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NSF funding expands Decision Center's research

September 22, 2010

Arizona State University’s Decision Center for a Desert City announces the launch of DCDC II, a continuation and expansion of DCDC research made possible by a second round of funding from the National Science Foundation.

The award totals $6.5 million – $1.3 million per year for a span of five years.

NSF’s Decision Making Under Uncertainty (DMUU) Management Team funded only four of the 36 proposals submitted, following site visits to seven candidates in November and December 2009.

The funding will allow DCDC II to build upon DCDC’s foundational work in water, energy, land and resource decision-making in a complex, dynamic urban system. The second phase will advance knowledge about decision-making under uncertainty from three perspectives: (1) climatic uncertainties, (2) urban system impacts and (3) adaptation decisions.

Simulation modeling and boundary organization research will remain crosscutting themes, and DCDC II will continue to refine its WaterSim model to capture the scale dynamics, economic feedbacks and distributional effects of climate change decisions.

WaterSim links water supply and demand under current and future climate conditions.

“New knowledge regarding urban system dynamics can improve planning strategies to produce less climate-sensitive cities,” says Patricia Gober, DCDC co-director. “New knowledge concerning decision-making in the face of long-term environmental risk will aid in formulating adaptation strategies.”

The second phase of DCDC’s educational programs will continue to produce scholars that transcend the worlds of science and policy.

About Decision Center for a Desert City:
Arizona State University’s DCDC was one of the original five NSF DMUU centers nationwide established to foster better decision-making under climatic uncertainty, applying this guiding principle to water-management decisions in the urbanizing desert of Central Arizona. With the commencement of DCDC II in September 2010, DCDC continues this mission, applying lessons learned and building upon the foundations laid over the previous six years.

About the Decision Making Under Uncertainty Program:
The National Science Foundation’s Social, Behavioral and Economics Division created the DMUU program in 2004 under the premise that even the best climate science will never completely eliminate uncertainty about climate change, and that society therefore needs to be able to make the best possible decisions even while uncertainty persists.