Principles of Vegetation Measurement & Assessment
and Ecological Monitoring & Analysis


Veg Sampling
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Module 1 - Introduction to Monitoring

Lesson Instructions

  1. Read through the Overview and Learning Objectives.
  2. Complete the Required Reading.
  3. Read and review the Lectures.
  4. Visit suggested Internet Sites in the lectures.
  5. Check the schedule for the required Assignment.
  6. Complete assignments and submit through Blackboard by Midnight on Tuesday, August 28.

Learning Materials

ReadingRecommended Readings:


Slides Lessons:


Suggested Internet Sites & you-tube Videos




What this Lesson designed to accomplish?


At the beginning of every journey, it is easy to forget important details (like packing socks) because we often focus on the destination. The same is true for vegetation monitoring.  At the beginning of every project it is easy to jump to "where" to collect data and "what" method to use. However, the success or failure of most studies and surveys of plant communities hinges on how well the journey is planned, not how well the field data are collected. 

This section will lay the foundation and set the landscape on which monitoring plans come to life. The purpose of this section is to explore steps in designing and conducting vegetation monitoring projects. Specific concepts and tools will complete the story in subsequent sections of this course.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what monitoring is and why it is important in natural resources.

  • Explain the steps required to design and establish a monitoring protocol.

  • Explain the differences between how managers and scientists might plan and implement a monitoring protocol.

  • Define a monitoring objective.

  • Describe the difference between a symptom and a problem.

  • Recognize different priority systems used in natural resources monitoring.

  • Explain different meanings of the word, "scale" as it is used in natural resources.

  • Describe common difficulties that may hamper a monitoring protocol.