[Tdwg-obs] Survey and Monitoring

Robert K. Peet peet at unc.edu
Sat Nov 12 18:57:49 CET 2005


Like Lynn, I would like the observations standard to support observations 
of communities as well as individual organisms

Consider the VegBank approach

A vegetation plot (location) can have multiple plotObservation events, 
each of which can have multiple taxonObservation events (collectively such 
as density, or of individuals), each of which can have multiple 
identification events, each of which can refer to multiple taxonomic 
concepts.  In addition, the plotObservation can have multiple 
identifications, and each of these can refer to multiple community 

With this approach permanent information about the location, such as 
geocoordinates, is associated with the plot.  Transient information about 
the plot is recorded with the plotObservation and here we also could refer 
to protocols applied. Monitoring can be handled by a recursive loop 
linking plotObservations or taxonObservations

Bob Peet
      Robert K. Peet, Professor & Chair         Phone:  919-962-6942
      Curriculum in Ecology, CB#3275            Fax:    919-962-6930
      University of North Carolina              Cell:   919-368-4971
      Chapel Hill, NC  27599-3275  USA          Email:  peet at unc.edu


> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 11 Nov 2005 15:35:44 -0500
> From: Steve Kelling <stk2 at cornell.edu>
> Subject: [Tdwg-obs] Survey and Monitoring

>             I apologize for the delay in posting to the listserve. As I am
> sure it is true for you, it has been quite hectic for me.
>             My feeling is that we have a good definition for the
> integrative element of observational data. That is, the element in which
> observational data can be (and is) incorporated in existing Natural History
> collections data. To reiterate;
> An observation is a collection event that describes a phenomenon, and is
> bound to the spatiotemporal location where it was made. Furthermore, an
> observation describes an occurrence and can be linked to descriptions of
> other occurrences.
>             Now we can begin to talk about the methods of aggregating
> observations. To do this means issues such as protocol (including
> precision, accuracy, and certainty in the methods), data quality, inferring
> negative data, and detectability must be addressed. It is at this point
> where observational data can begin to contribute and extend the value of
> the data held within biodiversity data networks.
>             What I would like to do is begin a discussion on
> survey/monitoring techniques and issues. Specifically I would like to
> develop the necessary requirements to define methodology metadata. For
> example, how does one distinguish between surveys and monitoring? For
> example, I consider monitoring as a protocol- driven collection of
> observational data gathered repeatedly over a time series at a specific
> location. Thus, I would distinguish monitoring from a survey in that a
> survey documents an occurrence of an organism(s) at a location at a
> particular time, and does not include repeated sampling.
> Anyway, I look forward to hearing from you.
> Regards,
> Steve Kelling
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 607-254-2478 (work)
> 607-342-1029 (cell)

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