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Subject: The Northwest (US) Regional Aquatic Monitoring Database
From: Jody White <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scientific forum on fish and fisheries <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Apr 1998 11:31:47 -0700

text/plain (89 lines)

The purpose of this message is to solicit data for  The Northwest (US)
Regional Aquatic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring Database that is currently
under development by The Xerces Society.  We are asking all groups and
agencies in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho that collect aquatic
macroinvertebrate data to contact us so we can start assembling the data.
This project is funded by Region 10 EPA, the Flintridge Foundation, and the
Dudley Foundation.  The database will be used as a central clearinghouse
for all old data, as well as being updated yearly with all new information
collected in the region (there are plans to include British Columbia and
Alaska in the next few years).    The database will be published to the
internet for easy access by all users.

I have attached a brief description of the project below.  If you are
interested in participating or have questions please contact:

Jody White
The Xerces Society
704 SW 3rd St. #1
Corvallis, OR 97333
[log in to unmask]
(541) 754-8119

The Xerces Society received funding in 1995 from several agencies and
foundations to begin coordination of the regional macroinvertebrate
monitoring database. The Xerces Society is an international invertebrate
conservation group dedicated to preserving biosystems worldwide. The
tentative completion date for all data collected in the Northwest from 1989
to the present time is June 30, 1999.  An advisory group that included
representatives from fourteen agencies, private corporations and
conservation groups was formed to create a standard reporting format and
define objectives for the project.  The advisory group meets annually to
ensure that the database encompasses the changing needs of the managers and
scientists in the Northwest.  The format includes information that will
allow the data to be transferred among all major federal and state
databases, as well as the associated geographical information systems (e.g.
Integrated Taxonomic Information System coding and standard geographical
coordinates).  Associated project and physical and chemical stream data
were also included to allow interpretation of general site characteristics.

As with any monitoring data collected over long periods of time by many
groups, there are many disparate sources, types and reporting formats. A
recent push by scientists and managers in the Northwest to develop an
efficient archival system led the Xerces Society to develop the benthic
macroinvertebrate monitoring database.  Initially the funding was for
inclusion of over 800 sites west of the Cascade Range in Oregon and
Washington.  However, when more groups from outside the target area became
interested, it was decided to include all three northwestern states and
western Canada: Idaho, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.  Current
funding for the database comes from the Environmental Protection Agency
(Region X), the Bureau of Land Management, Washington Department of
Ecology, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the Flintridge
Foundation, and the Dudley Foundation.

The database's objectives have changed over the past several years, but
they have focused on two central themes: 1) to provide a central storage
system for macroinvertebrate data from Idaho, Oregon and Washington that is
easily accessible to all users via the internet (including citizens and
scientists), and 2) to provide an analysis tool that synthesizes complex
taxonomic data into a understandable format.   A centralized database
provides land managers and citizens with an information archive to use for
future projects.  It will also help decrease project redundancy among
groups by allowing project managers to access data that can supplement
their work.  Taxonomic data will be used, depending on the project's
geographic location, to assess sites according to the published criteria
for that region.  Biological criteria are being derived to assist
monitoring programs in determining the relative health of their systems as
compared to a standard or reference conditions.  Usually, macroinvertebrate
data are calibrated for specific regions, whether they are basins or
ecoregions.  However, criteria are not yet available for most areas of the
Northwest.  As the criteria become available, they will be incorporated
into the database.

Jody White
Director, Aquatic Monitoring Program
The Xerces Society
704 SW 3rd St #1
Corvallis, OR 97333
(541) 754-8119
e-mail: [log in to unmask]

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