Statistical issues for monitoring ecological and natural resources in the
Olsen, A.R., Sedransk, J., Edwards, D., Gotway, C.A., Liggett, W., et al (1999)
Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 54, 1-45.
The United States funds a number of national monitoring programs to measure the
status and trends of ecological and natural resources. Each of these programs
has a unique focus; the scientific objectives are different as are the sample
designs. However, individuals and committees, all well aware of the cost of
ecological monitoring, have called for more effective monitoring programs. The
objective of this paper is to summarize existing programs' statistical designs
and discuss potential alternatives for improvement in national monitoring. Can
we improve the current situation by providing an overall framework for the
design or analysis of data from these disparate surveys? First, the paper
summarizes the objectives of these surveys, compares and contrasts their survey
designs as currently implemented, and determines what variables they collect.
Through this process we identify commonalities and issues that impact our
ability to combine information across one or more of the surveys. Three
potential alternatives are presented, leading to comprehensive monitoring in
the United States.