Volume 13, Issue 1 - spring 2020
Southern region inventory, monitoring, and assessment census: streamlining science-based decision making
The Forest Service invests significant time and funding in Inventory, Monitoring, and Assessment (IMA) activities in the Southern Region, but the data collected are not always accessible, coordinated efficiently, or relevant to management decisions. A research team including Sarah Weiner, Southeast Regional Climate Hub (SERCH) Fellow and Eastern Threat Center biologist, conducted a census across the region to determine which monitoring data are extraneous, necessary, or need bolstering to meet scientific standards. Census results identify the value of regional monitoring efforts and can guide improvements of the data being used to inform decision-making. Examples of outcomes include reconvening the Regional Invasive Species Issues Team to collectively address issues identified in the IMA Census, and development of a centralized data storage location for Fire Management Officers in the Region. The research team continues to work with the Region to pursue applications that can improve coordination between program areas and ultimately the cost-effectiveness of monitoring activities in support of efficient and science-based decision making. Read more about this work.