Species Risk Assessment Tools: Science and Policy Applications

October 2, 2014 12:00 pm — October 3, 2014 2:00 pm

In recent years, efforts to proactively identify potentially harmful species have become increasingly sophisticated. Since weed risk assessment (WRA) methodologies were introduced in 1999, scientists have worked to increase their accuracy and sophistication, most recently culminating in USDA’s 2012 introduction of a new, state-of-the-art WRA tool for use in the United States. At the same time, scientists are working to develop predictive tools to assess invasion risks associated with terrestrial and aquatic animal species. 

As species risk assessment tools become more widespread, policymakers have increasingly begun to focus on how they can be incorporated into invasive species policies and programs. State and federal agencies alike are using these methodologies, whether informally, as decision-support tools, or though formal regulatory mandates.

This webinar reviewed new species risk assessment tools for plants and animals and provided examples of how federal and state agencies are using them to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their policies and programs. 

Slides from the webinar can be accessed here


Anthony Koop [video], Plant Epidemiology and Risk Analysis Laboratory, Center for Plant Health Science and Technology, USDA - APHIS - PPQ
Kerrie Kyde [video]
, Invasive Plant Ecologist, Natural Heritage Program, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Reuben Keller [video part 1] [part 2, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Science, Loyola University Chicago
Craig Martin [video], Chief, Branch of Aquatic Invasive Species, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


Stas Burgiel, Assistant Director for Prevention and Budgetary Coordination, US National Invasive Species Council


Background Materials:

Laws & Regulations
HB831- Invasive Plants Prevention and Control
Title 15 Department of Agriculture- Plant Pest Control

Closing the Screen Door to New Invasions (Keller & Springborn 2013)
Weed Risk Assessment for Aquatic Plants: Modification of a New Zealand System for the United States (Gordon et al. 2012)

General Links
Noxious Weeds Program Risk Assessments
Organisms in Trade- Guide to What’s Right: Buying, Selling, and Owning Aquatic Plants and Animals