Olsen, Anthony R. 1997. Editorial: environmental monitoring and assessment. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 4(2):93-94.
The papers in this issue cover topics of large-scale survey design, design-based and model-based inference from such surveys, and analysis of existing environmental data. The federal monitoring community currently appears to be reassessing its approach to environmental monitoring (CENR,1996). It is too early to discern what the outcome will be; but discussions are occurring within and between federal agencies as well as with the scientific community. Will these discussions result in the creation of a federal statistics program for the environment, similar to those for economics, education, transportation or others? We can not answer this question now, but statisticians who are directly involved in current monitoring efforts or who are knowledgeable about these efforts can have a critical role in the outcome. Whether they do depends largely on whether they are willing to participate actively in the discussions. I view this special issue as contributing to the scientific basis for the reassessment of monitoring in the United States.