[Tdwg-obs] Survey and Monitoring

Steve Kelling stk2 at cornell.edu
Fri Nov 11 21:35:44 CET 2005

             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.


Steve Kelling
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
607-254-2478 (work)
607-342-1029 (cell)

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