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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #230396

Title: Customizable tool for ecological data entry, assessment, monitoring, and interpretation

item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon
item Burkett, Laura

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2008
Publication Date: 8/3/2008
Citation: Courtright, E.M., Herrick, J.E., Bestelmeyer, B.T., Burkett, L.M. 2008. Customizable tool for ecological data entry, assessment, monitoring, and interpretation [abstract]. Ecological Society of America Abstracts. Paper No. PS 66-136.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Database for Inventory, Monitoring and Assessment (DIMA) is a highly customizable tool for data entry, assessment, monitoring, and interpretation. DIMA is a Microsoft Access database that can easily be used without Access knowledge and is available at no cost. Data can be entered for common, nationally accepted (by NRCS, BLM and others) vegetation and soil monitoring methods, including the methods described in the “Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland, and Savanna Ecosystems.” Additionally, NRCS ecological site description data can be collected starting at a low intensity (e.g., general site characteristics, waypoints and photos) and building to a high intensity (e.g., detailed soil and vegetation data). Stored data are easily exported to other databases and spreadsheets while previously entered data can be quickly imported into the database via Excel templates. Indicators and reports, including graphs, are automatically generated from entered data. In addition to data, the database stores critical metadata such as field crew personnel, plant species lists downloaded from the USDA/NRCS PLANTS database, driving directions, method rule sets, soil data and links to photos. The objective of this poster is to make the database available to other ecologists, to review current applications, and to identify areas for future enhancements.