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Cape Cod National Seashore Prototype Ecosystem Inventory and Monitoring Program

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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Cape Cod National Seashore Prototype Ecosystem Inventory and Monitoring Program

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  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Monitoring Questions Protocol Development Process: Managing the Process Methods & Testing Data Management Data Analysis Feasibility / Implementation Review Misc. Considerations Working with Cooperators

  4. 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

  5. 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 . . .

  6. . . . 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Protocol Development: Managing the Process don't forget: - coordination with the Board - coordination with with Park staff - research permits and other compliance

  10. 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

  11. 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 . . .)

  12. 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)

  13. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE AMOUNT OF TIME AND WORK INVOLVED! ! Protocol Development: Managing the Process

  14. 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

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Protocol Development: Data Management consider other databases you may want (or are required) to provide data to define the interface requirements in the protocol

  19. ! Protocol Development: Data Management INVOLVE THE DATA MANAGER FROM THE BEGINNING!

  20. 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 . . .)

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. $$/feasibility design/power (monitoring questions) relevance Protocol Development: Feasibility/Implementation

  25. 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)

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. 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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. 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)

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. IMPLEMENTATION [Answers - Status/Trend] ! PROTOCOL [Monitoring Questions] a solid protocol is a lot of work but it's worth it

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