Imagine you are conducting an environmental assessment, and you have several pieces of evidence for possible integration into the assessment. Are they all relevant? Are they equally valuable? Enter weight of evidence, a process to help assign value to pieces of information that might be useful for an assessment.
Two companion articles in the November 2017 issue of IEAM present different components of a recently developed US Environmental Protection Agency weight of evidence framework: one discusses inferring qualities while the other infers quantities. Author Susan Cormier highlights the frameworks in this episode.
Access the articles in the November 2017 issue of IEAM.
About the Guest
Susan M. Cormier, Ph.D. is a senior scientist with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Research and Development. Her research and professional activities center on a recurring theme of generating and assessing scientific information to inform environmental policy and management decisions. She has authored more than 100 peer reviewed publications making substantive contributions to the development of methods for biocriteria, field-based water quality criteria, causal assessment, and ecological risk assessment. Dr. Cormier co-led the development of the EPA’s “Stressor Identification Guidance document,” the CADDIS website, and co-authored the book “Ecological Causal Assessment.” She has identified causes of impaired aquatic systems and helped improve biological conditions in watersheds all over the USA and influenced assessments worldwide. Dr. Cormier also developed a new EPA method for setting water quality benchmarks using field-based evidence of species extirpation as the effect endpoint. In each research effort, weight of evidence has been an essential process for reasoning from evidence to conclusions.
Articles Referenced in this Podcast
Suter G, Cormier S, Barron M. 2017. A weight of evidence framework for environmental assessments: Inferring qualities. Integr Environ Assess Manag 13: 1038–1044. doi:10.1002/ieam.1954
Suter G, Cormier S, Barron M. 2017. A weight of evidence framework for environmental assessments: Inferring quantities. Integr Environ Assess Manag 13: 1045–1051. doi:10.1002/ieam.1953