Location: Range Management Research
Project Number: 3050-11210-009-061-A
Project Type: Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Sep 1, 2022
End Date: Jun 30, 2023
The objectives of this project are to support the continued implementation and refinement of the AIM Strategy in data-supported decision through the following activities: 1. Continue support field implementation of AIM monitoring projects in collaboration with BLM staff by: supporting monitoring project design and implementation for AIM-related projects as needed; continuing to research, develop, and support software packages (e.g., terradactyl) for monitoring data indicator calculations and to facilitate integration of monitoring data into BLM’s national monitoring database; supporting the BLM on the development and implementation of tools for designing monitoring projects and tracking their implementation in consistent and well-documented ways; and supporting and maintaining the LandscapeToolbox.org family of websites for organizing and disseminating rangeland monitoring content and information related to AIM monitoring. 2. Develop and implement approaches for setting benchmarks at multiple scales, leveraging multiple sources of information, including AIM. This will include guidance for contrasting different methods of setting benchmarks and a workflow for updating benchmarks using local knowledge and best professional judgement. 3. Continue to support the integration of AIM monitoring with other datasets and indicators, including remote-sensing products, management and treatment history datasets, ecological site descriptions, wind and water erosion models, and other agency (NRCS, NPS, ARS) core method datasets in both research studies and management decisions. 4. Contribute to national analyses and reports of condition on BLM land, including AIM annual reporting, program specific assessments, and evaluations of ecosystem services. 5. Provide training of BLM staff and partners in monitoring protocols and project implementation, including continued support in the development of training materials (e.g., websites, manuals, videos) to support AIM Core Methods trainings, AIM Project Leads trainings, and Analysis workshops. 6. Participate in knowledge sharing, training, workshops, meetings, and individual interactions with BLM technical staff so that both ARS and BLM members of the AIM team are familiar with and able to implement monitoring design, indicator calculations, and analysis tools as needed to support the BLM AIM program. 7. Continue to research, develop, and implement workflows and tools for monitoring data analysis and reporting including software packages to increase efficiencies in weighted analyses of landscape condition, ecological site summary tools, and custom indicators for use in wildlife habitat assessments, land-use plan effectiveness, and land health evaluations.
Cooperator will adopt the following approach: 1. Supporting field implementation of AIM monitoring projects a. Support monitoring project design and implementation for AIM-related projects as needed. b. Continue to develop and support software packages for monitoring data indicator calculations and to facilitate integration of monitoring data into national monitoring databases. c. Support the development, support, and implementation of tools for designing monitoring projects and tracking their implementation in consistent and well-documented ways. d. Support and maintain the LandscapeToolbox.org family of websites for organizing and disseminating rangeland monitoring content and information related to AIM monitoring. 2. Developing and supporting consistent monitoring protocols a. Coordinate and promote adoption of consistent, core monitoring protocols across US land management agencies and other organizations. b. Edit, publish (paper and electronic), and maintain (electronic) the second edition of the Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland, and Savanna Ecosystems which documents the AIM terrestrial core methods. c. Continue work in evaluating more cost-effective and reliable methods for increasing the accuracy and precision of AIM core and supplemental indicators and improve the documentation and implementation of these methods. d. Develop and implement tools for quantifying and improving quality of AIM core field data. e. Support the integration of AIM monitoring with other datasets and indicators by: i. Providing necessary scientific and technical support to develop a remote sensing strategy for AIM to identify remote-sensing monitoring indicators and opportunities to integrate field and remote sensing monitoring at different scales. ii. Development of analytical frameworks and workflows for leveraging multi-temporal data to monitor changes in large landscapes and aid in interpretation of AIM core field data. iii. Development of workflows to integrate physically and empirically modelled indicators (e.g., aeolian dust flux, soil erosion by water) with existing core indicators. iv. Providing collaboration platforms for integrating AIM and AIM-compatible data. 3. Training staff and partners in monitoring protocols and project implementation a. Develop of training materials (e.g., websites, manuals, videos) for field trainings in the BLM Core indicators and methods and workshops on AIM project design and implementation. b. The Jornada will contribute staff and scientific and technical expertise to support BLM trainings for BLM and partner personnel that will be collecting AIM data and BLM personnel responsible for developing and supporting AIM monitoring projects. Trainings will focus on: i. Design and implementation of AIM projects ii. Implementation of methods following approved protocols iii. Identification ecological sites and documentation of site characteristics iv. Data QA/QC procedures v. Support and feedback on data collection technologies. vi. Analysis and interpretation of AIM data