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|Worksheet for Developing a Long-term Status Monitoring Program|
This worksheet is meant to guide you through the choices and calculations that you will need to make when creating your monitoring program. If you fill out the form it will become a reference point for those who follow you as to why and how you created your monitoring program and how you plan to analyze the resulting data. It also provides, in writing, a rationale, philosophy, and design that can be excerpted and placed into proposals and reports. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it creates a document that can be sent out for review to your statistical support team or consultants, who will be happy to see that you have considered many of the biological and statistical issues that many managers now skip when creating a new monitoring program.
To work with this document you can either copy and paste this page into a word processor and expand the spacing among the questions to suit your needs or you can download our text or Microsoft WORD formatted versions.
What is the overall GOAL of your monitoring program? (See our section Why you are creating a monitoring program? for help in clarifying your objectives.)
What SPECIES will you monitor? (See our guide to choosing a species or set of species.)
Explain the reasons you chose those species and not others.
Provide a MAP or otherwise define the boundaries of your study area. (See our page on where to put sampling points.)
Explain which MONITORING APPROACH you have chosen and if you have chosen an index approach explain why you feel that changes in species detectability over time are not an issue or problem in your situation. (See our page on monitoring approaches.)
What COUNTING TECHNIQUE will you use to monitor your animals? (See our page on counting techniques.)
Why did you choose that counting technique over other ways of counting your species?
What technique are you going to use to ANALYZE TRENDS? (See our page on setting sample sizes and read about choosing a statistical model/test.)
Why did you choose that analysis technique over other approaches?
What ALPHA level are you going to use? (See our page on setting sample size.)
What level of POWER are you going to use? (See our page on setting sample size.)
Justify both the alpha and power levels you chose.
What is the SMALLEST NUMBER OF YEARS over which you want to detect changes? (See our page on setting sample size.) (Note that while you may want to detect change immediately, the cost for detecting changes over short time intervals is high.)
What is the SMALLEST AMOUNT OF CHANGE that you would like to detect? (See our page on setting sample size.)
What method will you use to CALCULATE SAMPLE SIZE? (See our page on setting sample size.)
If using power analysis, what mean and standard deviation will you use in those calculations (or COEFFICIENT OF VARIATION)? (See our page on setting sample size.)
What was the source of that mean and standard deviation?
What SAMPLE SIZE did you settle on?
By what means did you determine that sample size?
Where will you locate your plots or SAMPLING LOCATIONS? (See our page on where to put sampling points.)
Will you sample once every year or at some other TIME INTERVAL?
What TIME OF YEAR will you place your samples?
Why did you choose that period of time?
TIME AND LABOR FACTORS
How many days will field collection take?
How will bad weather, weekend, and vacation days be factored in?
How many observers will be needed?
What sort of training will the observers need prior to starting?
How much time will analysis take?
Who will be doing the analyses?
New equipment purchases:
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