Environmental Monitoring

Environmental Monitoring

We believe that if the monitoring (or sampling) program is to be effective it must be explicitly linked to particular outcomes.

You might be interested in the state of the environment, pressures and conditions, or in the outcome of management intervention. Different outcomes will require different designs, parameters, and reporting.

Traditionally the design of a program is based on the testing of a specific hypothesis, or the answering of a particular question. The important thing is that your hypothesis or question is specific enough that you can provide a meaningful test.

Your hypothesis needs to synthesise theory, observation and belief into a practical statement that can be tested. Use of Toulmin logic can assist in clarifying the different elements of your statement and the level of confidence (or risk) in the proposed model.

Monitoring will only help if it assists you to understand either the system you are working with or the management interventions you have undertaken. Use appropriate modeling etc to predict your outcomes (if you can't why are you doing them?) and carry those predictions/assumptions/understanding into the design of the monitoring program. A monitoring program is not a substitute for real action.

Can you draw a diagram of the situation of concern and how yourprogram "fits in"?


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