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In classical decision science, a decision process begins with discovery. That is, what is the current state of the system about which some subsequent decisions are to be made? In the context of spatial decision problems, we refer to this as assessment. Strictly speaking, assessment is not a type of spatial decision problem, but it is an essential component of all spatial decision processes. Assessment is concerned with characterizing the current states and processes of the landscape that are relevant to the decision problem. As such, it provides an essential context for planning. In a broader context, assessment (also described as evaluation) is part of the adaptive management process.

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