Implementing A program

Once you have a clear idea of the questions you want to answer (and all the preliminaries) you can start to design an appropriate program. Here we use a “Frequently Asked Questions” format to start you on the process of designing and implementing a sampling program. A simple overview of the “data cycle” is shown below:

Data are not an end in themselves: they are collected for a purpose and, ultimately, need to be used for that purpose.

  • How do I know if I have a problem?
  • How do I design a good sampling program?
  • How do I formulate an hypothesis for testing?
  • What is a “null” hypothesis?
  • How do I link management to the sampling program?
  • How do I get the best outcomes if I can’t design an ideal program?
  • What are Type I and Type II errors?
  • How do I guard against errors and confusion?
  • How do I choose the best methods?
  • How do I choose the most appropriate parameters for measurement?
  • Why can’t I use simple chemical concentrations in water?
  • How do I make sure the program is effective and efficient?
  • How do I get reliable results?
  • Why is it important to determine the size of the effect that is important?
  • How can I use existing data?
  • How do I choose the appropriate statistical methods?
  • Why is QA/QC important?
  • What are “Precision” and “Bias”? Why are they important?
  • Can I use volunteers for good sampling programs?