Environmental Models: Uncertanties in Law and Science

May 14, 2003

Under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars is sponsoring a symposium on the use of computerized environmental models for decision-making. The recent passage of the Data Quality Act of 2001 has raised issues regarding the threshold for scientific acceptability of modeling results. This symposium is intended to foster discussion of some of these issues.
1:00 - 1:10 Welcome
David Rejeski, Director Foresight & Governance Project, Woodrow Wilson Center
1:10 - 1:25

Opening Remarks

William Farland, Chief Scientist in the Office of the Science Advisor, U.S. EPA

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1:25 - 1:50

Legal Aspects of the Regulatory Use of Environmental Modeling

Wendy Wagner, University of Texas School of Law

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1:50 - 2:15

Scientific Treatment of Uncertainty in Environmental Models

Kenneth H. Reckhow, Duke University

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2:15 - 3:00 Open Discussion All Participants
Featured speakers:
William Farland, serves as both the Acting Deputy Assistant Administrator for Science and the Chief Scientist in the office of the Science Advisor. Bill is a member of the Senior Executive Service with more than 23 years of experience with EPA in the offices of Pesticides, Toxic Substances, and in research and development, most recently as the Director of the National Center for Environmental Assessment. He is a recognized international leader in the testing and assessment of environmental agents and the 2002 recipient of the Society of Risk Analysis Outstanding Risk Practitioner Award.
Kenneth H. Reckhow is a Professor at Duke University and the Director of the Water Research Institute of the University of North Carolina. His research has focused on surface water quality modeling and decision analysis, particularly the treatment of scientific uncertainty, methods for combining information (in particular, Bayesian inference), statistical characterization of multivariate patterns in water quality, and recently, probabilistic modeling approaches.
Wendy Wagner is the Joe A. Worsham Centennial Professor in Law at the University of Texas School of Law. After receiving a M.E.S. and J.D. from Yale, she clerked for Judge Engel of the Sixth Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals, and practiced in both the Enforcement Division of the Department of Justice's Environment and Natural Resources Division and the Department of Agriculture's Office of the General Counsel. Professor Wagner specializes in environmental law and the use of science in environmental and public health policy.