Resource assessment in ecosystems

Monitoring of status and changes in ecosystems for research and management purposes requires the application of scientifically sound monitoring techniques. These techniques do mainly comprise statistical sampling and empirical modeling and a variety of different data sources are being exploited, including direct field observations, lab analyses, remote sensing image interpretation, interviews, and analyses of existing documents. Results are typically presented as estimates that carry errors which determine precision and accuracy – and eventually their credibility and usefulness.
This module intends to make the student familiar with the basic and some advanced techniques of statistical sampling and of statistical modeling to the extent as it is typically employed in ecological monitoring studies. Emphasis is on issues of practical implementation and reporting, such as scientific soundness, definitions, and reporting of estimation errors, including measurement errors, sampling errors, modeling errors. Typical cases are presented and typical “not-to-do´s” are analysed.