Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 10:36:59 -0500
From: Caitlin Cusack <email@example.com>
Subject: [cem] Note from Andy Whitman
See below for helpful info. from Andy Whitman.
Caitlin and others,
If you have ever asked yourself why a volunteer monitoring program is measuring so many variables then you may find the following documents of interest :
(http://www.manometmaine.org/documents/FMSN2004-3LSIndex.pdf;http://www.manometmaine.org/documents/NHIndex.pdf and http://www.manometmaine.org/documents/SFIndex.pdf are examples of LSI described in the first document). The first document describes an rigorous, straight forward approach to create simple indices derived from large data sets. The resulting index is very easy to teach (takes about 40 hours to train on the full set of variables versus 4 hours max for the index),
easy to apply (2 variables in <30 minutes, the index takes about 8% of the time that it takes to measure the full set of variables),
has lower equipment cost (~$600 per set of equipment versus $150 for a DBH tape and 2 - 100 yd tapes),
easy to explain (most volunteers could easily understand the ecological basis of the index by the end of the 4 hour training), and
scientifically efficient (the index captures captures about 85% of the information gained by from the full set of variables).
If you struggle with getting volunteers to attend lengthily training efforts, equipment expenses, the challenges of managing unwieldy databases, getting large numbers of samples, QA/QC, and volunteer retention due to demanding program commitments, this example may provide you with some ideas of how to simplify your volunteer monitoring program with little to not loss of information yielded by your data stream. Caitlin you may want to include this on your CEM CD.
Manomet - Maine
Editor's note: We archived these three files on our site in the event the links change. They are available here:
FMSN2004-3LSIndex.pdf (229 KB pdf file)
NHIndex.pdf (339 KB pdf file)
SFIndex.pdf (313 KB pdf file)
Tuesday, 27-Nov-2012 10:41:22 CST