Nina Burkardt
Berton Lee Lamb
2008
<p>When Linda Pilkey- Jarvis and Orrin Pilkey state in their article, "Useless Arithmetic," that "mathematical models are simplified, generalized representations of a process or system," they probably do not mean to imply that these models are simple. Rather, the models are simpler than nature and that is the heart of the problem with predictive models. We have had a long professional association with the developers and users of one of these simplifications of nature in the form of a mathematical model known as Physical Habitat Simulation (PHABSIM), which is part of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM). The IFIM is a suite of techniques, including PHABSIM, that allows the analyst to incorporate hydrology , hydraulics, habitat, water quality, stream temperature, and other variables into a tradeoff analysis that decision makers can use to design a flow regime to meet management objectives (Stalnaker et al. 1995). Although we are not the developers of the IFIM, we have worked with those who did design it, and we have tried to understand how the IFIM and PHABSIM are actually used in decision making (King, Burkardt, and Clark 2006; Lamb 1989).</p>
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American Society for Public Administration
Mathematical models frame environmental dispute [Review of the article Useless arithmetic: Ten points to ponder when using mathematical models in environmental decision making]
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