Over the past century, technological advances have greatly improved the standard of living in the United States. But these same advances have caused sweeping environmental changes, often unforeseen and potentially irreparable. Ethical stewardship of the environment requires that society monitor and assess environmental changes at the national scale with a view toward the conservation and wise management of our natural resources.
O''Neill, Robert V.; Hunsaker, Carolyn T.; Jones, K. Bruce; Riitters, Kurt H.; Wickham, James D.; Schwartz, Paul M.; Goodman, Iris A.; Jackson, Barbara L.; Baillargeon, William S. 1997. Monitoring environmental quality at the landscape scale. BioScience 47(8): 513-519