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    Author(s): Russell T. GrahamTheresa B. Jain
    Date: 1999
    Source: In: Aguirre-Bravo, Celedonio; Franco, Carlos Rodriguez, comps. North American science symposium: Toward a unified framework for inventorying and monitoring forest ecosystem resources; 1998 November 2-6; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Proceedings RMRS-P-12. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 481-486.
    Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (809.0 KB)

    Description

    Depending on the agency, discipline, or audience, assessments supply data and information to address relevant policy questions and to help make decisions. If properly executed, assessment processes can draw conclusions and make recommendations on how to manage natural resources. Assessments, especially large ones, can be easily influenced by internal and external forces. Completing a design prior to collecting data is the most efficient and logical way of conducting assessments. The most important step in the assessment process is to define the assessment problems or questions that address resource management issues. Questions that address well defined issues set goals for the remainder of the assessment process.

    Delineation of assessment and ecosystem boundaries should be based on the questions, agency needs, and the biophysical, economic, and social attributes of the areas of concern. Collecting data prior to developing an assessment design leads to inefficiencies and redundancies and wastes time, money, and people. Moreover, often the data collected does not provide the information for making inferences at the scale appropriate to address the questions. Foremost, the assessment process should be designed and driven by the issues. This approach ensures that data, data resolution, and data analysis are all tailored to addressing the right question using the right temporal and spatial scales.

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    Citation

    Graham, Russell T.; Jain, Theresa B. 1999. An effective and efficient assessment process. In: Aguirre-Bravo, Celedonio; Franco, Carlos Rodriguez, comps. North American science symposium: Toward a unified framework for inventorying and monitoring forest ecosystem resources; 1998 November 2-6; Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Proceedings RMRS-P-12. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 481-486.

    Keywords

    assessments, ecosystems, management

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