GeoDesign Knowledge Portal

Desert Tortoise Recovery Spatial Decision Support System (Version 3)

Since 2007, the Redlands Institute has been working with the USFWS Desert Tortoise Recovery Office (DTRO) to create a threats-based spatial decision support system to help the DTRO coordinate species recovery activities such as research, monitoring and management actions. At its core the system uses spatial characterizations of existing threats combined with a weighted threat-stress conceptual model to estimate changes in stresses for tortoise populations due to specific recovery actions.

V3 2011-2012
For the current, 3rd iteration of the SDS, the team is being supported by the California Energy Commission to further improve the system’s ability to calculate the impacts of proposed solar facilities on the desert tortoise population in California. Supported by the DTRO, the team is simultaneously creating a user friendly front end to the SDS system that can be used directly by managers to explore threats data and the corresponding stress change analyses, and rank recovery
actions in their own areas. By the end of 2011, when this 3rd iteration is scheduled to be completed, the DT SDS will include an implementation and monitoring support system for managers, a habitat connectivity model, and an initial demographic model for the desert tortoise population.

Key New Features
• Integration of a full demographic model for stresses to population change
• Development of an ArcGIS desktop application to design recovery actions
• Scenario management for alternative energy installations and offsetting recovery actions
• Web-based Implementation and Effectiveness monitoring application integrated with Conceptual Model Manager
• Integrated Sensitivity analysis module

First Created


Platform (No Longer Available)

Systems Functional Components

Threatened And Endangered Species Conservation

Systems Functional Components

Alternative Evaluation

Status Assessment


Species Threat And Stress Modeling

Systems Functional Components

Concept Design

Condition Analysis And Assessment

Design Requirement Development

Domain Data Analysis

Domain Knowledge Process Model Development

Establish Implementation And Effectiveness Metrics

Evaluation Criteria Specification

Impact Analysis

Plan Review And Evaluation

Rank Alternatives

Scenario Simulation And Comparison

Specify Criterion Weight

Suitability Analysis


Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served

Analytical Hierarchy Process

Opinion Survey

Pairwise Comparison


Sensitivity Analysis

Weighted Linear Combination

Decision Process Activity Types Served

Analysis Results Exploration Support

Collaboration Support

Conceptual Model Development Support

Data Management

GIS Analysis Integration

GIS Display Integration

Model/Service Management

Process Flow Control

Scenario Management And Comparison



Conceptual Models

Spatial Dataset


Contact Person

ESRI Geodatabase Feature Class

Microsoft Excel (.Cvs)

Raster ESRI Geodatabase Raster Dataset


Conceptual Models



Parent Categories

ESRI Geodatabase Feature Class

Microsoft Excel (.Cvs)

Raster ESRI Geodatabase Raster Dataset

Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served

All (User Defined Analysis Extent)

Decision Problem Types Targeted

All (User Defined Unit Of Observation)

Decision Process Activity Types Served

Windows 7

Windows Vista

Output Type




Methods And Techniques Implemented

Some Scientific Background

Methods And Techniques Implemented

Extensive Computer/GIS Programming Skills

Methods And Techniques Implemented

Prototype Being Applied

Input Data Format

The Redlands Institute (RI)

Scientific Expertise Level Required

Nathan Strout


Software Tools And Models - All

Methods And Techniques Implemented


Planning And Decision Process Phases/Steps Served

Alternative Ranking, Decision Making

Condition Analysis And Assessment

Data Development, Management And Analysis

Decision Alternatives Generation, Scenario Simulation

Domain Knowledge Modeling

Plan Implementation, Monitoring, Performance Evaluation


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IntroductionGeodesign Problem TypesPlanning/Decision ContextPlanning And Spatial Decision ProcessMethods And Techniques
methods and techniques; methodology
TechnologyData And Domain KnowledgePeople And ParticipationGeodesign Resources