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Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance (SADA) Home Page




Click here for the SADA home page.




Version 3.0 has been released. You can download version 3.0 at the Download page. Join the SADAusers email list for questions and user support by sending a blank email to


Spatial Analysis and Decision Assistance (SADA) is free software that incorporates tools from environmental assessment fields into an effective problem solving environment. These tools include integrated modules for visualization, geospatial analysis, statistical analysis, human health risk assessment, ecological risk assessment, cost/benefit analysis, sampling design, and decision analysis. The capabilities of SADA can be used independently or collectively to address site specific concerns when characterizing a contaminated site, assessing risk, determining the location of future samples, and when designing remedial action. A fully functional freeware version is available on the download page of this web site. SADA is developed in The Institute for Environmental Modeling at the University of Tennessee.


SADA is an evolving freeware product targeted to individuals performing environmental assessments in support of decision-making. The primary objective is to create a user friendly software package for environmental characterization and decision-making. This problem solving environment applies and integrates a number of algorithms that can either be used in a stand alone fashion or in the direct support of performing a site assessment. The software processes and produces information in a clear, transparent manner, directly supporting decision processes, and can serve as a communication tool between technical and non-technical audiences. The end result is that SADA can be used to facilitate decisions about a given site in a quick and cost effective manner. SADA has a strong emphasis on the spatial distribution of contaminant data and is therefore best suited for anyone who needs to look at data within a spatial context, such as:


• Statisticians

• Risk Assessors


• GIS Users


• Project Managers


• Stakeholders


A number of the capabilites present in SADA are also present in the FIELDS (Fully Integrated Environmental Location Decision Support) system. The FIELDS System is a set of software modules accessible from ArcView that are designed to simplify sophisticated site and contamination analysis. Each module is a self contained unit that can be applied to a variety of scenarios. The FIELDS system is produced by the FIELDS team, which consists of EPA employees and interns from both the Water Division, and the Superfund Division and numbers nearly 25 core members with about a dozen other part-time members in EPA Region 5. The FIELDS team's mission is to identify, assess, communicate and help solve priority environmental problems in specific geographic areas. The FIELDS System has been nationally recognized by the Agency for its ability to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of environmental cleanup efforts. The FIELDS main website can be accessed here and the software can be downloaded here.

Ultimately, our objective is to provide environmental assessors with a unified software package that links practical characterization tools to decision-making capabilities (particularly human health and ecological risk assessment). The integration of the human health risk capabilities of SADA with modules for ecological risk assessment can help accomplish EPA's mission as outlined in the Ecological Research Strategy to: "develop and demonstrate a multiple pathway, multiple chemical model that integrates human health and ecological cumulative exposure and risk assessments." In addition, using the same problem solving environment for human health and ecological risk assessment assures consistency between the two assessment efforts in terms of the data that is used and the decision rules that are addressed. Our intention is to maintain it as a free product that will not depend on other software products (other than Windows).

SADA is funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. It is developed in The Institute for Environmental Modeling at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.