Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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An Adaptive Landscape Planning and Decision Framework for Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus) Conservation


July 2013 - June 2018


Our project goal is to develop a decision support system for the iterative selection of conservation actions that leads to a viable landscape supporting the statewide tortoise population and associated species and communities of interest. We will approach this goal by using principles of structured decision making, in which the decision maker, Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR), is directly involved in the articulation of objectives, the definition of alternative actions, and the development of predictive models to evaluate consequences of different actions. Key uncertainties that make the decision difficult will be identified with DNR and incorporated into the decision making framework. This work will result in an integrated system of databases, computer algorithms, and monitoring designs that provides a mostly automated process for decision making under uncertainty and for acquiring information to reduce uncertainty.

Research Products and Activities

Peer Reviewed Publications

  • Jafari, N., B. L. Nuse, C. T. Moore, B. Dilkina, and J. Hepinstall-Cymerman. 2017. Achieving full connectivity of sites in the Multiperiod Reserve Network Design Problem. Computers and Operations Research 81:119-127. Abstract |  Download  |  Publisher Website | 


  • Moore, C., and J. Hepinstall-Cymerman. 2013. (Poster) A landscape planning and decision framework for gopher tortoise conservation in Georgia. 35th Annual Gopher Tortoise Council Meeting, 11-13 October 2013, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
  • Moore, C. 2014. An adaptive landscape planning and decision framework for gopher tortoise conservation: Overview, progress, and reserve design needs. Meeting to consider research needs in dynamic reserve design, 24 April 2014, Gainesville, FL.
  • Moore, C. 2014. Adaptive landscape planning and decision framework for gopher tortoise conservation. Meeting of the Gopher Tortoise Candidate Conservation Agreement Team, 9 July 2014, Savannah, GA.
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Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 239

Phd Students: 142

Post Docs: 53

University Staff: 240

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 701

Scientific Publications: 1936

Presentations: 4260



  • Clinton MooreCo-Principal Investigator
  • Jeff Hepinstall-CymermanCo-Principal Investigator
  • Matt ElliottCo-Principal Investigator
  • Bryan NuseNon-PI Collaborator
  • Lora SmithCo-Principal Investigator
  • Nahid JafariasbaghNon-PI Collaborator

Funding Agencies

  • NCSU USDI Climate Science Center


Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey