access the series in the April 2013 issue of IEAM.
Nearly a decade after the US Environmental Protection Agency developed ecological soil screening levels (Eco-SSLs) to provide a source of toxicity reference values (TRVs) that would improve consistency among risk assessments, TRVs remain highly variable and without a standardization scheme. Join us as we speak with David Mayfield and Anne Fairbrother, authors of the article “Efforts to standardize wildlife toxicity values remain unrealized,” to hear how they describe the challenges that ecological risk assessors face when trying to employ wildlife toxicity values. Access their article in the January 2013 issue of IEAM.
California recently adopted an innovative framework for assessing sediment quality impacts to the benthic community based upon multiple lines of evidence. The seven articles in the series address one aspect of a multi-phase project to define sediment quality objectives, including a new sediment quality guideline (SQG) index.Steve Bay, Guest Editor of the special series “California Sediment Quality Objectives,” describes how the series articles define sediment quality objectives for California that will be used to protect fish, wildlife, benthic invertebrates, and even humans. Access the series in the October 2012 issue of IEAM.
Join us as we speak with Dr. David Barton, Guest Editor of the special series “Bayesian Networks in Environmental and Resource Management,” to discuss the basics of Bayesian approaches in environmental management. The series is composed of seven case study articles, each of which applies the Bayesian network approach to environmental and resource management problems around the world. Access the series in the July 2012 issue of IEAM.
Todd Bridges addresses the process of managing and remediating contaminated sediment in the United States. There are currently more than 300 sites in the US federal government’s program to clean up the nation’s uncontrolled hazardous waste sites (Superfund). Hear Todd discuss proposed actions to accelerate cleanup progress and improve the effectiveness of risk management. Read the article “Accelerating progress at contaminated sediment sites: Moving from guidance to practice,” in the April 2012 issue of IEAM.
Drs. Landis and Chapman are authors of an editorial in the October 2011 issue of IEAM entitled, “Well Past Time to Stop Using NOELs and LOELs.” The editorial was essentially a call to end the use of these two measures in favor of more statistically robust approaches. Join us as we hear more from Wayne and Peter on their call to move away from relying solely on hypothesis testing.