Monitoring study design

Provided here is information to help you organize your monitoring plan, or study design.  Before deciding to begin it is important that you are able to write your study design.  Think carefully about the why, what, where, when and how questions, and consider the (QAQC) measures that are necessary to insure accuracy and precision.  Your should use the scientific methodIt’s well worth taking the time to figure out what you want to do. Your monitoring program is more likely to be successful and sustainable, with the right plan. 
Organize your technical committee 


List the members of your technical committee and their expertise. Write a job description of the roles and responsibilities of the technical committee members.

Why are you monitoring? 
 1. Provide background information on your stream: For example, describe the geography of your stream, where it begins, where it joins larger water bodies and other important characteristics of its watershed.

List (or map) the classificationsdesignated uses or other ecological values associated with your stream. 


Describe the issues facing your stream posed by the threats or conflicts and what, if anything is being done to address them? 

      •    List the stream segments that do not support, or only partially support, their uses.
    •    List the causes or reasons that specific stream segments do not support their uses.
List the protection or restoration efforts underway to address the problems.
    •    List the information that you believe you will need in order to address the issues.
What will you monitor?

List the indicators you will use to monitor your stream. 

 2. Describe the significances of each indicator and how they will help answer your questions.

What are your data quality objectives? 


List the intended uses and users of your information. 


List your data quality objectives. 


List your data quality requirements of the sampling and analysis of each indicator: 

      •    Accuracy is how close are your results are to the true values.
Precision is how close are your results are to each other. 
    •    Sensitivity is the smallest change or lowest concentration you seek to detect.

How will you monitor? 


Describe how you will collect your samples.  Note: If you are using a specific program (e.g. WV Save Our Streams) you will only need to reference the SOPs. 


    •    What will be sampled (e.g. the water, bottom sediment, aquatic life etc.)? 
    •    List the types of sampling containers and/or other equipment to be used. 
    •    What quantity of sample(s) will be collected? 
    •    How many samples will your monitoring team collect at each location? 
    •    Provide a description of your procedures (reference a particular method if applicable).

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