Environmental Monitoring

Environmental Monitoring

There is an extensive literature on the use of less than ideal (or "non-experimental") designs.

The key aspects are:

  • Do not use invalid statistical tests so you over-interpret your data;
  • The results of these designs are not necessarily useless, rather that they cannot be generalized to other times and places, ie. they lack strength of inference. If you accept that they will be site specific, particularly if linked to other site specific management data, they can still be useful to guide management. Often they can be a first step to developing improved hypotheses for later, more comprehensive, studies.

At another level it may be possible, by collaborating with other agencies and councils, to design collectively a study whereby what each one might do independently can be incorporated into a more powerful design. If these opportunities are identified early then many other stakeholders can be invited into the team to develop improved outcomes.

See the discussion on the design of programs for a more complete overview of the different designs available and further references.


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