Principles of Vegetation Measurement & Assessment
and Ecological Monitoring & Analysis


Veg Sampling
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Module 3 - Soil Assessment and Ecological Site Descriptions

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Lesson Instructions

  1. Read through the Overview and Learning Objectives.
  2. Complete the Required Reading.
  3. Listen to the Lessons posted on BrainShark.
  4. Check the schedule for the required Assignment.
  5. Complete assignments and submit by Blackboard by Midnight on Tuesday, September 11.


Learning Materials


Required Readings:

Monitoring Manual for Grassland, Shrubland and Savanna Ecosystems. 2005. By J.E. Herrick and Colleagues (Tucson, Arizona: The University of Arizona Press.)



Slides Lessons (with brainshark)

  • Lesson 1 - Overview of Soils and Soil Methods

  • Lesson 2 - Soils, Ecological Sites, and State and Transition Models



What this Lesson Covers


What, When, Where, & How? These are the classic questions to solve any mystery. The same questions apply to determining appropriate vegetation monitoring approaches. In this module we will focus on "where" with a small dose of "how." 

The beginning of any endeavor also requires mastery of the local language. In vegetation sampling, the "language" is rooted in sampling and statistics. This module is designed as an introduction to the language of vegetation measurement.

Learning Objectives

After this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the critical need for units when you report measurements.

  • Explain why we use both the English and Metric measurement systems.

  • Understand sources of errors and uncertainty.

  • Explain the terms accuracy, bias, and precision.

  • Understand how different errors are combined and calculated.

  • Understand how to describe data in terms of minimum, maximum, mean, and variance.

  • Select an appropriate sampling scheme based on requirements for scientific investigation or management objectives.