National Academy of Sciences Building
10:30 am Welcome and Introduction
Susan Offutt, Committee Chair
Kara Laney, Study Director
10:50 am Risk assessment to support decision making
Katherine von Stackelberg, Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis – View Bio | View Slides
Katherine von Stackelberg specializes in developing risk-based tools and methods to support sustainable approaches to environmental decision-making. She is a Research Scientist at the Center for Health and the Global Environment and the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, where she was Co-Leader of the Research Translation Core for a Superfund Research Program grant. In that capacity, she was responsible for developing outreach strategies and materials across diverse stakeholders to communicate the public health and policy implications of basic research related to exposure to mixtures of metals and neurodevelopmental health outcomes in children. She is also a part of the Biogeochemistry of Global Contaminants Sunderland Lab group. Much of her work has focused on incorporating quantitative uncertainty analysis (e.g., analytical, probabilistic, and fuzzy methods) into the environmental management process, and she has been at the forefront of the effort to explore methods for effectively communicating and interpreting uncertainty in scientific analyses to support environmental decision-making. Dr. von Stackelberg has managed and served as technical lead for several large US EPA and US Army Corps of Engineers projects focused on contaminated sediments. She is an experienced modeler, and served as technical lead for the development of several aquatic food web models used to support risk-based decision making for the Corps and US EPA, including FishRand, FishRand-Migration, and TrophicTrace. Dr. von Stackelberg is an advocate of decision analytic approaches for supporting decision-making by integrating environmental models, stakeholder preferences, and GIS-based data and modeling. She is involved in developing approaches to quantify changes in ecosystem services, and identifying relationships between ecosystem services and expected benefits with the goal of integrating economics and risk assessment to better quantify the benefits of proposed risk reductions as a result of management or regulatory actions for use in cost-benefit, cost-effectiveness, and value of information analyses. Dr. von Stackelberg serves as peer reviewer for numerous journals, and is on the editorial boards of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment and Risk Analysis and is area editor for ecological risk assessment at Risk Analysis. She served on the Board of Scientific Counselors on behalf of EPA for six years and was Chair for the last three. She served as Chair of the global and North America Science Committees for the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). She formerly served as Treasurer for the Society for Risk Analysis, and is a current Board member for the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. She is a member of the Scientific Advisors on Risk Assessment for the European Commission in Brussels. Dr. von Stackelberg received an A.B. cum laude from Harvard College, and a Sc.M. and Sc.D. from the Harvard School of Public Health in Environmental Science and Risk Management.
11:10 am Importance of incorporating ecosystem services within the context of social-ecological systems
Larry Kapustka, LK Consultancy – View Bio | View Slides
Dr. Lawrence (Larry). A. Kapustka, Ph.D., is a certified senior ecologist at LK Consultancy. Dr. Kapustka’s career has focused on improving the use of ecological science in environmental assessment and management, including the development of more realistic testing methods of potential environmental effects and enhanced consideration of a landscape perspective to frame risk assessment approaches. He also has career experience at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency conducting ecological risk assessments. EPA is one of the sponsors of the report and one of the federal agencies that regulates genetically engineered organisms. Public views of the use of biotechnology to improve forest health are also part of the study’s statement of task, and Dr. Kapustka has been an advocate of using the ecological risk assessment framework, especially the problem formulation phase, to establish dialogue among all affected stakeholders so that the sociological–ecological context can be used effectively to frame questions and structure the risk assessment approach.
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Improved assessment of risks of gene flow in the environment
Nathalie Isabel, Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Laurentian Forestry Centre – View Bio | View Slides
Dr. Nathalie Isabel is doing unique work to improve the assessment of risks associated with new genes in trees dispersing into the environment. One of the main risks associated with the use of genetically engineered organisms is the potential for genetic contamination of related native species by genes introduced through gene flow. In forests, the possibility and effects of such genetic introgression are difficult to measure directly because trees take many years to reach maturity. Dr. Isabel is working on ways to measure genetic introgression indirectly in poplar trees, a species that will be featured as a case study in the committee’s report. The results of her research will be important because they will provide better data for modeling the effects of planting a genetically engineered tree in the environment and predicting its fitness for the environment and its genetic effect on related species over time. Dr. Isabel is a research scientist with the Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service at Laurentian Forestry Centre.
1:20 pm Levels and logics of public and stakeholder support for the use of genomic tools for forest adaptation
Shannon Hagerman, University of British Columbia – View Bio | View Slides
Shannon Hagerman is an Assistant Professor of Social-Ecological Systems in the Department of Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia. Her research examines the science-policy-management interface in the context of adapting conservation and resource management to the impacts of climate change. She is particularly interested in dilemmas associated with proposals for novel interventions (such as assisted migration). Her research uses qualitative and quantitative social science methods to investigate the diverse ways in which people (publics, experts, stakeholders) perceive the risks and benefits of novel interventions, the preferences for policy alternatives that they hold, and the logics of these preferences. Insights from her novel interventions research over the past decade emphasize the importance of understanding how trust, and values-based commitments influence attitudes about novel, climate adaptive interventions for conservation and resource management. Dr. Hagerman is the co-lead for the GE3LS research (short for “genomics and its ethical, environmental, economic, legal and social aspects”) with the CoAdapTree: Healthy Trees for Future Climates project funded by Genome Canada. She is also the principal investigator on two federally funded (SSHRC) projects investigating novel interventions in conservation, and science-policy interactions in global conservation governance. Dr. Hagerman received her PhD in resource management and environmental studies at the University of British Columbia.