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Cape Cod National Seashore Prototype Ecosystem Inventory and Monitoring Program Developing Monitoring Protocols: Lessons Learned, Mistakes to Avoid Meeting of the Networks Austin,TX February, 2005 Carrie Phillips, I&M/Research Coordinator 508-487-3262x109 carrie_phillips@nps.gov

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Cape Cod National Seashore

Prototype Ecosystem Inventory and Monitoring Program

Developing Monitoring Protocols:

Lessons Learned, Mistakes to Avoid

Meeting of the Networks

Austin,TX

February, 2005

Carrie Phillips, I&M/Research Coordinator

508-487-3262x109

carrie_phillips@nps.gov

slide2

The collective experience of:

Kate Faulkner, CHIS

Karen Oakley, USGS

Andrea Woodward, USGS

Steve Thomas, MACA

Maggie MacCluskie, CAKN

Lisa Thomas, SCPN

Steve Smith, CACO

John Portnoy, CACO

Vel Potash, CACO

NPS I&M Protocol Guidelines:

Oakley, KL, LP Thomas, and SG Fancy. 2003. Guidelines for long-term monitoring

protocols. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2003, 31(4): 1000-1003.

http://science.nature.nps.gov/im/monitor/protocols/ProtocolGuidance.pdf

slide3

Monitoring Questions

Protocol Development Process:

Managing the Process

Methods & Testing

Data Management

Data Analysis

Feasibility / Implementation

Review

Misc. Considerations

Working with Cooperators

slide4

the monitoring questions come first

the more clear and explicit the questions,

the easier protocol development will be

!

- clear measurable objectives

- explicit temporal and spatial scales

- clearly defined terms

Monitoring Questions

slide5

don't confuse iterations

that increase focus

with chasing a moving target

!

Monitoring Questions

honing in on explicit monitoring questions

is often an iterative process but . . .

slide6

. . . and . . .

maintain discipline re: why and how you pursue each type of question

!

Monitoring Questions

when planning protocol development studies be clear about

- which are the monitoring questions

- which are discrete research questions

slide7

Protocol Development:

Managing the Process

don't skimp on the care and feeding of those doing the work be they cooperators, Park staff, or NW staff

maximize collaboration and integration among protocol development teams

slide8

Protocol Development:

Managing the Process

make sure your priorities are well documented and fully understood

decide which protocols will be included

in your phase III as early as you can

slide9

Protocol Development:

Managing the Process

don't forget:

- coordination with the Board

- coordination with with Park staff

- research permits and other compliance

slide10

Protocol Development:

Managing the Process

have a plan:

define the steps

for example: pilot studies, pilot data analysis, power analysis and

sample design, document proposed methods and sample design,

testing, revision, draft protocol, peer review, revision, implementation

establish benchmarks and timelines

if the plan is revised, document how

and why

slide11

Protocol Development:

Managing the Process

use a diagram/flow chart to show relationships among SOPs and protocols

programmatic SOPs for common elements (eg GIS, GPS, reporting, safety, laboratory analysis methods, managing images . . .)

slide12

Protocol Development:

Managing the Process

establish and follow clear file naming conventions to help track versions, reviews, revisions

use ftp to prevent clogged in-boxes and better manage versions

don't forget GPO requirements for multiple copies of large protocols (2500 pgs/$500)

slide13

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE

THE AMOUNT OF TIME

AND WORK INVOLVED!

!

Protocol Development:

Managing the Process

slide14

Protocol Development:

Methods & Testing

don't skimp on investigation of existing methods - don't overlook something that can be used directly or readily adapted

field testing and pilot projects are critical - make sure what works on paper works in the field

- generate pilot data for power analysis, to refine design assumptions, and refine analysis routines

slide15

be very clear why you are measuring each parameter and why you are using or testing each method

!

Protocol Development:

Methods & Testing

during pilot work, collect data at the most detailed, highest resolution feasible (sample size, # of parameters)

slide16

Protocol Development:

Methods & Testing

watch out for inordinate testing:

- be clear about the questions each pilot

study will be addressing

- document what specific methods will

be tested and why

- document in advance how the results

will be evaluated

slide17

Protocol Development:

Data Management

best when the NPS Data Manager develops the data management aspects of the protocol

work with other NPS Data Managers to develop common standards and approaches

slide18

Protocol Development:

Data Management

consider other databases you may want (or are required) to provide data to

define the interface requirements in the protocol

slide19

!

Protocol Development:

Data Management

INVOLVE THE DATA MANAGER FROM

THE BEGINNING!

slide20

Protocol Development:

Data Analysis

define the terms of your design

(eg. sample, sub-sample, population, replicate, site, location, sphere of inference . . .)

define the assumptions in your design

(eg. inter-annual variance, distribution, probability of capture/detection . . .)

slide21

Protocol Development:

Data Analysis

think through the analysis process step by step and involve your favorite statistician and data manager

the more specific and detailed your Data Analysis SOP, the better off you'll be

- optimally, include preprogrammed data analysis procedures in the appropriate software

slide22

Protocol Development:

Feasibility/Implementation

don't forget to consider essential capacities outside of NW $/staff

(eg. park GIS specialist, natural resource staff, rangers, park housing, admin support, vehicles . . .)

don't underestimate the work/time required for analysis and reporting

slide23

Protocol Development:

Feasibility/Implementation

look for strategies that maximize consistency and continuity of personnel

- beware of too much delegation, too little oversight

remember that buying power erodes with time

slide24

$$/feasibility

design/power

(monitoring questions)

relevance

Protocol Development:

Feasibility/Implementation

slide25

Protocol Development:

Review

make sure you understand fully your region's review process and timing

consider budgeting time for "friendly"

reviews before official peer review

consider the expertise and perspective of the reviewers

(and conversely, consider the limits of their expertise and perspective)

slide26

Protocol Development:

Misc Considerations

make sure the narrative includes language that ties the protocol to the overall NW plan and monitoring goals

keep in mind that a protocol is not only a prescriptive document - as a companion to monitoring reports, it will also be an important part of the record of what was done where, how, and why

slide27

Protocol Development:

Misc Considerations

consider any impacts inherent in your methods (eg. trampling, extractive sampling, turbidity, wildlife disturbance . . .)

- mitigate to extent feasible

- get agreement that remaining impacts are acceptable

- document in the protocol

slide28

Protocol Development:

Misc Considerations

if multiple years of implementation will be needed to test/verify assumptions, address the process (analysis, review, and potential protocol revision) in all relevant sections of the protocol

slide29

Protocol Development:

Misc Considerations

!

don't create unrealistic expectations

often monitoring data alone is insufficient to answer management questions - in many cases, the data you collect will be the platform for framing well-honed questions, justifying proposals for additional studies, and supporting study design

slide30

Working With Cooperators

find the right cooperator

(knowledge, experience, problem-solving skills, ability to collaborate, dedication . . . )

don't let time/$ constraints pressure you into working with someone you have doubts about

slide31

Working With Cooperators

know the expertise and perspective of potential cooperators

consider multi-party collaborations to get the right blend of expertise (taxa/system, methods, trend analysis)

slide32

Working With Cooperators

make sure the cooperator understands precisely what is required

-may researchers are used to pursuing a line of inquiry rather than delivering specific products

grad students can be great; grad students can mess you up

- be clear about timeframes, deliverables, and the professor's ultimate responsibility

slide33

Working With Cooperators

be ready to make a serious investment of time and attention

-meet early, meet often

-constructive feedback on a regular basis

-regular review of products

-refine monitoring questions vs. chase a moving target

-clarify tasks and timelines

write agreements as staged projects with concrete products at each stage

slide34

Working With Cooperators

most cooperators are not going to be able to write all parts of the protocol

(eg. SOPs for GIS/GPS, field season prep and close out, reporting, safety . . .)

be sure all parties involved are clear about how authorship will work, particularly in anticipation of future revisions

slide35

IMPLEMENTATION

[Answers - Status/Trend]

!

PROTOCOL

[Monitoring Questions]

a solid protocol is a lot of work

but it's worth it