Environmental decisions frequently involve complex problems important to many stakeholders that are difficult to resolve. Unfortunately, many deliberations about environmental issues fall short of expectations. Frequently, consultations are not perceived as open and the scientific basis for decisions is questioned. Many lay and community participants may feel disenfranchised and believe that key elements are missing from recommended options. Structured decision processes may aid participants and decision makers define and articulate their objectives clearly (i.e., what matters in the context of this problem) and come up with good measures that will distinguish between the abilities of different options to satisfy specified objectives. Our research focuses on investigating the psychological, cultural, political, and geographic factors that drive public environmental perception and behavior and on developing methods to assist people and organizations in making environmental decisions that better reflect the facts and the stakeholders’ values.
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