Glossary

This website is meant to be accessible, but sometimes the language has to be technical to be accurate and precise. The following are some of the most common terms of art that you’ll see used.

Core Indicators: measurable ecosystem component applicable across many different ecosystems, management objectives, and agencies. Core aquatic indicators are recommended for application wherever the BLM implements monitoring and assessment of wadeable perennial streams.


Contingent Indicators: measurable ecosystem component having the same characteristics of cross-program utility and consistent definition as core indicators, but that are measured only where applicable. Contingent indicators are not informative everywhere and, thus, are only measured when there is reason to believe they will be important for management purposes.


DIMA: the Database for Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment is a customizable Microsoft Access tool used for terrestrial AIM electronic data collection.


Indicator: component of a system whose characteristics (e.g., presence or absence, quantity, distribution) are used as an index of an attribute (e.g., biotic integrity) that is too difficult, inconvenient or expensive to measure


 Master Sample: A dense pre-selection of potential sampling locations to jumpstart sampling designs


Objective: a formal statement detailing a desired outcome of a project


Population: The entire “universe” to which the results of sampling apply. The population is defined by many factors; the area you’re interested in, objectives and constraints


Quality assurance: proactive process employed to maintain data integrity and is a continuous effort to prevent (e.g. training, calibration, proper technique), detect (e.g. on-plot data review), and correct measurement errors (e.g. readjustments in response to data review)


Quality control: reactive process to detect measurement errors after the data collection process is complete

Reporting Unit: Subsets of the study area that you need summary information about (e.g., watersheds, allotments, greater sage grouse habitat units) A study area can have different types of reporting units. Knowing the units ahead of time helps ensure adequate sampling. Reporting units may be different than stratification


Sampling: using selected members to estimate attributes of a larger population.


Sampled population: That portion of the target population that you could actually sample


Spatially Balanced Sampling: samples are evenly spaced across study area and ordered to maximize spatial dispersion of any sequence of units.


Strata: Subdivisions of the study area to divide up sampling efforts to control for heterogeneity. Strata are ideally defined as particular parts of the landscape (e.g., flood basin or hill summit) within which soil type, vegetation, management and current status are relatively similar. All areas classified by the same stratum are expected to respond similarly to changes in management and disturbances. Strata DO NOT have to be sampled with the same intensity.


Stratification: Dividing a population or study area (e.g., rangeland landscape) up into sub-groups or subunits called strata. This is typically done prior to sampling


Supplemental Indicators: a measurable ecosystem component that is specific to a given ecosystem, land use, or management objective. No specific supplemental indicators or associated methodologies are recommended in the NAMF given the diversity of probable indicators.


Stratification: Stratification is dividing a population or study area (e.g., rangeland landscape) up into subgroups or subunits called strata. Stratification enables data collection focused on management questions, supports data interpretation, helps land managers set realistic monitoring objectives – improves efficiency in monitoring efforts, and separates and reduces variability


Study Area: Defines the extent of your population and is the maximum area you want to draw conclusions about


Target population: The population that you intend to draw conclusions about


Trend: the direction of change in ecological status or resource value rating observed over time

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