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The role of sample surveys for monitoring the condition of the Nation's lakes

Larsen, D.P., Thornton, K.W., Urquhart, N.S. and Paulsen, S.G. (1994)

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 32, 101-34.


In order to meet a growing need to determine the condition of the nation's ecosystems and how their condition is changing, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) developed EMAP, the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program. A common survey design serves as the foundation on which to base monitoring of status and trends among diverse ecosystem types. In this paper, we describe how that design is tailored for the selection of a probability sample of lakes on which to make measurements of lake condition, and illustrate the process for selecting a sample of lakes in the northeastern United States. Finally, we illustrate how measurements taken on the sample of lakes can be summarized, with known uncertainty, to describe the condition of a population of lakes.


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